It started with challenges close to home for entrepreneur and founder Chris Turner. Or maybe it would be better, the problem is closer to school.
Turner was looking for early learning opportunities for his young children, but the schools he visited, including some of the best local private and charter schools, are outdated. In the end, the schools lacked the “creativity and independence” he had hoped to teach his children, and the flexible schedule he wanted for his family.
That was when the founder started researching the education sector. He found that while EdTech funding has risen sharply (with VC funding rising from $ 4 billion to nearly $ 21 billion in the last five years), most startups are underestimating the importance of physical education places. This, Turner argues, may be the answer to why the education system has not changed much over the past two decades, despite the growth of EdTech.
His solution was to create a new kind of learning environment. And in its first place in Decatur, Georgia, we’ve seen how Moonrise creates a whole new category in education.
Forget desk lines, whiteboards and class bells. Those “traditional” items are replaced by large sofas, workshops and flexible tables that don’t maximize creativity and independence from other learning spaces.
The space is deliberately designed for children to learn their interests at their own pace. Children from 5 to 12 years old have access to a creative space, a select library and even a podcast studio.
Design is important throughout the space because Turner said the focus is on comfort, beauty and well-being.
After opening its doors at the end of 2021, Moonrise has attracted both home-schooling parents and what Turner describes as “flexible technology parents” in search of additional learning opportunities for their children.
Unlike a child care center or after-school center, parents can leave and pick up children in a place that is deliberately designed for them.
Moonrise is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., including weekends and summers. Most children come for a few hours in the afternoon to work on projects with their friends.
Probably the best model is to have Moonrise as a new style in collaboration. As an “collaborative learning” space, children have a range of activities that are not segregated by age or grade level. And Turner said its cost is currently $ 250 a month lower for one child and more affordable for a number of economic grounds.
The team behind the moonrise
There are guides throughout the space that Turner likes to think of as “individual trainers for the mind”.
“They are different from teachers because they don’t offer a curriculum. But they are there to find the child’s inner interests and force them to push past restrictions, ”Turner added. Current mentors in acting, camp counseling, and ESL coaching have a diverse background.
Moonrise is another type of business venture for Turner, who previously founded Tenrocket in Atlanta, a startup that has been building web and mobile apps for other startups for 10 days.
Now he sees Moonrise as a new way to spark the entrepreneurial spirit in the next generation.
Moonrise is currently a location in the center of Decatur, but expansion plans are on the horizon. While most people currently see Moonrise as an “additional” option for a traditional learning environment, she believes that focusing on flexibility and creativity can be an example of changing our way of thinking about education.
“We prepare children for the future of work that values creativity and independence in relation to standardization and compliance.”