Food is a common language that brings community together, especially during the holiday season! Discover how you can make delicious meals with the entire family that are cost effective and healthy. Below are three recipes that were presented at our workshop on Monday, December 5th (click on the link following each video). Each one was featured on the news with Detroit Waldorf School's Wellness Coordinators, Jade Fearn and Katherine Feldhouse.
Detroit Waldorf School was featured in Renewal, a Waldorf Education publication, this month spotlighting our 50 year history in Detroit! A member of our esteemed faculty and a 2003 graduate of DWS, Ms. Simone Shurney MSEd, wrote a wonderful piece for this issue as well.
We are so proud to be recognized for our 50th anniversary, and of Ms. Shurney for her outstanding contributions to our school!
The unique handmade tile was lovingly designed by a current DWS parent, Rosa Castellanos. This makes a great gift for alumni, alumni parents, and/or your favorite DWS teacher!
(The tile cost is $47.17, shipping charge is $10, sales tax is $2.83)
Thank you to all who attended our first Wellness at Waldorf workshop event on September 19th lead by DWS staff, Ms. Jade Fearn & Ms. Katherine Feldhouse. The topic of child nutrition flowed into fundamentals of meal & snack planning and healthful recipes were shared and sampled throughout the evening.
We are pleased to offer a digital copy of all of the recipes and resources from the workshop. Please feel free to share with your friends and family, and let us know your thoughts on workshop topics or areas of interest as we continue to develop this exciting community-wide holistic health & nutrition program.
The Detroit News - September 24, 2016 [retrieved from detroitnews.com]
Detroit — The 92-year-old founder of the Detroit Waldorf School was present to celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary Saturday by dedicating a historic marker at the Albert Kahn-designed building in Detroit’s historic Indian Village neighborhood.
Amelia Wilhelm founded the school with her late husband Rudolf Wilhelm in 1965. It was housed at Central United Methodist Church on Woodward until 1966, when the couple purchased the stucco and brick structure on Burns Avenue that previously housed the Liggett girls’ school.
“It not only educates children for the mind but (also for) their spirit, and it gives them self-confidence,” Wilhelm said Saturday, surrounded by dozens of Waldorf students, parents, alumni and faculty.
The couple founded the school because they were committed to the Waldorf method of education. There are 168 Waldorf schools in the U.S., including three in Michigan, with others in Oakland County and Ann Arbor.
“My husband went to a Waldorf school in Germany that his father founded,” Wilhelm said of her husband, an allergist who passed away in 2000.
The Waldorf method was developed in Germany in the early 1900’s by Rudolf Steiner, a well-known artist and scientist of that time. His holistic approach integrates art and music with academics, and allows children to learn at their own pace. The name “Waldorf” was coined because Steiner’s first school was built at the behest of the Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette Company.
Henry Traurig, of Huntington Woods, said said the school’s unique methods gave his daughters the ability to analyze and problem solve. Now ages 31 and 27, his daughters are grateful they attended the school.
“They feel like it didn’t just educate them in their lives, it changed their lives,” Traurig said. “They learn to think three dimensionally through a concept, so they’re able to analyze at great depth.
“They learned how to learn through the rest of their lives.”
Lily Mitchell, 13, has attended Waldorf since third grade.
“There’s a lot of art and music,” said Lily, who’s now in seventh grade. “ You can use your creativity to learn new things and experience things that at other schools you wouldn’t be able to.
“We’ve done painting and drawing and use charcoal, water colors and pastels, and we did an oil painting of Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Starry Night.’I knit a doll too, and knit a pair of socks.”
According to Wilhelm, the school was “deliberately integrated” at its founding. The school strives for a mix of racial, ethnic, geographic, and social-economic status among its 240 pre-kindergarten through eighth-graders. Tuition ranges from $7,000 annually to $13,000 depending on the grade, but not all families pay that much.
The Detroit school has “accessible tuition”, meaning families pay an agreed-up amount consistent with their income level, and the school forgives the remainder, according to Charis Calender, Enrollment and Outreach Director.
“It’s based on economic need and it depends on each family’s financial picture,” Calender said.
At the All Community Meeting last week Sarah Addae, new chair of the College of Teachers, thanked Susann Eddy for her service of holding the leadership position of college chair for the previous seven years. The leadership positions among the teaching faculty are revolving positions, so teachers hold them for a period of time and then the leadership passes to another member of the faculty. Susann Eddy held the position of college chair for seven years, adding her wisdom and expertise to the leadership council of the school and guiding DWS through an exciting period of time. Many thanks and huge gratitude to Mrs. Eddy for her time, effort and perspective as College Chair.
The College of Teachers is the organ of the school which carries leadership for the pedagogical present and future of the school. Through study and research of questions that relate to the life of the school, College members strive to work with each other, the Board, administrative staff, faculty members, and parents, to guide the school and fulfill its mission in the City of Detroit. The College of Teachers is responsible for the pedagogical work of the school, on behalf of the children in the school. It is also responsible for the cultural life of the school, on behalf of the school community. In addition, the College of Teachers, Administrator, and Board together take responsibility for planning and development of the school's future.
The following faculty and staff are members of the College of Teachers:
Sarah Addae, Chair (6th Grade Teacher)
Julia Baryo (Educational Support)
Linda Brooks (Administrator)
Arlene Cornier (7th Grade Teacher
Susann Eddy (Pedagogical and Therapeutic Eurythmy)
Dianna Guldi (5th Grade Teacher)
Helena Mitchell (Kindergarten Teacher)
Diane Reed (4th Grade Teacher).
Linda Williams (3rd Grade Teacher)
DWS's own Linda Williams talks to Channel 20 News about starting a fresh school stress-free and with ease!
Cynthia, Chris and Mark Wilhelm, the children of DWS co-founders Rudolf and Amelia Wilhelm, donated $50,000 to our beloved school. This gift is in support of Phase One of ADA compliance for our historic Albert Kahn building, in honor of Rudolf and Amelia Wilhelm and in celebration of the 50th Anniversary. DWS faculty, staff, and parents are deeply grateful for the Wilhelm family's steadfast support and continued generosity. Once again, thank you!
Photo above and gallery below courtesy of DWS Alumna and current Early Childhood teacher, Ms. Grace Halloran
The students were so excited to show me their shelter projects this week! The study of house building across world cultures is part of Waldorf's 3rd grade science curriculum. I was completely impressed not only with the creativity behind each child's project, but the way they explained their shelter with such depth, detail and pure excitement. This is why I love Detroit Waldorf School! I could actually see the children's love of learning in their eyes and hear it in their voices.
Please enjoy the photo gallery of each shelter from this year's 3rd grade class.
~Charis Calender-Suemnick, Enrollment & Outreach Director
Detroit Waldorf to Host Simplicity Parenting Lecture & Workshop on March 11-12th
What if you could do one little thing to completely change your family? A small shift to eliminate stress and increase happiness and success?
Small, doable changes are the work of Kim John Payne, a world-renowned parenting educator who is coming to Detroit Waldorf School March 11-12 for a special, two-day free and open-to-the-public program on Simplicity Parenting.
“One of the best ways to build resiliency with kids is to give them a very simple, balanced home life, time to decompress,” says Payne. “You don’t have to turn your life upside down. We will be teaching how to make sensible, simple steps to balance a kid’s life.”
Payne leads Simplicity Parenting, one of the largest parenting organizations in the world. His book by the same title and this movement were inspired by Payne’s volunteer work in Asia, in Thai Cambodian refugee camps and Jakarta, Indonesia slums. “I saw stress really up close,” he relates. “When I moved back to the West, I saw the same look on kids’ faces. I came to think of it as the undeclared war on childhood. They weren’t in a war zone; there was cumulative stress, going too much, too soon, too sexy, too young, an overall sense of overwhelm. It was the new normal. A highly stressed life is the new normal.”
Payne believes kids need parents to be present and to lead. Simplicity Parenting, he says, teaches how to harness “the power of less.” A big part of that, he says, is “filtering out the adult world. We’ve lost track of what’s appropriate for kids and for adults and that the two things sometimes are different. A lot of the adult world needs to be filtered out of kids’ [consciousness] because it’s just plain scary and stressful for them.”
The March 11-12 events will help parents identify “small, doable shifts” to bring more peace and harmony to their families. Reservations are available for a lecture on Friday, March 11, from 7-9pm and for a half-day workshop on Saturday, March 12, 9am-1pm. Both events take place at Detroit Waldorf School, 2555 Burns Ave., Detroit.
Kim John Payne, M.ED, is the author of three books, including Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids, and a consultant and trainer to more than 200 North American schools. Payne has been a school counselor, adult educator, consultant, researcher, educator and a private family counselor for 27 years.
“We are delighted to bring Kim John Payne to our community to help families recalibrate their lives and schedules to bring more peace and success,” says Charis Calender-Suemnick, Enrollment and Outreach Director at the Detroit Waldorf School.
“Just like we focus on educating the whole child according to their unique developmental stage, we believe people of all ages do better and find more happiness when they achieve balance and harmony in relationships, schedules and routines. This unique event will help everyone find that alignment!”
I am constantly overwhelmed by the power of helping others. I am also convinced that this is the most precious capacity we can instill in young people. This MLK Day came with severe cold and welcomed the release of over 75 scarves and hats across Metro Detroit for the homeless. One of our middle school students reflected on the project and said to me, "We can never completely solve the problem of homelessness but making something with our hands that someone can use, that has a direct impact on their life."
Enjoy this photo gallery of our students this past MLK Day! I also included the coverage on Channel 2 News leading up to the event. ~Charis Calender-Suemnick, Outreach Director
Last year, DWS students, alumni and staff tied 75 handmade scarves around telephone poles, trees, fences and lampposts in Greektown, Grand Circus Park, Riverwalk and near a homeless shelter on St. Paul. The scarves featured tags that read, “If you’re cold this winter, please take me.”
Since there is no school in session on MLK Day, the scarf-bombing activity, which will kick off with volunteers meeting at the Roasting Plant in Campus Martius on January 18th at between 10am-12pm., is voluntary. However, knitting is part of DWS’ handwork curriculum, offering students the opportunity to participate.
Handwork skills are integral to cultures worldwide; mass production in modern times prevent many from realizing the intellectual and creative aspects of participating in such fine motor projects. In Waldorf education, knitting is taught in first grade; Waldorf founder Rudolf Steiner referred to “thinking as cosmic knitting.” Early handwork activities in the Waldorf curriculum set a foundation for a sense of self-reliance and pave the way for learning physics, geometry and other areas of math and science later on.
Children learn crochet in second grade and return to knitting after that, learning to purl. Sharp needles for embroidery and cross-stitch come in 4th grade, mirroring the journey of crossing from childhood into adolescence. Knitting in the round happens in fifth grade, reinforcing mathematical concepts, and long-term sewing projects begin in grades six and seven.
Research shows a connection between fine motor skills and brain development. Children learn to use both sides of the brain simultaneously when practicing handwork, and eye tracking and numeracy are reinforced by these lessons.
Even more than all of these academic benefits are the heartfelt ones DWS students feel when they use handwork lessons to create something that benefits others. Like many parts of a Waldorf education, the handwork curriculum integrates the intellect with the academic, nurtures a sense of caring for others and builds practical skills for confident human beings ready to impact the world around them.
Written by Lynne Golodner, DWS parent, blogger and owner of Your People Public Relations
This post was adapted from the "Waldorf Today" national newsletter. Ms. Shurney, DWS 8th grade teacher, and student Maisie, submitted the following reflections about their trip this past summer.
“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey in the end that matters.”
The quote above by Ursula K. LeGuin gives a beautiful illustration of the meaning behind my eighth grade class’ adventure to Northwaters Wilderness Programs in Temagami, Ontario. I cannot imagine a more suitable start to our school year, as the students were welcomed into a community that firmly embraced the idea that we as individuals are free in our right to choose who we are, and who we wish to become. The physical challenges of thriving in nature provided the students with many opportunities to recognize their own unique strengths and talents as well as that of their peers.
As the students stand poised at the edge of childhood, ready and eager to make their transition to high school and young adulthood, the feelings of independence, self-reliance and community were made tangible for the students in a way that was both inspiring and long-lasting. I was struck deeply by how openly the students expressed their appreciation for the natural world around them over the course of our trip. What is more, the student’s realization of their own unique strengths and the gratitude the students showed for the company and support of their classmates set a healthy, heart-strong tone for the upcoming school year.
It is in this final year of grade school that my eighth graders will arrive at a series of important ends. As their teacher, I am eternally grateful that our experience at Northwaters has helped my students to confidently and consciously rise to occasions and relish the journeys that lie ahead.
—Simone Shurney, Grade 8 teacher, Detroit Waldorf School
I came into the experience at Northwaters with very detailed expectations. We would carry the canoe with another person. We’d have really bad food. It would be cold and wet, and the trip leaders would be wilderness guides.
When we arrived by plane at Langskib base camp, I was happily surprised when I met Josh, Savannah, Dominic and Judith, and I thought it would be just like being on trail at summer camp. I was wrong. Trying out the canoe and carrying the wannigan proved hard. I wasn’t nervous or scared, I just thought the experience might be harder than I first expected. That night, I dreamt about carrying the canoe better than everyone else, and I felt motivated. By the time the meat grinder (an aptly named portage) came around, I was ready. Nervous, but ready. I kept telling myself it was just another portage, just a really hard one. I struggled carrying the canoe, which I’d had success with earlier in the trip. I struggled on the meat grinder, and found it difficult to stay in the moment.
I think I thrived through the encouragement of myself and others. I told myself that after every uphill we’d have to go down (which is funny because going downhill is really hard while carrying a canoe), reassuring myself that I could do it. When I got back home, I told my mom that it was the best thing I’ve ever done, and the hardest. I am very glad that I took this trip to Northwaters.
~Maisie, Eighth grade student, Detroit Waldorf Schoo
Aniela Eddy, DWS Class of 2003 and student of DWS music teacher-Ms. Venus Rembert, recently appeared on NPR's, A Prairie Home Companion. Violinist Aniela Eddy is a member of East 4th Street Quartet along with fellow musicians, Chiara Fasani Stauffer on viola, Eva Kennedy on viola and Paul Miahky on cello.
Aniela is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music. She has performed with ensembles such as the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, CityMusic Cleveland, Ensemble LPR, Ballet Next, and the Blossom Festival Orchestra. In addition to frequently teaching at the El Sistema of El Salvador and Guatemala, Aniela has toured throughout India, performing concerts and promoting various organizations. She is a recipient of the Avanti Award and a faculty member at the Aurora School of Music.
It was such a joy to welcome Jeppe Flummer from the International Forum of Waldorf/Steiner Schools. This was the first time the group organized a visit to North America. Jeppe traveled all the way to Michigan from Denmark where he taught History in a Waldorf high school for nearly 30 years. Jeppe was interested in our school because of the social impulse living in the city right now and the 50 year history we hold within these walls.
Jeppe and I weaved out of every classroom in the school as I told him the story of DWS, the building history and about the current community. We were greeted by many hugs in the PreK Rose classroom and joined in beautiful circle time songs. We heard riddles in Grade 2, gazed at fraction chalk drawings in Grade 4, guessed how long it took to build the pyramids in Grade 5 and marveled at our parent Eurythmy group.
After the tour, our parent council group (CHAT) prepared a lovely reception for our visitor and we were surprised to see that Amelia Wilhelm (co-founder of DWS) was in attendance. Jeppe was overjoyed to meet her and as he was shaking her hand he exclaimed, "I can feel the whole history of this school and what you have done for the children!"
~written by Charis Calender-Suemnick
Enrollment & Outreach Director
~by Carrie Sculati (parent of a DWS 5th & 8th grader and leader of CHAT parent organization)
On Monday morning, I was down in the Community Room making coffee and I kept hearing something that sounded like a cat meowing. At first, I wondered if the Second Graders up above me were practicing their kittie-cat, but then I realized I was hearing a real live cat in distress. I went to the windows, opened one and stuck my head outside. "MEOW!" came from up above. I looked up and there the roof of Mr. Hantz's Garden House was a very frightened kitty.
Meanwhile the cat in peril had the full attention of the Second Grade class, on the first floor, and the Fifth Grade class on the second floor: "What can we do? We have to save her!" Yes we surely did, for no lessons could proceed with her cries for help right outside their windows. And off I went to alert Mr. Zettner.
Well Mr. Zettner was in the middle of his normal, busy morning. I found him at his usual post manning "Mr. Zettner's Door" on Charlevoix. We discussed some rescue plans. Operation Kitty Rescue began with an attempt to extend a board across from the Second Grade window to the gutter of the Garden House. The Second graders tried to lure the kitty across the plank, but to no avail. Time for Plan B, but first Mr. Zettner had something else he had to do. You see he had already agreed to be in the skit which was planned for the Monday Morning Assembly. As they say in the business, "The show must go on!" Poor kitty had to hang on a few more minutes while Mr. Zettner fulfilled his previous obligation.
Finally, out he came to the poor helpless creature. Plan B involved leaning a ladder up against the utility pole which stands right next to the Garden House roof. Up the ladder he climbed with kitty talking to him all the way. At the top of the ladder he stepped over the chain link fence and onto the rungs of the utility pole. Now he climbed the utility pole until he was level with the gutter of the Garden House. He reached over and gently took hold of the still crying kitty, placed her over his shoulder and started back down the utility pole, over the fence and down the ladder.
And now to find her house. Her tag said Iroquois, and off he went around the block to deliver her. As he went, DWS parent Chris Ann Roncone spied him. She recognized the kitty as belonging to a fellow DWS family, the Mahoneys. On he went down the street affirmed that he was headed in the right direction. Finally, almost to Vernor, he arrived at the Mahoney home where mom, Andi, Keely, Grade 2, and little brother Ben, still in their jammies, ran out to meet him. Their beloved kitty, Gia Starsparkle Mahoney, had been missing since Saturday night. She had spent two night out in the cold, and a sadness had descended upon the Mahoney household. Somehow she had made her way to Keely's classmates and was now back home safe and sound. Mr. Zettner saves the day again!
All in a days' work for our Mr. Zettner: Fixer of all things broken, Assembler of new furniture, Cleaner of "accidents", Raker of leaves, Mower of grass, Doorman, Actor, Cat-Rescuer. What would we do without him!? Thank you, Mr. Zettner for all the ways you have taken care of us and the building for the last 20 years. We must add one more role to your job description though: Teacher. You teach all of us everyday and we are grateful for your lessons.
This year's Michaelmas celebration was particularly special! With 137 students in Grades 1-8, it was the longest dragon we have seen in many years. The smell of pine filled the air and a light rain misted the children's joyful faces. Enjoy this photo gallery provided by DWS parent and photographer, Cassie Laymon (5th grade parent)
This Friday, October 16th, Detroit Waldorf School (DWS) will host its annual Walk-a-Thon fundraiser on Belle Isle. Students from preschool through grade 8 will traverse a course on Belle Isle for the bulk of the school day, joined by DWS founder Amelia Wilhelm, who is 91 and a Bloomfield resident.
Details & Location
Friday, October 16, 2015
8:30 am-3 p.m.
Detroit Waldorf School provides private education, although many students are assisted with their tuition. The walk-a-thon’s fundraising goal of $48,500 supports curriculum costs, since tuition does not cover the school’s operating costs entirely.
Donations can be made at this link: http://detroitwaldorf.dojiggy.com/ng/index.cfm/10307/regPages/pledge/friends
Support for the 2015 Detroit Waldorf School Walk-A-Thon is tremendously important to maintaining the school's long-term viability.
About Detroit Waldorf School
The Detroit Waldorf Schoolprovides innovative teaching through the method developed more than a century ago by Rudolf Steiner. A Waldorf education is designed to cultivate children's inherent curiosity and love of learning. Our approach “brings forth” the gifts that all children possess so that they will develop clear, creative thoughts, balance and compassion in their feelings, and initiative and conscience in their work.
Fully accredited by ISACS (Independent Schools of the Central States) and AWSNA (Association of Waldorf Schools of North America), Detroit Waldorf School offers a curriculum rich in academics, arts, music and physical education. Our aim is to graduate students who are capable of independent, critical and creative thinking and who will enter adult life with the confidence and knowledge needed to take on the next level of challenges.
The mission of the Detroit Waldorf School is to provide a rich and dynamic pre-K-8th grade Waldorf education to a geographically, racially, and socio-economically diverse student body in Detroit and Southeast Michigan. Located in Detroit’s Indian Village neighborhood, DWS is a community dedicated to helping each child develop his or her full human potential: clear, creative thought and expression, balance and compassion in feeling; and conscience and initiative in action.
Follow Detroit Waldorf School on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DetroitWaldorf
The Human Encounter: Parent-Teacher Relationships in a Waldorf School Community: A Conversation with Torin M. Finser, General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society and Chair of the Education Department at Antioch University New England
Wednesday, October 21, 8:00 p.m.
~~A school is a community, and its health depends upon the quality of its relationships. Join us as Torin speaks to the parent-teacher relationship. This webinar is co-sponsored with the Anthroposophical Society in America. Details and REGISTRATION
Discovering a Genius: Rudolf Steiner's Vision for the Future: A Conversation with Frederick Amrine, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in German Studies at the University of Michigan and a professor at the Waldorf Institute of Southeastern Michigan
Wednesday, November 11, 8:00 p.m.
~~Who was Rudolf Steiner? What were his intentions in founding Waldorf Education? The unique insights and research of Steiner into subjects such as medicine, agriculture, education, and social forms have long been a sense of inspiration for millions. This webinar is co-sponsored with the Anthroposophical Society in America. Details and REGISTRATION