What if the purpose of school is to guide children to change the world?


Our mission is to guide each child to understand the world around them and the talents within them so they can find their calling and change the world.



Transformative Education

The Forest School in Pinewood Forest, Fayetteville, GA, joins a growing network of Acton Academy Schools worldwide that are building on the success of the original Acton Academy in Austin, Texas. Watch this video about how Acton is transforming education.

A School for the 21st Century


Picture of the Thigpen family

Our Story

Together Joy and Tyler have over 40 years of experience working with kids. They have seen how inspiring young people truly are. When a learner whom they mentored published his first, second, and third books, they rejoiced. When another flew overseas working for the State Department, they marvelled. And when a small group of high schoolers paid for and built an orphanage in Peru, South America, they became persuaded: Yes...kids can change the world.

However, Joy and Tyler have seen how “school” often gets in the way of kids finding their purpose and making an impact. Boredom is rampant in the traditional model of schooling, curiosity and creativity and undervalued, and students are not empowered to take charge of their learning and use it to help others. For Joy and Tyler, tweaks around the edges of traditional schooling won’t cut it; a new model is needed.

Joy’s and Tyler’s excitement about the Acton model—especially for their four children, ages 13 to 5—can’t be overstated. These schools are inviting children to explore the essential questions of "Who am I? Where am I going? How do my passions and talents connect with the world around me? How can I serve a great need and even change the world?"

In answering these questions themselves, Joy and Tyler saw the need for an authentic learner-driven school in their community. They created The Forest School as a place for all children and families to explore these questions, learn together, and experience joy in the process.