Bija is a for-profit social organization promoting love, justice and engagement through education, food and farming, the arts and community activism.

Currently serving Brooklyn and the Hudson Valley, Bija has operated early childhood programs in Brooklyn since 2005. During the last 18 months, Bija has worked to re-envision the scope of our reach to include preschool and elementary schools, urban farm projects, artist residencies, teacher and parent education, community groups and trainings. Through a fiscal sponsor and the creation of The Bija Fund, as well as government programs we plan to open our doors to all through work-trade, pay-what-you-can programming and education, scholarships and grants.

We seek to embrace our communities and where needed, become a force for positive change and inclusion. Stay tuned for exciting growth ahead!

Our Core Values

  • Respect
  • Relevance
  • Holism
  • Flexibility
  • Discipline
  • Health


Finding a name to represent our mission and vision was a bit tricky. I wanted a name that stayed relevant and meaningful as time passed. I stumbled across ‘Bija‘, which means seed in Sanskrit. As I continued to search for the right name, I returned to Bija again and again. The idea that all life and potential is contained within the seed fits on many levels – it accurately describes Bija’s goals for our students, team and as an organization as a whole.

-Lauren Maples, Founder


To this day, Bija strives to grow, nurture and evolve through inquiry, study and dedicated observation. We set out to support our students as they move from one life stage to the next by nurturing their fullest potential and celebrating their unique strengths and beauty. No two seeds are alike, and each needs special attention to bloom, just like each child. Bija remains a perfect fit to describe what we do daily!