A cornerstone of Learning About Learning was the Idea Workshop. This community center was housed at 411 East Mulberry along with the lab school. The Idea Workshop was platform that allowed LAL to share skills, resources, and projects they were developing in the lab school with the larger San Antonio community. Many events at the center had small entry fees that helped the organization fundraise and expand its reach. Some workshops themes included making holiday cards and creating puppets to help children share their feelings. These short after school and weekend workshops eventually led to week-long camps as the LAL foundation sought to realize its vision of “making the ordinary extraordinary.”
Kelly Jarrell and B.J. Lopez playing with the Rainy Day Kit at The Idea Workshop.
Browse through an assortment of Idea Workshop mailers below:
Programs like the 1976 Brainstormers had students lead a seminar on ways to see and analyze television, while other students in the program ran a “Holiday Present Planning Service'' for others in the community. Events like “Roman Comedy” or “The Greeks of Athens” let children explore the history of artistic expression. Other programs, such as “Great Paint,” helped children learn and practice different artistic styles, encouraging them to make as wide a canvas as possible for their art by painting on walls, floors, and even on aprons they would take home.
In the final years of LAL, many of the community activities and specials from the 1970s remained, though the age range of participating students expanded considerably. While programs like “Just Beginnings” catered to 21-36 month olds (and their parents), the “Advanced Studies” program advertised to children up to 13 years old.
The 1982 Futuristics group gave a glimpse into the future in an exhibit of children’s ideas and inventions. From marvels like sending a message via video to others, or a kitchen with automatic junk food. Here, children were the experts on the future and their world. They were empowered to explore their surroundings. What do you think about the future they envisioned? Were they far off?
Explore workshop catalogs from the fall of 1975 and 1983 below: