Kite’s Nest is a learning resource center dedicated to curiosity, inquiry and social justice in Hudson, NY. We are committed to creating an extraordinary environment for children and teenagers to learn, play, and grow. Together we generate experiences that spark the interests and passions of young people, and offer a supportive environment for children and teenagers to pursue and develop their interests within their community. We believe that by supporting young people to develop a passion for learning, we are building a generation of young adults with the skills, abilities, and confidence to create meaningful lives and make positive social change.
We see our work as inextricably linked to community health and wellness, food justice and security, and the development of vibrant, neighborhood spaces. Our workshops take place in the classroom, on the streets and alleys of our city, on the farms and wild spaces around us, and in two sites that we have opened to our community: the Alimentary Kitchen and the River City Garden.
In recognizing that school is not the only place for people to learn, we are most focused on creating educational experiences and environments outside of the conventional school setting. For some participants, this means coming once a week for an afterschool program; for others who come more often, Kite’s Nest is central to their learning path. For everyone, Kite’s Nest is a place of encounter and exchange, where young people have the support to make choices around their own education. But Kite’s Nest is more than a place of its own: it is a part of a larger conversation, network and movement for youth empowerment in our community. A crucial part of our work is based in partnerships with local organizations, educators, and families, and in engaging and addressing the institutions that impact the everyday lives of children and teenagers in Hudson.
We opened our doors in 2013. Since then we have launched these programs of our center:
Workshops for children and teenagers
We run multidisciplinary, project-based workshops for children and teenagers during the day, after-school, and on weekends. Our workshops are organized seasonally, in ten-week arcs in the fall, winter and spring, and in camps throughout the summer. Each season we gather tools, materials, and people around a particular theme: our workshops have explored urban planning, traditional wooden boat-building, potion-making, creative writing, journalism, textile arts, cartography, agroecology, culinary artistry and more. As educators we listen closely to the sparks of interest and enthusiasm of the young people we’re working with, and support them in making choices about the inquiries they’d like to follow and the projects they’d like to pursue. At Kite’s Nest children and teenagers have the opportunity not only to be agents in their own education, but to be agents in the world: to critically engage with real-world issues and systems, to work with a broad range of adult mentors and peers, and to step up as leaders and change-makers within their community.
Our workshops and programs serve a wide range of youth, ages 6-17. Kite’s Nest is open to all, and we are committed to making our workshops accessible to all families, regardless of income. See our current workshop calendar here, and read more about the principles of our learning environment here.
River City Garden
The River City Garden is a community garden and sustainability education site on 59 North Front Street in Hudson. Through workshops and community events, we creatively engage children and teenagers in the skills and methods of growing food, in thinking critically about the impact of global food systems on our communities, and in stepping up as leaders in the development of local sustainable food systems. By working to build an intergenerational, multicultural public garden and education site, we give youth the opportunity to engage with gardeners and community members of all ages and from different cultural backgrounds, and to participate in positive and equitable neighborhood development. More on the River City Garden here.
The Alimentary Kitchen is our on-site kitchen at Kite’s Nest, serving as a classroom for children and teenagers, and a certified commercial kitchen for community dinners and special events. Run by Nicole LoBue, the Alimentary Kitchen promotes and encourages the health and autonomy of young people through workshops that integrate food-craft, nutrition, herbalism, food preparation, processing, and food-traditions. Our workshops create opportunities for young people to work alongside professional chefs as students and apprentices, engaging in real-world exchange. The Alimentary Kitchen serves as a place of encounter, where people can trade knowledge and skills, across cultures and between generations, and share in the simple pleasure of an extraordinary meal. The Alimentary Kitchen also caters private and special events, which helps to support Kite’s Nest programming. More on the Alimentary Kitchen here.
The Listening Project
How does learning happen in this community? Where does it happen? What does it look like? Since we opened our doors, we have collected over a dozen qualitative interviews, recording the stories of learning and education of people who have grown up, worked, and raised kids in Hudson. Our listening project keeps Kite’s Nest committed to the practice of listening to our city, reflecting on our work, and learning from the multiple experiences and perspectives around us. Kite's Nest children and teenagers have also been exploring our city and region with us -- as listeners, investigators, cartographers, urban planners, and curators of a changing and growing understanding of place. More on the Listening Project here.
Kite's Nest in the Community
Kite’s Nest is a part of a network of educators and organizers working to transform and strengthen the experience of children and teenagers growing up in Hudson, and working towards social justice, food security, race equity, and youth empowerment. We offer workshops in partnership with a number of organizations and institutions, and we help to coordinate a monthly collaborative of local youth organizations, facilitating regular discussions about our shared missions and challenges. We are part of a consortium of community groups in Hudson working towards a shared mission of social justice and race equity, and a city-wide alliance of local agencies called ““Hudson for All: A Coalition for Racial and Economic Equity in the City of Hudson”. We hope to broaden the community-wide conversation about education in Hudson to include important learning experiences and opportunities outside of traditional school environments, and to include a wide range of literacies, skills, and learning styles. You can learn more about our community partners here.
We know that the best way to teach children and teenagers principles of mutual aid, self-direction, and communication are to model these principles as an adult community of teachers and learners. We work to support the educators teaching at Kite’s Nest, adult practitioners in our community, and the parents and families of the children we work with.
Kite’s Nest is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Your donations to Kite’s Nest are 100% tax deductible.