Dubuque Free School hosted by Democratic Socialists offers wide variety of classes for all ages

The Dubuque Free School is hosted by the Dubuque Democratic Socialists at 1766 Central Ave....
The Dubuque Free School is hosted by the Dubuque Democratic Socialists at 1766 Central Ave. (Allison Wong, KCRG)(KCRG)
Published: Jun. 6, 2019 at 4:55 PM CDT
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The Dubuque Democratic Socialist group is putting on a free school this summer that offers a wide range of classes.

The Dubuque Free School is a community project that offers free classes to people of all ages at 1766 Central Ave. The group based the idea on Freedom Schools, which began in Mississippi in 1964.

Back then, the classes encouraged active citizenship and community involvement. The group is hoping for the same outcome today.

The classes offered on just a Thursday show the range that's available. Practical Stoicism was taught by a college professor, Art Exploration by a freelance artist, and Crime and Punishment or Correction by another college professor.

Emily Cram teaches the art class. It's open to all ages, but with school still in session, just one person was in attendance. Lizard Epsha said he was excited to take the class so he could learn about a passion of his.

"I think being able to have some structure to that and somebody who obviously does it professionally and knows a lot about it I think is really valuable," he said.

Epsha plans to take many classes. This opportunity means a lot to him because he hasn't always had access to classes.

"I had to drop out of high school when I was younger, but I really loved learning, and I didn't really have that as accessible to me as I think some other people did," he said.

That's what organizers say the Free School is about: making sure everyone has access to education.

“We believe in the importance of education and access to education for everyone," Christine Darr said. "We know that learning doesn’t stop when you graduate high school or college, that we want to be able to provide an opportunity for people to learn in all kinds of ways.”

Darr said a goal was to offer something for everyone.

"We have a philosophy for kids class, we have one about how to keep fish. So yeah, lots of different kinds of things," she said.

The group started this Free Schol three years ago, but only offered it for one day. Darr said they expanded it to two months because people wanted to take more classes than they were able to in that one day. The group raised more than $3,000 to expand the program to two months.

The schedule for June is

However, the group is still taking

for July through June 15th.

To register for a class you must