By Joanna Caley, GOTR Coach
Photos courtesy of Tyra Scott and Loucile Powers
The weather was perfect for a great 5K race on Sunday. After gathering in Lock 3 and checking in at the SGWS sign post, the girls were invited to have their faces and hair painted to “show their colors.” Then, all the race participants were invited to the main stage for the race kick-off and stretching. We heard encouragement from Mayor Don Plusquellic and Sarah Shookman from WKYC, and were led in a very enthusiastic stretching session by one of the GOTR coaches and teams.
The race was done with a color wave start to accommodate the hundreds of racers. Our purple wave was the last wave to start so we waited a bit to get on the course. But it was very exciting when we did get started! The course took us through the streets of downtown Akron and on to the Towpath. It was an interesting course with lots of cheering supporters all the way.
Many of our girls ran with family members – moms, dads, and uncles! – or ran together with their friends. All the coaches were in the race – even coach Stimpson with her triplet sons – with the exception of Nancy Mann, who was enjoying vacation with her family.
The best part was rounding the turn at Lock 3 to the finish line with the huge crowd cheering us on. Everyone received a medal when crossing the finish line, along with lots of high fives! It was amazing to see our girls be part of a larger community, all participating in the same great program. I’m sure the memory will last a long time!
We are set to have a Fall session of GOTR at Spring Garden (we will not be having it next spring). Sign-ups begin in August. Look for more details as the sign-up date approaches!
By Nancy Stewart, Coach and Athletic Director
Photos courtesy of Dana Welton
It has been a successful and rewarding track and field season for Spring Garden Waldorf School, with one more meet to go.
On Saturday, Grade Eight athletes participated in the Cleveland preliminary meet against Akron and Cleveland schools. Congratulations to Simon Welton, who qualified in the mile for the championship meet thisThursday, May 22, at Brecksville/Broadview Heights High School at 6:00 p.m. Please come cheer Simon on as he represents SGWS!
Congratulations also to Luke Kapitan and Jerome Hume for their outstanding performances at the meet. We saw the significance of 9/100ths of a second making the difference at the end of a race.
Grade Six and Seven athletes participated in their championship meet on Sunday, with another outstanding representation for SGWS. Congratulations to Kira Cseak, Sarah Caley, Eli Hansen, Jules Christensen-Diehl, Grace Hecky, Hayden Matias, Maya Miller, Jena McIntyre, Megan May, Rominy Moss, Willa Moss, Bethany Hecky, Grace Rossi, and Andrew Scott for finishing in the top ten in their events, and to Sarah Caley for finishing first in the 400.
It has been a very successful season for the athletes! Their hard work has truly paid off. Thank you, parents, for your support and dedication. Thank you also to our coaches, Greg Beck, Tom Humes, and Bryan May, for helping lead the athletes to success.
Former SGWS student, Ian Lim-bonner (class of 06) graduated Allegheny College with honors with a BS in Environmental Science. Ian recently interviewed with OPWALL and said, “This [job] would allow me to conduct biodiversity research in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean (fingers crossed). Tomorrow I leave for a four week backpacking trip around Europe. Life is so good.”
Ian is not the only one heading to Europe. Julie Chlysta (SGWS Class of ‘06) and Allyson Chlysta (SGWS Class of ‘03) get to spend some time together traveling through Europe. Julie is currently studying overseas for school and Allyson has joined her for traveling.
Tim Fries, SGWS Class of 2007, is currently attending Muskingum University and has just been inducted into Kappa Mu Epsilon, the mathematics honorary society.
And we also send best wishes to SGWS graduate (‘10), Todd Rexroad, who just received the Omnova Solutions scholarship — “dedicated to math and science education today that creates innovators of the future.”
Great job everyone! Do you have some SGWS alumni news? Please email Amy Hecky: firstname.lastname@example.org
Experience Waldorf first hand by walking through in-session classes on Wednesday, May 14h. See our teachers doing what they love and see students loving to learn. Administrators will be available to answer questions both before and after our in-session tour which begins at 9am. Come Experience the Waldorf Difference.
This Wednesday, May 7, at 9:00 a.m., please join us in the School Store for a tea and reception to meet next year’s Grade One teacher, Marie Paul. Ms. Paul is one of Spring Garden Waldorf School’s founding teachers, and she has extensive knowledge of both our school and Waldorf education in general.
Ms. Paul has a B.S. in Education from the University of Akron, has received her Waldorf Certification and has been with SGWS for 31 years. While at Spring Garden, she has taken two classes from Grade One through Grade Eight; in addition, she has taught a combined Grades One/Two class through Grades Five/Six; one class from Grade One through Grade Three; one class from Grade Six through Grade Eight; and the current Class of 2014 in Grades Seven and Eight.
Ms. Paul has taken numerous courses in Anthroposophy and Waldorf education over the years, and her knowledge and experience are truly one of our school’s greatest treasures. Recently, Ms. Paul was honored in the My Favorite Teacher Contest, sponsored by Barnes and Noble. Her former student, Sarah Welton wrote an essay about Ms. Paul that won the 9-12 grade essayist category.
We encourage you to stop by and say hello, especially if your child will be in Grade One next fall!
There is a debate of which came first — music or language. But one thing is for sure, the role of music in human history is as essential and prevalent as language itself. It is used to this day for ritual, expression and community. This is what Mr. Edward Grimes gathered to share with parents at Spring Garden on the morning of March 25th, as he discussed music education at each of the grade levels.
He described the music curriculum as a layering process that corresponds to the methodology of teaching throughout Waldorf Education. What is taught in the beginning, or early grades, is never lost or “moved beyond” so much as layered upon.
In the early years, this applies to music as an expression and embodiment of imagination. In first and second grade, children learn music from the pentatonic scale both in song and on their flutes or recorders. The songs are rich in story, movement and expression, so that the children can learn what it is to imagine through music.
In third grade, the nine year change means children are ready to begin learning the language of music. A diatonic scale is introduced, notes are named by letter, and children learn basic music notation such as the scale and cleff. Third graders also begin Solfege – a music education method used to teach pitch and sight singing.
Fourth grade brings fraction studies and fractions bring quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes, which then lends to teaching rhythms, and rounds and some simple harmony. Now that the language of music has been introduced, children begin to play musical instruments, starting with the violin.
Grade five is ready for three parts in choral music and will sing Glorious Apollo as part of their study of the Greeks. Accidentals are also introduced in this grade and new keys are taught beyond the key of C.
In class six, there begins an amazing opportunity. Written music from the time period of study — Medieval Times — is now available! The children can be given Gregorian Chants and other time period pieces to learn. Acoustics are also studied this year. And class six students, who are more attuned to their outside world, can begin to also attune themselves to what lies within.
They can be taught to think about, and influence, the sound of their own voice — an instrument which can only be seen through the mind’s eye and can only be changed with subtle manipulation of their physical selves. Class Six students can also choose different instruments to play beyond the strings.
Middle School then layers skills and practice upon all that has been learned before. Ensemble choirs read music and sing in harmony and rhythm. Site singing also begins and Solfege study continues. And Orchestra is now part of every student’s curriculum.
Through it all, Mr. Grimes takes great care in choosing the most appropriate music for the students in each grade. He says, “I don’t teach pieces of music. I teach the music in the pieces.” As a final thought he encouraged the parents to expose their children to live music and help them experience the human connection: “Seeing one human make music, which they then experience first hand, is crucial for learning and human connection.”