Updated 2023-12-14

WoW (Without Walls) Cooperative

We’re a group of ~15 families that meet at East Bay parks every weekday from 9:30am – 4pm to support self-directed education for our kids (ages 5 to 11). We’re currently open to enrolling a small number of additional families.
Steve Nagai-Ma Parent
click to see email
900 Dornan Dr
Richmond, CA  94801
United States
Bay Area, Berkeley, Oakland, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Pinole


WoW Cooperative is made up of a group of about 15 families that meets at Miller/Knox Regional Park (and occasionally others in the East Bay) every weekday from 9:30am – 4pm to support self-directed education for our kids (current age range is 5 to 11). We have been operating since the Fall of 2020 and enrollment is currently open for a small number of additional families.

WoW has a small handful of paid facilitators funded by sliding scale payments from parents. Please check out our website (www.withoutwallslearning.org) or email us at info@withoutwallslearning.org for more information.

SDE Optimizing Conditions

ASDE surveys all SDE communities/programs about how they provide, enhance, or align with each of the Six Optimizing Conditions for young people to succeed in SDE.  Survey answers:
  1. Responsibility – The kids are free to play, explore, support one another, and pursue whatever interests them. On many days, we hold a morning gathering but no one is required to attend.
  2. Youth Autonomy – The kids engage in self-chosen activities 100% of the time. Kids and adults often conduct "offerings" (like slime making or story writing or sewing) but youth are not required to attend and can come and go as they please.
  3. Access to Tools and Technology – The adults and kids who are part of this community bring what they want to the space: slack lines, skateboards, scooters, rip sticks, games, books, field guides, sewing kits, etc.
  4. Adult Allies – We have a small crew of caring adults who are paid (funded by sliding scale payments from the parents) and parent participators who make sure the kids are safe, support them through conflict resolution, and to offer support when children ask for it.
  5. Free Age Mixing – The current age mix for our kids is 5 to 11 and they can and do freely associate with each other.
  6. Community – We were co-created by a community of parents, non-traditional educators, and young people. We've been around for 3+ years. Members of the community collectively drive our decision-making.

If any information about this resource is out of date, please let us know.