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The Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) is a professional 501 (c)(3) non-profit association whom are an interdisciplinary association of professionals working at the intersection of learning and place to drive the evolution of learning environments. The organization hosts events in many different parts of the world for educators who work together to share learning and education best practices.

The Alberta Chapter is hosting its Annual Conference and this year, in partnership with Thrive Elementary, Natural Pod are presenting a session called “Space to Thrive: Designing Schools that Create Community Resilience”

Thrive Elementary in Edmonton, AB opened in September of 2023. This new visionary charter school specifically caters to marginalized youth, offering a sanctuary where nurturing care meets high academic standards. Dedicated to fostering the diverse skills learners need to excel in every aspect of life, Thrive’s holistic approach includes community input and supports ongoing participation and dialogue. Thrive not only addresses immediate educational needs but also unlocks doors to a future brimming with opportunities previously out of reach. This intentional design supports the whole child, fortifying students’ resilience and confidence as they navigate every stage of life’s journey.

The key takeaway is that intentionality in designing educational spaces serves as a crucial foundation. Starting with a vision that profoundly impacts the education system while also uplifting the surrounding community and transcending traditional educational models. Beyond the physical environment—the thoughtful design of the school—it’s the community ecosystem and robust support infrastructure that collectively nurtures resilience in learners and educators alike. This holistic support network is instrumental in fostering well-rounded development and success for the learners.

The event runs April 17-19, 2024. Consider attending if you are Canmore, Alberta, Canada area.

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