by Hazel Emery M.Ed.
Thank you to Lerryn Campbell and the many helpers that helped bring the 2015 Children’s Festival to life! We are proud to say that thanks to these efforts, we were able to raise a total of $6,300! $500 will be donated to Project RISE to support homeless children in Akron, and the remaining $5,800 will be used to support professional development for our teachers.
The day was a success by many measures. Many new faces visited our school on this day and enjoyed the magic. We enjoyed entertainment from numerous alumni, including Patrick and Anna Fields, Elle Edwards, and Sarah Caley, who shared their vocal and instrumental talents. We also enjoyed the lovely music of Akron native, Zach. Later in the afternoon, our handwork teacher Caty Petersilge shared her talent on the violin with the crowd. Children were captivated by the magic of the Boat Room and Cookie Fairy, and they enthusiastically enjoyed the jump rope, peg people, and felt pouch crafts. In addition to our regular attractions this year, we also were able to offer yoga demonstrations and hosted tours of the new roof.
We’d like to express our gratitude to John Fellenstein from the University of Akron for operating the Cartesian Diver Experiment. We’re also grateful to Zach Freidhof and Elizabeth Vild, who brought us the zero-waste project, and we’re proud to note that we were able to welcome over 600 visitors for a six-hour event and create only one bag of trash, with all of the other waste being sorted into compost and recycling. A heartfelt thanks goes to Ed Cote, who once again hosted our free rock stacking activity. And of course we are grateful to the many vendors in the Artists’ Market for supporting our school and sharing their wares with us!
The Annual Spring Garden Waldorf Children’s Festival — Connect Through Community — is November 21st from 10am-4pm. The festival takes place at 1791 South Jacoby Rd in Copley, OH. Admission to the cash-only event is $3 per person.
Children of all ages love the free or low-cost ticketed activities including magical cookie fairy and boat wish rooms, along with unique crafts and the outdoor medieval catapult. Younger children especially love the face painting, puppet shows, storytelling and the make-and-take crafts.
The artisan market offers handmade items for young and old. Enjoy a delicious café which offers wholesome, homemade food and baked goods. Stay and have lunch while the kids play!
This year we also will have live music by various artists, including local favorite, ZACH.
This event brings over 600 attendees to SGWS for a magical blend of creative activities, enchanted attractions, great food, amazing entertainment, and fabulous shopping.
We hope you can join us!
Three accomplished SGWS graduates — Sarah Caley, Jerome Hume, and Alec Soudry — are performing this week in the Archbishop Hoban High School Theater Series performance of ‘The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail.’
Jerome is playing the part of Waldo, Sarah is Ball, and Alec is the voice of the Minister. The play is based on a true event when Henry David Thoreau spent a night in jail for refusing to pay taxes. This incident later provided the basis for Thoreau’s popular essay, “Civil Disobedience.”
The play opened November 4th to a packed house of over 250 people.
You can still see the show, tonight, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. or Saturday, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m. Both performances will be in the Barry Gym. Tickets can be bought online at www.hobantheatre.org or at the door.
A heartfelt congratulations to Alec, Jerome and Sarah. Break a leg!
Does your grade 4-8 student play an instrument? How about a stimulating week of music camp August 10-14? The Cuyahoga Valley Summer Music Workshop will be held in Akron, Ohio and runs Monday-Friday from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm, with aftercare available 3:00-5:00.
The camp is for students in grades 4-8 who play string instruments, flute, and clarinet. The five-day workshop is tailored to beginning and intermediate students who will be inspired and challenged in a supportive environment.
Camp includes participation in group classes, ensembles, chorus, creative expression with percussion instruments, eurythmics, and musicianship. Private lessons will be available after camp, for $25, for any who are interested. A final concert for family and friends will be held August 14th at 3:00 pm in the sanctuary.
- Early-bird pricing through July 16, 2015: $210 per student
- Regular pricing due by July 23, 2015: $225 per student
- Aftercare is available from 3-5 pm for $5 per hour. We will play outdoors, explore the onsite playground, and enjoy indoor activities.
If you Google, “Summer break with children,” you get two types of search results — a variety of activity lists or articles about the evils of summer’s off. Turns out they call it “summer fade,” which is a one month backslide in learning coupled with an increase in Body Mass Index (BMI) for kids.
Many parents counter these issues with a rigorous schedule of summer camps, sport practice and tutoring. While watching television all day with a box of pop tarts is obviously not good, there are some other options beyond a highly structured and scheduled summer.
When planning, or not planning your child’s summer, consider the scientifically proven benefits of boredom, free play and time in nature. These research studies about children and learning support the idea of a summer slowdown.
In a recent BBC news article, Children should be allowed to get bored, Dr Teresa Belton said, “Cultural expectations that children should be constantly active could hamper the development of their imagination.”
Now couple that reality with studies connecting time in nature with increased learning and emotional capabilities. The positive results of being outdoors for children are vast as seen in this PDF of a decade of Scientific Studies on this topic. Some highlights include:
- “When children engage in authentic play in nature-based outdoor spaces, they develop skills in a variety of domains simultaneously.” – Miller, D.L., Tichota, K,.White, J. (2009).
- “Sullivan has revealed that the symptoms of children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are relieved after contact with nature. The greener the setting, the more the relief.” – Taylor, A., Kuo, F. & Sullivan, W. (2001).
- “Children who regularly have positive personal experiences with the natural world show more advanced motor fitness, including coordination, balance and agility.” – Fjortoft, Ingunn (2001).
In addition to the learning benefits to boredom and time in nature, there is also the issue of free play. This article from Parenting Science explores over a decade of studies about the benefits of unstructured play time. The author is careful to note that free play does not mean physcial education classes or sports. Free play is just that. Unstructured play time, which is proven to help math skills, language development, and creative problem solving.
- “Play and exploration trigger the secretion of BDNF, a substance essential for the growth of brain cells.”
- “Psychologist Edward Fisher analyzed 46 published studies of the cognitive benefits of play (Fisher 1999). He found that “sociodramatic play”—what happens when kids pretend together—’results in improved performances in both cognitive-linguistic and social affective domains.'”
And finally, before you schedule a summer of busy stimulation, consider this article and advice from Simplicity Parenting writer Kim John Payne. He says:
“[When Google is hiring they say] ‘we’re less concerned about grades and transcripts and more interested in how you think.'”
If we rewind to a childhood that makes an adult like that, what do we see? Is it racing around from one prep course to another? From soccer to piano to Mandarin? A childhood on the clock and filling up the gaps with zoning on the iPad and obsessing about making more friends on Facebook?
I don’t think so.
When we really look at what happens for a kid when they slow down, tune in to themselves, take space and get busy in serious play, we can see that what they are learning is how to be create a kind of inner structure that will serve them (and us) well in the world ahead. … Play provides a deep and wide-reaching domain for kids to experiment with the real work of the real world.”