The Lila School, an Education for Life School in Slovenia, started in September, 2013. An interview with Tina Rutar, the founder of the school.
EFL: What does it take to get a school started?
Tina: First we contacted the Education for Life headquarters to find out what I could do to educate teachers in this way and start a school with this philosophy. The steps are pretty easy, but it does take persistence. We have a very dedicated group helping manifest this project. It took about two years to manifest this school (Lila).
EFL: How did you begin?
Tina: We began by defining a vision for the school. The next step was to start gathering potential parents. We created a series of public lectures on Education for Life and sent out invitations to our friends, asking them to forward the email to anyone they thought might be interested. We made sure to include a note saying that it was okay to keep forwarding the information.
The next steps included the creation of a Facebook page and a website where we could notify people for upcoming events and information.
We also offered free classes on EFL in schools to teachers. We would meet once a month for four hours of training. These courses included games and philosophy. Our goal was to educate and also to magnetize a teacher for our school. We found our teacher after someone who attended our classes mentioned them to a friend. (We knew that the teacher would be the most important and also the hardest to find.)
When looking for parents, we focused our energy to reaching people interested in yoga, healthy eating, and ecological education. We also contacted preschools which offered special programs such as yoga or vegetarian diet.
EFL: What did you learn from marketing the school?
Tina: We learned that most of our students come from referrals, and that it is very important to meet potential parents as quickly as possible.
We continue to reach out to new parents through events that will interest the types of families we would like to have in our school. One example is our bazaar. We have parents offering their time and skills. One parent gives massages for $5 and donates the money to the school. Students perform dances and skits.
For more information go to http://www.sola-lila.si/. (It will help if you can understand Slovenian.)