91-year-old Amelia Wilhelm of Bloomfield Hills is preparing to walk with Detroit Waldorf School students during the school’s annual Walk-A-Thon on Belle Isle on October 17th to demonstrate her support for the school. Detroit Waldorf School is the independent school in Detroit’s historic Indian Village neighborhood that she and her husband, Rudolf, founded 48 years ago. Her commitment to walk is a testament to her lifelong dedication to the school that she was instrumental in shaping. She is an inspiration to the students and a beloved matriarch of the school community, serving on the board of trustees from the school’s beginning to the present day. The school asks for tax-deductible donations toward Amelia Wilhelm's Walk-A-Thon goal.
This annual event raises money in support of the school’s mission to make a Waldorf education accessible to Metro Detroit families. Secure online donations may be made at http://www.detroitwaldorf.dojiggy.com/friends.
Founded in 1966, the Detroit Waldorf School is part of the international Waldorf School movement, which comprises over 1,000 schools in more than 60 countries. The Waldorf education model integrates comprehensive, age-appropriate academics with rich artistic experiences and practical work designed to challenge the mind and fire the imagination. DWS is housed in a stately historic structure built in 1913. Situated on four acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, the school provides a warm and inviting environment that nurtures growth, learning, and creativity by focusing on each student’s intellectual, physical, and emotional development. DWS offers enrollment in pre-K through eighth grade. Its interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizes analytical, creative, and critical thinking, and cultivates children’s inherent curiosity and love of learning. The Detroit Waldorf School is located at 2555 Burns St., Detroit, MI 48214, just three miles east of downtown Detroit. For more information, call 313-822-0300 or visit www.detroitwaldorf.org.
On Wednesday, we went on a nature walk. The children are very observant, and were eager to collect different types of acorns. Some discovered two wasps on the sidewalk and a spider on the underside of a fence. We stopped to watch a bumblebee on some goldenrod. Afterwards, a few of the children described how they'd seen the bumblebee's tongue and pollen on its legs. This careful observation is the essence of Waldorf's approach to science in the early grades, and is something that we will practice through the years. The children will find these observation skills useful in middle school when we begin to have physics and chemistry blocks.
~Diane Reed, 2nd Grade Teacher
Last Friday, our 8th grade students constructed a water filtration system out of terracotta clay at Pewabic Pottery. Each strand of clay was hand-rolled by students, sprinkled with sawdust and molded into what looked like an upside down coil pot. The class learned that the sawdust would burn during the 1,700 degree firing process, creating pathways for the water to filter through. It takes 6 hours for the water to pass through and the mineral composition of the clay filters water far better than the average Britta and lasts up to 5 years! The water filtration container was built collectively by our students and can fit on a standard 5-gallon bucket. During their visit, students contemplated the chemistry behind what they were building, the community aspects of the project and the impact access to clean water has in third world nations and the global community.
September 29, midway between the northern hemisphere's summer and winter solstices, the ancient festival of Michaelmas is celebrated. As summer's warmth fades, and the cool crispness of autumn falls upon us, mother nature's fruits and vegetables ripen for harvesting. Her gifts help sustain us through the dark cold days of winter and remind us to summon our own gifts and inner strength to help balance our internal light with the darkness of the season.
Stories of good versus evil or light versus dark are often told to illuminate the balance of light and dark that we all must strive towards mastering. One favorite Michaelmas story is that of St. George taming the dragon with the sword of justice and courage given to him by the Archangel St. Michael.
A celebration of strength and courage, of facing dragons both internal and external, Michaelmas is a great time to ponder our own inner dragons and to cultivate the courage and strength necessary for self development.
The eighth grade began working on the art of stone sculpting with Amanda Nordin at the Detroit Design Center. Sculpting several large limestone pieces to beautify the school grounds will be a project the class will take up this year.
On Thursday, June 5th, our 8th graders presented projects that they have been working on all year with an outside mentor. We are so proud of our student's passion, diligence, and courage. Areas of study included: architecture, fashion design, dog training, model car building, computer building, mural painting, writing short stories, fire throwing, jewelry making, metal sculpting, photography, irish fiddle and book binding.
Congratulations Class of 2014!
The Detroit Waldorf School is pleased to announce Linda Williams as the teacher for next year’s first grade.
Dr. Williams is a long-time member of the Detroit Waldorf family. She served as a Class Teacher for grades one to five from 1987-1992, spent a year opening DWS’ 3-year-old Kindergarten and then taught grades one to three at the Urban Waldorf School in Milwaukee. Upon her return to Detroit, she became the Elementary Program Director of the Waldorf Institute of Southeastern Michigan. She remained in this role while also serving as a Class Teacher for grades two through eight.
After graduating her last class from DWS in 2006, Dr. Williams became a professor of Teacher Education at Eastern Michigan University, where she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in elementary literacy and urban education. At EMU, Dr. Williams is part of the Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition that helps community partners and schools enact place-based, environmental curriculum. She also has served as an Honors College Fellow and has assisted the Upward Bound program.
During this time, Dr. Williams also served as a teacher mentor and teacher evaluator for several Waldorf schools. She helped to develop curriculum for a public Waldorf initiative and she worked with several Waldorf schools on issues of diversity and inclusion.
Dr. Williams received her doctorate in Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy, with a cognate in Literacy from Michigan State University. Her M.A. was earned in Waldorf Education from Mercy College, and her B.A. was received from Justin Morrill College at Michigan State University.
Dr. Williams decided that she really missed teaching children, and is very grateful for this opportunity to serve as a Class Teacher again.
Today, we talked about what sap is. The children used their innate curiosity and observational skills to discover for themselves a truly scientific understanding. Without reading in a book or asking a human expert, they came to the conclusion that sap is water and sugar, that it runs up the tree from the roots and out to the branches on warm days, carrying needed energy for the formation of buds and leaves. They concluded that sap would "boil down" into syrup when the water boiled away and the sugars were left behind, and that the syrup turns brown because the sugar is cooking. Wow! Let me break down for you how that conversation went because it's such a fabulous example of phenomenological science in the second grade.
It was Felix who said that water came from a well, Gabriel who added that the well water was running underground. Then Henry reckoned that the tree was somehow drinking underground water through its roots. Beatrix said that the tree may be pulling the water upwards like our blood comes up from our feet toward the heart, then Rolan added that leaves are wet inside when you rip them, so he knew that the water was going out the branches to the leaves. Johnathan mentioned that in the fall, the sap must be draining back down toward the roots or drying up -- that the tree stops drinking, so the leaves dry up and fall off. India had noticed that the sap was clear like water, but tasted a little sweet -- that it must have sugar in it. Ari added that sugar makes him go, "Oh, yeah!" and that he gets hyper when he has it, and Cass further defined this quality as energy. David and Elof compared what the tree was doing to the tree feeding itself a good meal to give it energy to do its work. Nathaniel said that when you boil water, it steams up and evaporates, but that sugar does not, so if you boiled sap, it would leave the sugar behind. Anisa said that when sugar cooks, it makes caramel and turns from white or clear to brown. And in one conversation, we went from "What's that stuff we see dripping?" to a clear and concise understanding of the maple-syrup-making process!
This kind of investigation dovetails nicely with our language arts work. We have been exploring stories with interesting content, asking questions, and using clues in the passage to answer them. On a smaller (more foundational) scale, we are exploring new words by "sounding out," which uses the same problem-solving skills.
Written by Kate Sandler, 2nd grade class teacher, Detroit Waldorf School
Every child should have the opportunity to attend the Detroit Waldorf School and every parent should have the opportunity to learn from the superb faculty and staff at this fine institution. It is, hands down, the best environment to nurture a child and prepare them for a happy, healthy and productive life. My daughter attended a Waldorf pre-school program and then all eight grades at DWS. She learned to work well with others while being encouraged to develop her own unique talents and gifts. Today she is a thriving adult and we both credit her success in life to the foundation she received at the Detroit Waldorf School.
Photos Courtesy of Grace Halloran
Hey sports fans, check out some of the great tickets available at this Saturday's auction. We've got 18 tickets in a luxury suite to the June 4th Tigers game. And 4 Tigers tickets for the May 22 game along with a $100 gift card for SLOWS BAR BQ. If you like basketball, we've got two tickets just behind the Pistons bench with appetizers, dinner and dessert in the VIP Club and private parking. Or those season U-M football tickets for 4. Or two 'on the glass' Red Wings tickets with dinner at Angelina Bistro, dessert at 24grille, and an overnight at the The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit. Wow!
There are so many things to love about Avalon International Breads - delicious bread, wonderful baked goods & hot coffee. Up for bid at the DWS auction - a "Breadhead" membership - one loaf of bread every week for one year! A "Buzzclub" membership - one coffee every single day for a year (wow!). And a Treat of Day - one baked good every day for one year at Avalon on the Boulevard.
Love food? Love to cook? We have some great cooking classes up for bid at the DWS auction. Learn how to prepare an unforgettable dinner for all using the recipes of Madame Charity Suczek, who was a Cordon Bleu trained chef. This class will be taught in her style in a beautiful home in historic Indian Village. Or how about Italian? Join chef Dave Mancini, Supino Pizzeria, to prepare and enjoy a four-course meal with paired wines!
Available at the DWS Auction - a magical evening of music with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra & Leonard Slatkin. This live auction item includes two box seat tickets, pre-concert and intermission appetizers and drinks in the VIP Lounge, and a backstage visit with Maestro Slatkin after the concert! Choose from Bronfman plays Beethoven on May 16, 17 or 18 OR Mahler's Third Symphony on May 30 or 31.
Up for bid at the DWS auction on April 5th - Sunday Brunch for 10 at Good Girls Go To Paris Crepes. Delicious sweet and savory crepes, bottomless mimosas and bloody marys, yummy.
How about a weekend getaway to Chicago? Two nights in a retro Chicago apartment for 5, one 60 minute private yoga class or Thai massage session, admission to the Art Institute of Chicago and brunch at a neighborhood restaurant. You can bid on this item at the DWS auction on April 5th.