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Innovate for Equity

SoulSpark Learning is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to optimizing the development and well-being of youth and the educators who care for them. 

Our evidence-based, holistic approach to instructional design and program evaluation considers eight interdependent aspects of development that impact life outcomes.

The BrighT.ED. Award in Memory of Ted Wachs

Ted Wachs joyfully taught world history, psychology and geography and coached student athletes fo 46 years at a high school in the Milwaukee area. Ted was a pioneer in holistic education who was influenced by time spent studying confluent education (the integration of mind, body and spirit) with Friedrich “Fritz” Perls. His positive, strengths-based approach influenced countless lives and also the SoulSpark Learning approach to instructional design.

Beginning in 2020, SoulSpark Learning aims to celebrate and support at least one educator each year who shares Ted’s passion for teaching through a $400 award named after him. Why $400? Ted recognized the wisdom in indigenous education practices oriented by the four directions. Beginning in the east, educators first cultivate feelings of belonging among EVERY students. SoulSpark Learning believes this is a critical priority and that the final direction, north, representing generosity, is a measure of a good education.

The criteria for award selection will be evidence of holistic and strengths-based educational practices. The receiving educator can use the funds at their discretion to develop an idea they are working on in the classroom that is related to the SoulSpark Learning mission. In addition to funding, the award includes coaching from the SoulSpark Learning Team to support the BrighT.ED. Award recipient(s) in the implementation of their idea.

Every donation helps ! Our goal is to reach at least 100 people who believe in educators enough to donate a minimum of the amount they would otherwise spend on a cup of coffee. We will share an update on the amount raised 30 days after Ted’s passing on August 15, 2019, both here on the website and via a message sent to donors. To support, please click the link below and select the BrighT.ED Fund donation option.

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Peace Begins with

Passionate + Purposeful, Emotionally intelligent, Agile, Creative & Environmentally connected learners.

We become what we practice. Research shows these practices accelerate growth and create more inclusive communities.

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Magic Happens Outside the Box

Have you been told you are “too sensitive,” “too intense,” “ask too many questions” or “move too quickly?” We validate outside the box because innovators and transformational leaders need to be able to walk with calm confidence when their ingenious ideas and equity-oriented actions bump up against the familiar and unjust.

“You were born with potential. You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness. You were born with wings. You are not meant for crawling, so don’t. You have wings. Learn to use them and fly.”  ~ Rumi





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