By Barbara Lewis
September saw the opening of an innovative new educational center in Honesdale, dedicated to principles such as non-harming, the interconnectedness of all things, advocating for the environment, and embracing diversity. The Stoneworks Learning Center is the dreamchild of founder and director Rebecca Ballentine, who has a Masters in Education as well as an M.D. degree.
Located in a beautifully restored historic brick building just behind The Cooperage, The Stoneworks offers a community space for “kids of all ages” to go and share innovative and enjoyable learning experiences.
The new facility provides a comfortable home-like environment for a homeschooling co-operative for children. An outdoor schoolyard for play and crafts activities adds variety to the programs. Classes for infants and their caregivers and a toddlers’ play time will also be offered. Books, games and toys abound for everyone’s enjoyment.
The afterschool programs are designed around concepts such as leadership, service, self-esteem and total health. Emphasizing themes like “habits & choices” and “balance & moderation,” these learning opportunities are targeted primarily for middle school age youth. Regular homework support is provided for them as well. Board member Cheryl Batcher, owner of Camp Umpy’s, decided to serve on the board of The Stoneworks because it gives her three kids a chance to teach their skills to others and “broadens what’s available to kids in Honesdale.”
The afterschool program is kicking off the week of November 18th – 22nd, and there will be ONE FREE WEEK offered to kids between 9 and 14. Younger children may also attend with an adult and older teens may apply to participate as assistants. This program will emphasize team-building and culminate in a collaborative multi-media production the kids create based on their interests.
According to their mission statement, “The Stoneworks is committed to promoting lifelong learning focused on integral health, sustainability, social justice, and diversity on global, local and personal levels.”
Founder and director Rebecca Ballentine shares that her vision for The Stoneworks is to convey the message she told her classmates when she was 9 years old: “You can do anything if you work hard enough and dedicate yourself to it, and really, really want it.” She wants the learning center to be a space where people can spread their wings, try new experiences, learn new things from their friends and neighbors…and do anything they really, really want.
Offering affordable, interesting courses to enhance our lives, The Stoneworks welcomes your participation in this outstanding new community resource.Visit their website at thestoneworks.org or call (570) 251-7704 for more information.
Located at 1036 Rear Main Street, just behind the Cooperage in Honesdale, PA.