The Waldorf Buzz: Be Informed

Weekly Newsletter for Students, Parents, and Friends of Waldorf Moraine

8th Grade Presentations

Please enjoy a selection of images from last week’s 8th grade presentations which were kindly taken and shared by Joe Wrinn.

Have You Seen? GNOMES are Hiding On Campus!

June 4th is our annual 5K trail race through Moraine Farm, accompanied by our fan-favorite Gnome Scavenger Hunt! In fact, some of our Gnome friends got so excited that they’ve already hidden themselves around campus! Keep a weather eye out and see how many you can find!

The race will start and end at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm and is open to children ages 7 and older. You must register by May 19th to get your shirt before the race.

Camp Spaces Available for Ages 7-11

Have you heard that we have some of the most exciting summer camp programs around? Join us for a different camp theme each week! Learn all about birds, board games, bugs, engineering, and more– all while having tons of summer fun!

 

 

Ready for Departure!

Our annual Dinner for Two Anywhere in the World has come to a close and this year’s lucky winner was Michelle Spencer! The winning ticket was sold by Emily Randolph-Silva.

A second prize, a $200 gift card to Frank’s restaurant here in Beverly, was awarded to Rachel Anderson who was the lucky winner of our drawing for those who sold 20+ tickets.

We’re excited to hear all bout Michelle’s planned adventure, and are very grateful to everyone who participated in this year’s raffle! Because of all of you, this year’s raffle was a huge success with nearly 1,200 tickets sold! Great work everyone!

 

 

New Entry CSA

It’s that time of year– crops are starting to appear and fresh vegetables are tempting you from market aisles. As part of our ongoing partnership with New Entry Sustainable Farming, we are excited to be a pick-up location for their CSA! Sign up today to get the freshest fruits and veggies straight from the farm!

 

Teacher Appreciation Week 2022

This week marks teacher appreciation week and we want to take a moment to recognize the amazing teachers who work at our school. Each day our teachers bring energy, creativity, and inspiration into our classrooms, and in doing so they make the lives of our students better. In Waldorf education, the relationship between students and teachers is the very foundation of our pedagogy– developing over years to create lifelong bonds. We know that our school could not be the wonderful place that it is without our wonderful educators, so if you see a teacher this week, please tell them THANK YOU!

Summer Camp 2022

Starting to think about the glorious sunshine-filled days of summer? So are we! WSMF camps for ages 7-11 still have openings– sign up to hold your spot today!

 

 

An Evening with Niaz Dorry

Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming Niaz Dorry, Coordinating Director of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance as a guest speaker for our Earth month programming. Niaz shared with our community tips and tricks for sourcing seafood sustainably, and for supporting local communities that are dependent on the fishing industry for their livelihoods. Her advice? Look for fish that is in season and ideally is caught locally!

If you’re interested in learning more, you can look at the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance’s site or at the Local Catch Network. You can also access the seasonality chart from Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game that is now available on our Earth Month page.

2022 Running of the Gnomes: June 4th!

Join us on June 4th for our annual 5K trail race through Moraine Farm! This is an exclusive opportunity to run on this private property. Registration fee includes a WSMF Running of the Gnomes t-shirt– walkers are also welcome and there will be prizes for the winners of both the adult and children’s divisions.

The race will start and end at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm and is open to children ages 7 and older. You must register by May 19th to get your shirt before the race.

For those not yet old enough, or not inclined, to race, join us for a fantastic Gnome Scavenger hunt! Spot these mischievous little characters hiding in the trees, nestled in the bushes, and peeking from behind stumps. Their pointy hats and long beards will give away their clever hiding places.

Outdoor Life Committee Breathes Life into Our Campus

Most institutions have pedestrian landscaping. We don’t! That’s because our Outdoor Life Committee built on an early landscaping plan to create an original set of gardens with plants that give beauty to us and food and homes to wildlife.

Not only do insects buzz and birds flitter in the gardens, but a hedgehog is fairly certain to live here, rabbits take over after dusk, deer wander through, garter snakes, red tailed hawks, wild turkeys, frogs and lots more wildlife can be glimpsed.

Through spring, summer and fall we pay attention to every plant. We water, weed, prune, treat for invasive insects, and sometimes replace (but always admire) every flowering plant and shrub in front of the school. We aerate and irrigate and pour love on the heavily trampled quad lawns, using a lawn service that applies only organic fertilizer. We try to choose native species of plants, and when purchasing bulbs, look for biodynamic varieties.

As it is now spring, we have raked away leaves and sticks left under the snow, removed the burlap that protected shrubs through the winter, planted the flower barrels, repaired the twine fencing, and assessed which plants need pruning or feeding – or those that didn’t make it.

In the sunny garden beds you’ll find Russian sage, nepeta (catmint), dwarf fothergilla, cotoneaster, St. John’s wort, rose of sharon and many other wonderful plants. In front of the large oval school sign at the entrance there is an especially nice selection of shade loving native plants including mayapple, wild ginger, Solomon’s seal, and bloodroot, donated and planted by former OLC member and alumni parent Kevin Andrews. Feel free to ask for the name of any plant!

Each plant you see has been selected for its particular sun and soil characteristics for optimal growth. We want color (insects do too), so seasonal beauty matters – whether flowers, leaves or needles – since we are a busy school in all months. We strive for the garden to appeal to our delight in nature. Just as important, our flowering plants provide pollen that will nourish insects and birds, and some of the shrubs and small trees have fruit such as crab apples that attract birds. Most of us have seen the swarms of bees, dancing butterflies and hummingbirds on the cone flowers near the entrance, or at the bee balm along the walkway. We try to keep our stone bird baths filled with water through the seasons to keep the birds as well as the little hands entertained.

The OLC works on periodic weekdays after dismissal and occasional Sunday mornings. We are looking for one or two more volunteers who would like to get their hands dirty and learn about caring for a special garden. No prior experience is necessary, just the interest and willingness to work outside. Please contact Laura Freysinger at lfreysinger@waldorfmoraine.org to inquire about joining a work party this spring. You will be welcomed.

 

Special thanks to OLC members Anita Brewer-Siljeholm for the writing of this article and Laura Freysinger for providing images

Environmental Speaker Tomorrow

Interested in joining tomorrow’s lecture? The presentation can be accessed via this Zoom link.

We look forward to seeing you then!

 

Science Fair Fun!

Shortly before the students went off to enjoy Spring Break adventures the entire school community had the opportunity to come together and share science projects that have been in the works! Topics included botany, chemistry, agriculture, and more– listen to a brief word from event organizers Ms. Yaeger and Ms. Smith, and then check out photos from the exciting day below.

Giving Day is April 14th

Mark your calendars for April 14th when we will host our first ever Giving Day here at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm! This event not only shows support of the school and its programs, but also highlights the overall unity in our community and the significance of a Waldorf Education. 

The Waldorf philosophy has always emphasized the importance of individual growth, and our faculty has continued to employ this holistic approach in educating all former, current, and future students here at Moraine Farm. Gifts made on Giving Day signal confidence in this philosophy and in the talent and dedication of our wonderful teachers. Gifts made on the 14th will help to maintain our campus, provide professional development for our faculty, award financial aid to those who would prosper with a Waldorf childhood, and help cover operating costs such as teacher salaries. 

Showing you care is easy! Make your gift online, by mail, or in-person. Gifts made online between 11 AM and 12 PM EST on Giving Day will even be entered into our Power Hour drawing for a prize! We look forward to everyone being a part of our very first annual Giving Day at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm.

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Solutions to Plastic Pollution

This Earth Month we are working to share information about how we, as a community, can work together to be better stewards of our environment. As part of our efforts, we are highlighting the great work being done on this front by some of our community partners. Below is an article from Miriam Silva Preas, the founder of Essex Soap Refill on single-use plastic pollution and ways that we can work together to combat this issue. 


If you think of a typical day, and how much plastic you use and throw away, you may be surprised to hear that just in the US, it adds up to about 36 million tons of plastic waste each year(1). To put that in perspective, we’re talking about 3.6 million garbage trucks of plastic waste. 

Over the years, our plastic consumption has steadily increased. Around 381 million tons of plastic is produced globally each year, half of which is single-use packaging plastics(2).  That’s about 450 Olympic size pools of plastic produced per day!  

Despite our efforts to collect waste, around eight million tons of plastic finds its way into the oceans annually (3). The truth is that the conveniences of our modern throwaway culture have made single-use plastics one of the largest pollutants of our oceans, our wildlife, and our health. 

While there are many uses for plastic that are not only reasonable but important, like medical and construction uses, the problem is that it’s taken over too many aspects of our life. The culprit is packaging and single-use plastics. You buy it, use it once, and throw it away. But what really happens when you throw it away?

While recycling helps, our plastic consumption rate far exceeds what we are able to recycle. In fact, only 9% of all the plastic produced has been successfully recycled (4).

Our current single-stream recycling practices make it difficult for recycling centers to operate profitably. Food-contaminated and non-recyclable plastics are often mixed in with recyclable materials and it takes very little of this contamination to render an entire shipping container of recyclables un-recyclable, which means that it all ends up in a landfill, an incinerator, or in the ocean. 

Companies that are making a difference

While living in Mexico last year, I stumbled upon a small neighborhood store that sold soap products by bulk. The idea is that you bring in your own container, refill on soap products, and pay by volume. When I came back to the North Shore, I was surprised to see that this was not easily available.  That is when I decided to start Essex Soap Refill.

Essex Soap Refill

Essex Soap Refill is a neighborhood refill service that gives local consumers the opportunity to reduce their plastic consumption by refilling containers they already have with dish soap, hand soap, laundry detergent, cleaners, castile soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, body oil and more. Products are non-toxic, biodegradable, earth-friendly, scented with 100% essential oils, and made by companies that are committed to sustainability.

My focus is to keep my costs at a minimum so I can offer the lowest price possible of high-quality, earth-friendly products to eco-conscious consumers. We don’t have a storefront. All orders are placed online at www.essexsoaprefill.com and pick up and drop offs are coordinated through bins that are hosted in frequently visited community-oriented local businesses.

Innovation as a solution

Refill shops, like Essex Soap Refill, are just one small piece of the puzzle to solving our plastic pollution problem. There are many responsible consumer behaviors we can practice, like always having a water bottle and a cup on hand. However, if we really want to see progress, we need to think big, like:

  • Holding companies that produce plastics waste responsible for proper disposal and reuse. 
  • Improving waste management systems and recycling programs.
  • Investing in technologies that can transform plastic into new materials like construction and fuel.
  • Engineering biodegradable packaging materials with smart design.

When I see the phrase “We are all in it together,” I can’t help but think in ALL the ways we are in this together.  Entrepreneurs, government officials, engineers, chemists, environmentalists, all have a part to play. There is just one world, one earth, and 7.8 billion people buying more and more plastic everyday.  Together we can continue to find solutions for our plastic pollution.  

 

By Miriam Silva Preas, Founder of Essex Soap Refill

www.essexsoaprefill.com

Follow Essex Soap Refill 

Facebook.com/essexcountysoaprefill

Instagram @essexsoaprefill 

 

Sources

  1. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste and Recycling (2018). Plastics: Material-Specific Data. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling/plastics-material-specific-data 
  2. Science Advances. Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made. 19 Jul 2017 • Vol 3, Issue. Retrieved from https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.1700782#
  3. Science. Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean. 13 Feb 2015 • Vol 347, Issue 6223 • pp. 768-771. Retrieved from https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.1260352
  4. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Plastic pollution is growing relentlessly as waste management and recycling fall short, says OECD. 22 Feb 2022. Retrieved from https://www.oecd.org/newsroom/plastic-pollution-is-growing-relentlessly-as-waste-management-and-recycling-fall-short.htm
  5. https://www.census.gov/popclock/world

Comings and Goings: Expanding Early Childhood Programs

There is significant interest in our school’s early childhood programs. This is no surprise, as we have an inspiring developmentally healthy curriculum that meets the children and allows them to unfold in a natural wholesome manner. We also have striving dedicated teachers who care deeply for the students.

For all these reasons and more, we are excited to announce that next year we are adding a second kindergarten as well as a second 3-day nursery. We are fortunate to have experienced teachers to carry these programs.

We are pleased to announce that Brian Fizer will be our second kindergarten teacher. Brian started working at our school last summer when he worked at our summer camp. This year he works as an assistant in our large kindergarten. Previously Brian worked for over a decade teaching in both Boston and Salem public schools. He has a Masters in Education and has served as the Chair of the Climate Committee, Visual Thinking Strategy Liaison with the Gardner Museum, and more. He brings a wealth of background and broad experience in education to his new  role at our school.

Anna Scalera will be the lead teacher of our additional three day nursery class. We are happy to welcome her back to our school where she taught prior to starting her own family. She served here as a class teacher, taking a class from fourth grade through eighth grade. Since then she has worked at Cairn Hill Nature Preschool as well as teaching at a Waldorf inspired homeschool program. Anna has her Masters in Education from Antioch University as well as her Waldorf Certificate. She also teaches as an adjunct professor at Antioch’s Waldorf teacher-in-training program. She brings a wealth of Waldorf teaching experience from our school as well as from several other schools and programs.

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