Grants: 1999

Our first round of awards, $100 to each group, was made from donations Karl Muth had received through a year of asking everyone he met for ten or twenty dollars. He raised enough to give out $1,200 and publish our first newsletter to spread the word about these groups and their work.

*please note: descriptions date back to 1999.


African-American Resources, Idlewild, MI
An online newsletter for African-American homeschoolers.

Books Through Bars Philadelphia
A books-to-prisoners group that also does work to educate others about the need for education programs in prisons.

Drop Out Magazine, Sacramento, CA
A resource center and magazine for high school dropouts, run by high school dropouts.

The Learning House, Selma, AL
This alternative education option was created as a result of a civil rights struggle in Selma in the early 1990’s.

Linking Up Villages, Dorchester, MA
By putting computer terminals in public spaces and teaching tech skills, this group makes their computer program an accessible community organizing tool.

Genius Tribe/Not Back To School Camp, Eugene, OR
A catalogue of learning resources and a summer camp for teenagers that choose not to go to school.

Growing Without Schooling, Cambridge, MA
A magazine for homeschoolers and unschoolers, started in 1978 by John Holt.

In The Basement, Washington, D.C.
Pam Mitchell works to increase communication by getting people talking about hard issues.

On The Backs of Our Ancestors, Harlem, NY
A newsletter to get information out to homeschoolers of color.

Seeds of Many Nations Homeschooling Collective
In 1996 SOMN put together the Leothy Miller Owens Homeschool Conference, the first ever conference for homeschoolers of color.

Shabazz Academy, Richmond, VA
A homeschooling family created a “homeschooling school” at the urging of neighbors and spreads a love of learning around.

United Parents Against Lead, Chicago, IL
UPAL is an organization of and for parents of lead poisoned children who have had to educate themselves about the dangers of lead. Many have been continued on to educate their children at home.

Three days before the Chicago book release party for “No More Prisons,” Karl got a crazy idea: Let’s stop the music at the party and hold a spontaneous SEF award ceremony to honor Chicago-based groups whose work simultaneously deals with self-education and keeping people out of prison. We invited people from six groups to the party, brought them onstage to talk about their work and then gave each group surprise $500 awards!

The Autonomous Zone Free Skool
Free classes in a collectively-run library and community space. open: Mon-Fri 6-9pm, Sat-Sun 12-6pm.

Insight Arts
A community-based youth arts organization.

The Prison Phone Project
Families of prisoners learned how to fight for their rights and sued phone companies that charge exorbitant rates for prisoner phone calls.

The Street Law Project
A youth-run program offering peer counseling on laws, rights and dealing with police.

Youth Struggling for Survival
A peer-led Latino gang-truce, youth development, peer education and mentorship organization on the West side of Chicago.

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