COMPASS – new name, but familiar educational direction |

COMPASS – new name, but familiar educational direction

Aspen Times Staff Report

The 28-year-old educational organization “COMPASS … for lifelong discovery,” formerly known as the Aspen Educational Research Foundation, is hosting two free community events this week to celebrate its new identity.

The festivities begin Wednesday with a “blue moon bonfire” from 4 to 7 p.m. at COMPASS, located at 1199 Woody Creek Road. The progressive open house and bonfire will feature local troubadour Jimmy Ibbotson.

Attendees will have an opportunity to stroll through the multifaceted educational center on candlelit paths connecting the organization’s various projects. At each site – the Aspen Community School, Early Childhood Center, Roaring Fork Teacher Education Project, Stepstone Center, Sustainable Settings, The Wood Shop, Woody Creek Ceramics Studio and Wyly Community Art Center – guests can learn more about the individual programs by viewing the work of students, mentors and staff.

On Friday, COMPASS will host a community barn dance at the new Carbondale Community School, 1505 Satank Road, to celebrate the school’s grand opening. The event will feature square dancing with live music by the Flying Dog Bluegrass Band and caller Tom Paxton. Complimentary chili will be served while it lasts. Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the Harry Teague-designed facility, which was inaugurated in November.

“We’ve decided to throw a party, actually two, to give the community the chance to rediscover who we’ve become,” said George Stranahan, executive director of COMPASS and a co-owner of The Aspen Times. “We realize that the public was confused by our old name, so we’re trying to better communicate our educational mission with its new name.”

COMPASS is a setting for experimental education and community learning that was established 28 years ago in Woody Creek, originally as the Aspen Educational Research Foundation. The organization’s mission is to foster lifelong learning among adults as well as children. One of COMPASS’s most compelling goals is to bring the learning experience into the community and the community into the schools with the purpose of better integrating children into society.

For additional information, contact COMPASS at 923-4646.

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