Contact innovator

Jenny Finn
An Exemplar in Vitality-Centered Educational Design


location_on United States
Springhouse envisions a regenerative culture where all people are connected to the vitality within themselves, their community, and the Earth. The Springhouse community designs and activates a vitality-centered education that empowers people to courageously respond to the world's emerging needs. Springhouse offers a Day School for teens, adult programs, and Sourced Design Lab.
Dr. Bettina Love
Education can't save us. We have to save education.

Dr. Bettina Love


HundrED has not validated this innovation

Anyone can submit their innovation to HundrED Open. All information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been checked by HundrED. Innovation page has been created by Jenny Finn on May 15th, 2019
Key figures

Innovation Overview

Target Group
5 000
Updated on September 2nd, 2021
about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Springhouse is an example of what education can be when it is oriented around vitality. Education is where adults in power determine what is most valuable to pass down, and engage our young people. We can choose, both adults and youth, to design education in a way to brings us alive and builds regenerative culture. This is why Springhouse exists. To be that example.

How does your innovation work in practice?

Springhouse offers a Day School for teens, Coming of Age programs for pre-teens and their families, adult programs including a 9-month fellowship with two tracks- vitality-centered educational design and regenerative farm design; and the Sourced Design Lab the support people globally who seek to put vitality at the front and center of their lives and their communities. Springhouse articulate five design principles that include

- Take care of vulnerability.
- Cultivate personhood.
- Build beloved community.
- Respect the wisdom of the Earth.
- Love and serve others.

Springhouse is located in the Blue Ridge mountains on an 11-acre farm.

How has it been spreading?

Examples are what give us hope. Springhouse is a living example of what educational design looks like when it orients around vitality. This design is called Sourced Design and participants from around the world (8 countries!) join together in small intimate cohorts in the Sourced Design Lab to practice the five design principles and support each other in fostering vitality in their own lives and places. These Labs are held three times a year and participants can immerse in Springhouse, a living example of the design they are exploring and practicing in their places. These Labs are part of the Sourced Design Network that also includes monthly support meetings for practitioners, and an annual gathering at Springhouse where we celebrate and learn more about designs globally that foster life.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

If you are interested in learning more about Springhouse and Sourced Design, please visit You can also access the Sourced Design curriculum at Then if you are interested further, apply for the Sourced Design Lab which is the first step in joining the Sourced Design Network- a sustainable web of support for vitality-centered practitioners around the globe.


See this innovation in action

‎Learning Forward: Jenny Finn "I am passionate about Education... on Apple Podcasts
Education Regeneration: Reflecting on the Skeleton Woman story
Why Adult Programming Was a Must Have for This Rural Learning Community - Education Reimagined
Voices of Education Ep. 30 - Springhouse School, Jenny Finn
Re-Imagining Vitality-Centered Education
How To Build a Regenerative Culture Through A Vitality-Centred Education with Dr Jenny Finn
Springhouse gets stronger
Unique Schools: Alternative to public school in Floyd County
Macy leads community dialogue on opioid epidemic
How Our Creativity and Resilience Can Build Stronger and Wiser Communities - Education Reimagined
Sourced Design
What Do Teenagers Think About Climate Change?
Check out this new video from Radford University about our boat building project last year!
Springhouse community gathers to 'bless' new space
Springhouse Community School moved into a new, permanent space in the Blue Ridge mountains. Hear from our learners and staff about this innovative educational model!
Floyd students hike to Roanoke in four-day school trip
Check out this story about our 4-Day, 48 mile walking field trip!
Everyone is Talking About Climate Change, But What are we Doing About it? Floyd Takes a Stand
Springhouse Community School was on National Public Radio in the US today talking about project-based learning, emergent theory, and climate change!
100+ Middle & High Schools Worth Visiting | Getting Smart
Springhouse is #23 on the list of 100+ worth visiting high school in the United States!
Soul Centered Education |
We founded Springhouse on the belief that what is most needed from our formal schooling systems is not a requirement of rote familiarity with a standardized set of facts but an opportunity to recognize, articulate, and embody the gifts that each person carries. We provide this space for our students by incorporating one-on-one, small group, and intergenerational mentoring, project-based learning experiences, and community collaboration, all within a psycho-spiritual developmental framework that cultivates wholeness.Read more from one of our co-founders, Ezekiel Fugate, about education that puts wholeness at the center:
Springhouse School goes to Charleston
Earlier this semester, students and staff from Springhouse Community School traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, as part of a class called Courageous Conversations, which explores concepts of race, racism and white privilege through community collaborations and music.Springhouse, a private secondary school in Floyd, takes students on several weeklong trips each year that allow learners to immerse themselves in an environment outside of the classroom. Courageous Conversations was made possible by a grant from the Southern Poverty Law Center.Read more:
Capitalizing on the Natural Structures of Freedom - Education Reimagined
Several years ago, my colleagues and I co-founded Springhouse Community School—a living laboratory where we use each day to advance our learning in what it takes to create a learning environment that truly prepares adolescents for young adulthood. At Springhouse, we are cultivating a community where learners can discover the unique gifts they came into this world with, while also explore the barriers that get in the way of offering these gifts to the world. With this audacious and rigorous vision for learning, we knew this learning community would need a sturdy structure that inherently allowed for expansive, individual freedoms for each learner. Read more:
An Open-Walled Journey: A Conversation with Jenny Finn and Sarah Merfeld - Education Reimagined
Education Reimagined had the chance to connect with the leaders of Springhouse Community School to explore a new opportunity they are launching for their young people: internships. Inspired by the work of other learner-centered models, they want to ensure their learners are experiencing all that the Floyd, VA community has to offer.
Episode 05: Springhouse Stories
Hear from Head of School Jenny Finn and student Lotus Billand about reimagining education!
#SpringhouseStories: A Learner's Tale
"Once upon a time, there was an 11-year-old girl who lived in Kansas City named Tati. Tati had been home-schooled with self-led learning her whole life but longed for more. For years, she wanted to go to school, but there were no schools around her that understood that her worth wasn’t in a test score and would give her the autonomy over her learning that she experienced while being home-schooled. She unwillingly had to accept that she likely would not be able to find a school that would fit her educational and developmental needs."Here directly from one of our learners about her experience at Springhouse!
Imagining a World Without White Supremacy
Last year Springhouse explored the difficult topics of race and privilege through music and conversation and was profiled in the national publication of Teaching Tolerance, an educational branch of the Southern Poverty Law Center. This was a powerful exploration with teens and the community and led to a final musical community celebration. To learn more visit:
At one time, this idea of building a sailboat was just a dream. It became a reality and the boat was launched last month, first on Claytor Lake and then in the Chesapeake Bay! Students strengthened their skills in mathematics, science, and creative arts through this interdisciplinary project led by a boat builder and adult who is deeply passionate about all things related to the sea!To learn more about the project along the way visit: local magazine profiled our project recently, read more here!:
Well participants find purpose, community connection and more
Springhouse not only serves teens but also young adults and adults. "When Springhouse Community School was founded several years ago in Floyd, it began as an independent learning center for 7th through 12th graders. Now young adults are also coming there for another one of the school’s programs and then choosing to stay in the community."To read more about this program that invites young adults to reconnect with their purpose visit:
Students in Floyd learn science, math, and life skills while building a sailboat for school
Check out this local news story about the Springhouse boat building project! Students built a 22-foot sailboat and sailed it in the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia!
9 Learner-Centered Environments You Must Visit - Education Reimagined
Education Reimagined, a national network in the US, profiled Springhouse Community School as one of the 9 must-see learner-centered environments in the country. Here is what they said!"Tucked away in the hills of Southwestern Virginia’s Blue Ridge Plateau, Floyd County is home to a vibrant and welcoming community. Boasting a population smaller than many senior classes, it may come as no surprise that a local learning environment, Springhouse Community School, is one of the smallest learner-centered environments we have discovered thus far—but don’t let their size fool you. The Springhouse vision allows for adaptability and improvisation, which are of utmost importance when leading an age-diverse group of just 17 learners. Given this small cohort, many school-centric philosophies had to be thrown out the window immediately—giving way to a free exploration of what education could be."To read more visit:


Achievements & Awards

May 2020
One of the 9-Must See Schools in the US
May 2019
Innovation page created on

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