A rendering of WeGrow’s future New York location
Years ago, WeWork became a global powerhouse in the coworking sector. Later, the company branched out into cohousing via its WeLive locations. Now, WeWork’s founding partner is focusing on schools.
WeWork founder Rebekah Neumann is a mother to five young children and found herself underwhelmed by their school options in New York and on the West Coast. Seeing a void, Neumann created a pilot program last month for WeGrow, a highly-interactive school serving students in kindergarten through 5th grade, Fast Company reported. The school is operating out of a Chabad school in New York and there are currently seven children enrolled, ages 5, 6 and 8.
Rendering of a WeGrow classroom designed by Bjarke Ingels
The school is based on principles of kindness, “conscious entrepreneurship”, mindfulness and appreciation of nature, with yoga classes, meditation and farmwork as integral parts of the curriculum. Neumann and her husband (WeWork’s founder and CEO) purchased a 60-acre farm north of New York City in early 2016, which the students visited before setting up a farm stand at a WeWork location.
WeWork is envisioned as an integral part of WeGrow (although the funding and logistics have not yet all been worked out), enabling partnerships and apprenticeships between the students and WeWork members. WeWork members and employees will be able to apply for slots at the school for their children. The schools will also be open to families in the immediate area of WeGrow locations. The first location is expected to open next year in WeWork’s Chelsea headquarters building, moving along with the headquarters offices to the Lord and Taylor building on Fifth Avenue in 2019.
Other WeGrow schools may also open in existing WeWork locations, creating a school network that will also be a benefit to WeWork members who relocate elsewhere in the country or the world. Tuition is still to be determined. Starchitect Bjarke Ingels is slated to design the first WeGrow school.
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/wework_co-founder_branches_into_the_business_of_education/13222.
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