The founders

Dida was designed to be the learning environment William and Danielle wished for in their youth. William, a school-teacher veteran of 7 years, hatched the idea based on interactions with Brooklyn community members. Danielle cultivated Dida to strength and sustainability with her legal know-how and organizational skills.


William C. Schmidt

William is Dida’s Founder and Learning Director. His ultimate life goal is to inspire learners of all ages through play-based exploration and improvisational games. As a former school teacher, William believes in the capabilities of young people to effect societal change.


Danielle A. Levine

Danielle is Dida's Co-Founder and Executive Director. She believes that coercive instruction (i.e. compulsory schooling) is proven ineffective by brain science and is a violation of children's rights. As an attorney, Danielle seeks to empower young people and challenge age discrimination. 


Parent Handbook


Our Parent Handbook contains thorough information about Dida's programs, location, and operations. Our handbook also contains useful information about homeschooling FAQs and procedures.

Our past fellows

During Summer 2016 we launched our first fellowship program. We worked with six brilliant and passionate fellows who created thought-provoking projects on a range of topics including:

  • Social Media’s Effect on Human Interactions
  • Exploring Identity, Self-Esteem and the Experience of Black Women with Natural Hair
  • The Rise and Social Implications of “Black Lives Matter”