The Waldorf Buzz: Be InformedWeekly Newsletter for Students, Parents, and Friends of Waldorf Moraine
Thank You, Martin Luther King, Jr.
At Waldorf School at Moraine Farm, we strive to help our students become the caring, courageous, problem solvers this world needs. Thank you Dr. MLK jr. for your hard work, sacrifices, and inspiration!
Gratitude, Africa & Kiva Gift Cards
From Eighth-Grade teacher, Vanya Yoors:
As part of the most recent block [Fall 2020], students have learned and heard about a tiny aspect of the great continent of Africa.
There is one specific highlight that I would love to share with you.
We had a special presentation via Zoom by a guest speaker from Nigeria. Dr. Ikechukwu (Anthony) Kanu is a Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Tansian University and President of the Association For The Promotion of African Studies. He spoke with the students about the geography of Nigeria and gave some beautiful anecdotes about Traditional African Religions.
One excerpt from the presentation, which touched on environmental/spiritual considerations is:
“For the African, these geographical realities are not just inanimate realities. They go beyond this, and they become the abode of the spirits, they become part of the human world. And that is why if a person kills a python, the person buries the python as he will bury one person. They are seen as a part of the human world, and that is why each time the African speaks of the things around him, he does not just speak of them in a derogatory sense, he speaks of them as a part of himself. And this helps him in his relationship with the world around him, because if the world, the earth, the land, the trees, the animals are a part of him, he treats them with respect, knowing fully well that whatever negatively he does to the animal world, it has a way of coming back to him. If he destroys the animal world, if he destroys the land, the earth, if he destroys the sea, the consequences come back to him because he is destroying a part of himself.
So in the African context, there is a very strong relationship between the person and the world. A person does not exist outside of his world and his world does not exist outside of him. The person and the world are one.”
As well as this ‘visit’ I also showed the students a BBC film on the Congo River. As well as the incredible beauty of the river, its natural surroundings, and the diversity of human cultures, the film included details of the challenges brought by the brutal colonial era and the consequent challenges of war and poverty. One question that came up was “how can we help?”
As a tiny contribution to as answer, I spoke of how what we do in our own lives, and how we treat the people around us was of the most importance. I followed this up with a holiday gift card for each student, which is also addressed to their families. I do hope that you have seen this. If not please ask your child about it.
The card is a gift card to Kiva, a microfinance nonprofit which I also spoke to them about.
With the code attached, each student (with your assistance) may create an account and lent their funds to a borrower of their choice. After the funds have been paid back (6 months to 18 months) these can be re-loaned or withdrawn and kept. Should you or your child choose not to participate, the funds will turn into a donation after a year. I have heard from two students that they have already set up and allocated their gifts. May this be another tiny window into a vast world as well as an opportunity to interact with it and participate in a different way.
With my warmest wishes for your winter holidays and the New Year.
Click Here to Learn More about “Kiva — Make a Loan, Change a Life”
Hug Helper Shawls
From First-Grade Teacher, Branigan Reed:
In October I was speaking with my mom about how challenging it was to be a first-grade teacher and know we are unable to be in physical contact with each other very much, due to COVID. Like the students, I was particularly missing HUGS! So, my mom being the rock star that she is, offered to make each student a hug helper shawl to bring us all some comfort despite the distance we have to maintain.
She handmade the shawls in each child’s favorite color with coordinating flowers to be planted on my shawl, named the peacock flower garden. I told the children about how these beautiful gifts would help us to be able to magically send hugs to wrap each other up throughout the day. Some began sending hugs immediately!
These shawls will stay at school until summer vacation (or a switch to distance learning), and I will ensure they are cleaned regularly with our other class materials to maintain a healthy classroom.
I have attached photos so that you can see my mom’s beautiful gifts and how much love and warmth the first-grade feathers are surrounded by each and every day!
With love & gratitude,
Featured BIPOC Maker • Little Likes Kids
The Enchanted Caravan proudly features makers that share our community’s values, including handmade, social good, fair trade, eco-friendly, black-owned, and woman-owned. On MLK Day we would like to highlight Little Likes Kids puzzles and games. Little Likes Kids is a woman-owned and black-owned boutique toy company, founded by a mom who creates thoughtfully designed and high-quality playthings. Little Likes Kids’ puzzles, memory games, and placemats are beautifully illustrated with happy and diverse scenes.
Homeschool Session II
It’s not too late to sign up!
With Session II of our growing Homeschool Program, we’re more than apply to take on last-minute registrations. This new program runs for 11 weeks, from January 5 – March 26, 2021. Please share this information with any of your local friends who’ve committed to schooling at home this year.
Designed to enhance and supplement your child’s homeschool curriculum, our Session II program offers courses focusing on musical Strings, Theatre, Handwork, and Engineering.
• Learn More Here •
For students in Grades 2-5, we meet on campus two days per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30 AM – 2:45 PM. Program details available at WaldorfSchool.org/Homeschool.
Late registrations welcome!
Thank You • Syrup for Syria
Thank you so much for supporting our “Syrup for Syria” project! We wrapped up last week; folks collectively contributed $3500 to the IRC! Would it be possible to mention this in an upcoming newsletter? The school community was so supportive so I’d love to be able to share this info. If that’s a possibility, a draft blurb is below.
The “Syrup for Syria” project raised $3,500 for the International Rescue Committee’s work to support Syrians displaced by war. Thank you to the Waldorf community for your encouragement and support! We plan to do it again next year and will share info as soon as more syrup is available!
View the most recent Waldorf Community Association (WCA) newsletter: Jan 15 • WCA Newsletter. Below are highlights of WCA’s current projects and events. All community members are invited to participate. Please click through the below links to learn more.
- Wellness Event Series:
“Social Emotional Toll of the Pandemic”
with Anthroposophical Psychologist, Tonya Stoddard
Thursday • January 28 • 7:30 – 9:00 PM
Will send a zoom link to listen to advice from an expert about managing the stressors that impact us and our children.
- Articles Worth Reading:
The Rewiring of the Adolescent Brain by Dr. Daniel Siegel
The Truth About Age Twelve From Waldorf Publications – June 20, 2016
- Next WCA General Meeting
Tuesday • January 26 • 6:00 – 6:30 PM
Streaming LIVE in our private community Facebook Group. Guest speaker to be announced soon.
CARE Corner • January
Dear WSMF Families,
Happy New year! During the month of January, we will be focusing on the theme of Compassion during our social-emotional learning time. Compassion for oneself and others is so important, particularly as we navigate these challenging times. A wide range of feelings and emotions may appear and shift from moment to moment; we all come with our own opinions and perspectives with regard to many different topics. Those differences can cultivate a great deal of growth and learning for each of us because when we approach each other with compassion, we are open to interesting conversations and experiences we might never expect.
One way to show compassion for yourself is to set aside as little as one hour a week to save for you and you alone. During that time you may nap, read a book, watch a show, paint, hike, take a bath, practice yoga, or engage in any other activity that nourishes you. Making yourself a priority consistently will fill your bucket, and help you engage in the world as you want to.
In order to show compassion toward others, we will be participating in two projects this month. You are invited to participate as well if you feel so inclined:
- Project 1: Make a winter bird feeder to show compassion to the many species of birds that stick around all winter long. Easily obtained food can be a huge help to our animal friends, and provide awesome opportunities for bird watching in our own back yard. Instructions can be found here.
- Project 2: Make “thinking of you” cards for local retirement, nursing & veterans homes. After the holidays, and especially during this time of social distancing thinking of folks who may be in need of
Wishing you warmth & peace as the new year begins!
First Grade Class Teacher, SEL Specialist
Support Those in Need Through Chase the Chill
Chase the Chill is an organization of volunteer makers that gather, knit, and sew hats, mittens, blankets, and scarves to give to families and individuals in need, many of whom are homeless. In other years, volunteers have organized “scarf bombing” events in Salem or Lynn with centrally located outdoor displays of donated items welcoming everyone to take what they need to help them stay warm. COVID 19 has made the “scarf bombing” undoable, but there are still families in need and the winter months are not going to be any less harsh to families who are struggling to stay housed and fed. Chase the Chill is committed to continuing its mission this year and is working with local service organizations to get warm items to those who need them.
Heather Collis Puro, the grade school handwork teacher, is collecting items to pass on to Chase the Chill. Please reach out to her if you are interested in donating items. Requested items are hats and gloves suitable for men, blankets in all sizes, and children’s mittens. Sewing patterns and lists of items needed can be found on the website ChasetheChillLynnMA.com. Look for upcoming WSMF crafting events coming soon! If you need more information or have ideas, please feel free to contact Heather Collis Puro at email@example.com or call 781-775-3942.
Parent & Child — A Few Spots Left!
New sessions Parent & Child Classes are starting up with only a handful of openings remaining. Programs start THIS week and run for 5 weeks. Late registrations are always welcome!
Apple Blossom Mondays • Cancelled
Bachelor’s Buttons Mondays • FULL
Ages 2½ – 3½ Years • 10:00 – 11:30 AM
Apple Blossom Tuesdays • 3 spots left
Ages 4 – 6 Years • 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Bachelor’s Buttons Wednesdays • 2 spots left
Ages 2½ – 3½ Years • 10:00 – 11:30 AM
Morning Glory for the Youngest Fridays • 2 spots left
Ages 10 – 19 Months • 10:00 – 11:30 AM
Morning Glory Saturdays • 2 spots left
Ages 20 Months – 3½ Years • 9:30 – 11:00 AM
Click Here to Learn More & Register
Please visit our website to view details and registration links. If you have any questions, please contact Coleen Ryan, Admissions Director at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 978-927-8811 x 17.
View the most recent Waldorf Community Association (WCA) newsletter HERE. Below are highlights of WCA’s current projects and events. All community members are invited to participate. Please click through the below links to learn more.
- Webinar — “Social Media’s Impact on Mental Health”
Wednesday • Jan 13 • 7:30 – 9:00 PM (EST) • Register Here
Hosted by TurningLifeOn.org, this presentation will do the following.
- Look at how kids use technology.
- Review research on adolescent mood disorder and social media’s role.
- Examine the positive and negative aspects of social media use.
- Share tips for helping kids embrace digital wellness.
- Waldorf in Business
Last month we interviewed the talented, Elizabeth Stubbs, about her wool felting classes. You can access the replay of the recording on our Facebook community page. Enjoy!
- Next WCA General Meeting
Tuesday • January 26 • 6:00 – 6:30 PM
Streaming LIVE on our Community Facebook Group. The guest speaker will be announced soon.
Monthly Communications Announcement
We are excited to announce that we are publishing each grade’s Monthly Communication reports for all members of our school to read! These reports are full of photos and beautiful descriptions of what the students are currently learning and participating in. These reports represent a classes’ curriculum and activities but please note that teachers will modify and change their curriculum year to year to reflect their students’ needs and learning journeys. We’ll publish the January reports for you to view in our newsletter.
Video • 2020 Winter Concert
Here is the official recording of last month’s virtual Winter Concert. Click Here and enjoy watching it at your convenience. A heartfelt congratulations to Ms. Smith and all of our students in Grapes 2–8 and our Homeschool program. You’ve given our beloved community a beautiful gift to enjoy for many years. Thank you!
Enchanted Caravan • Holiday Sale!
Thank you for a successful holiday shopping season!
Not only did we surpass our goals contributing to the financial support of our school, we feel great about our wonderful products reaching and supporting so many happy homes. At a time when we have so many easy online merchants to shop from, we are delighted you chose to spend with our vendors who include WSMF community members, socially good and eco-conscious vendors, and minority-owned and handmade artisans.
We are excited to bring new items to the Enchanted Caravan Shoppe in the near future for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, spring holidays, Tomten Honey and Candles, and craft/art supplies. More handmade goodness is headed your way!
Help us make some room for new inventory by shopping our Holiday Item SALE.
Celebrations Across Our Community
During this time of year, as the weather changes and nights grow longer, many people around the world come together to celebrate and honor the light within that we cultivate through this time of year. We feast, reflect, and celebrate within our communities and look ahead to the return of spring. Read on to learn a bit about the traditions celebrated within our school and beyond!
- Diwali– This is a Hindu festival of light that honors many deities who represent prosperity, wealth, and wisdom. Families celebrate by cleaning and decorating their homes with colorful rangoli artwork and clay oil-lamps called Diyas. The festival lasts for five days and is one of India’s biggest celebrations.
- Advent– This Christian tradition begins four Sundays before Christmas and is a time to commemorate the birth of Jesus. Over the course of four weeks, this tradition honors the mineral kingdom, plant kingdom, animal kingdom, and humankind as Christmas day approaches.
- Christmas– This is a Christian celebration that honors the birth of Jesus. It is often celebrated by giving and receiving gifts and is the culmination of the four-week Advent celebration.
- Hanukkah– This is the Jewish festival of lights that honors the miracle of the menorah in the temple in Jerusalem. After the temple was destroyed and the Jewish people returned to restore it, they discovered only enough oil to keep their menorah lit for one day, but miraculously it remained aglow for eight days until more oil could be found. Today one candle is lit during each night of Hanukkah and special prayers are said.
- Kwanzaa– This is a celebration of African-American culture and heritage. Celebrated for seven days, this festival includes seven important symbols that are gathered for ceremonies and seven daily principles: Umoja – Unity, Kujichagulia – Self-Determination, Ujima – Collective Work and Responsibility, Ujamaa – Cooperative Economics, Nia – Purpose, Kuumba – Creativity, Imani – Faith.
We wish all WSMF families warmth, good health, and light this winter season and hope you are able to engage in your own family traditions safely this year.
Submit Your News
Share your school-related news, updates, events in The Waldorf Buzz weekly newsletter. Email an image that supports your submission to email@example.com.
Submissions must be made by noon Friday to be included in the newsletter the following week. Thank you!