Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Teachers Create Original Book and Puppet Play, The Hollyhock Dream


Waldorf Education in the Berkshires for over 40 years

Media Contact: Robyn Coe
c: 818.287.1237 marketing@gbrss.org

Early childhood teachers from the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS)  create an original story book, The Hollyhock Dream(Great Barrington, MA) December 10, 2013— Early childhood teachers from the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) have created an original story book, The Hollyhock Dream, about a girl and her little brother who venture through the forest in search of the flower their mother dreams will make her well. The fairy tale debuted as a puppet play at the school’s Holiday Handcraft Fair in November, and teachers will perform it again for the community at Mason Library in Great Barrington, Saturday, March 15, 2014, at 11:15 a.m. The Hollyhock Dream storybook, created locally in the spirit of giving to the community, is available for holiday giving at Matrushka Toys & Gifts, 309 Main Street, Great Barrington. Autographed copies of the book are also available through the school at 35 West Plain Road, Great Barrington. For more information, visit gbrss.org or call (413) 528-4015.

The Hollyhock Dream was written by teachers Trice Atchison, Beth Oakley and Jo Valens. “We went to a workshop led by author and storyteller Nancy Mellon last spring and, as part of the evening, wove together a story on the spot,” says parent-child teacher Trice Atchison. “We were so inspired by the process, we decided to collaborate on a new fairy tale for our Holiday Handcraft fair’s puppet play.”

Early childhood teachers from the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) create an original story book, The Hollyhock DreamWriting a new story allowed the teachers to consider themes such as how there can be more than one right way to a destination—sometimes with the least likely person leading the way; how benevolent help can show up during moments of confusion; and how the natural world is full of wonders, including plants that heal. When they finished the tale, the group decided to publish it as a storybook, with nursery teachers Jo Valens and Beth Oakley together illustrating the book with color pencil drawings. Jo Valens has previously illustrated The Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book, The Waldorf Book of Bread, The Waldorf Book of Soups and Tell Me a Story, a collection of nursery and kindergarten tales from Waldorf teachers around the world, to which she also contributed several stories. Trice Atchison contributed to and co-edited A Warm and Gentle Welcome, a collection of articles about Waldorf early childhood education.

When it came time to adapt the story as a puppet play, kindergarten teachers Somer Serpe and Michelle Kuzia joined the collaboration, making silk marionette puppets to represent the mother and children, along with a grandfather rod puppet of felted wool that can move with expressive gestures. Teachers brought the story’s animal friends to life, too, and created a puppet stage for the characters’ adventures using silk cloths and simple props. Michelle Kuzia composed two songs to accompany the performance and Veronica Horowitz, nursery assistant, joined in as a puppeteer. Feedback has been positive, according to the teachers, with children re-enacting parts of the story in their free play and conversation, and parents mentioning that their children are asking for the story to be read again and again.

The Early Childhood program at GBRSS
is based on the simple yet profound concept that young children learn most effectively through imitation, imagination and meaningful activity. Teachers strive to create a nurturing and rhythmical environment in which the young child’s senses, imagination, and awareness of self and others can flourish. This developmentally appropriate and secure beginning provides a strong foundation for later academic and artistic learning in the grades and beyond. Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School’s developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to education for students from preschool through early adolescence starts with a warm welcome to learning in parent-child classes for babies and toddlers with a caregiver, two nursery (pre-K) programs for young children and mixed-age kindergartens. Early childhood classrooms are situated in their own building, equipped with natural playthings and surrounded by gardens, fields and woods. Tuition for nursery and kindergarten programs is based on a sliding scale, and new early childhood openings are available starting January 2014. For more information, call Tracy Fernbacher at 413-528-4015, ext. 106, or visit gbrss.org.

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Interviews and high-resolution images are available. To schedule an interview with Rhyme Time teacher Trice Atchison or GBRSS School Administrator John Greene, please contact Robyn Coe at (818) 287-1237 or marketing@gbrss.org

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Invites Families To 41st Annual Holiday Handcraft Fair November 9


Waldorf Education in the Berkshires for over 40 years

Media Contact: Robyn Coe
c: 818.287.1237 marketing@gbrss.org

(Berkshires, MA) October 25, 2013 – Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) invites the community to the 41st annual Holiday Handcraft Fair Saturday, November 9, from 10am to 4pm at the school, 35 West Plain Road, Great Barrington. A creative welcome to the holiday season with family fun including puppet shows, hayrides, candle dipping and gifts to make and give, the GBRSS Holiday Handcraft Fair celebrates the joys of a handmade holiday. The event is held rain or shine; free parking and admission. For more information, call 413-528-4015, or visit gbrss.org.

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Holiday Handcraft Fair 2013 - Students and Maple Sugar Cotton CandySharing Delights of the Season – Every family in the GBRSS community comes together to create this festive winter village, from knitting quilt squares to form the Community Quilt–one of many unique items available in the Fair’s Silent Auction–to crafting small gifts for the Little People’s Shop, where children third grade and younger can choose gifts for friends and family. The Handcraft Room, the centerpiece of the Fair, offers a large selection of warm, soft handmade items, including baby booties, winter accessories, soft toys and classic Waldorf dolls. The Country Store also stocks one-of-a-kind gifts and gourmet treats (with Italian specialities this year), and the cafe serves lunch, warm drinks and desserts. Other highlights include carnival games, maple sugar cotton candy, a photo booth with dress-up costumes, the children’s craft room where youngsters can make presents themselves, and the Pocket Lord and Lady, whose many pockets are filled with small gifts.

Playtime at the Fair – GBRSS Early Childhood faculty will perform an original puppet play, “The Hollyhock Dream,” with multiple performances throughout the day. And Misfit Farms, the rescue petting zoo, will bring their family farm to the Fair this year, with piglets, goats, rabbits, a calf and turkey chicks to pet, feed and hold.

Authentic Learning in the Berkshires — Voted Best School in the Berkshires in 2013 by the Berkshire Record Readers’ Choice, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School provides a developmentally
appropriate, experiential approach to education for students from early childhood through early adolescence. Parent-Child, Nursery and Kindergarten classes take place in a specially designed early childhood building equipped with natural playthings and surrounded by gardens, fields and woods. On the other side of the 32-acre campus, the elementary school for first- through eighth-grade students (from the Berkshires, northern Connecticut and New York’s Columbia County) provides a balance of rigorous academics and the arts, preparing children for their choice of high school and college. One of more than 1,000 Waldorf schools worldwide and part of a movement of independent schools developed in the early twentieth century by Austrian educator, scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School operates from the core understanding that engaging all aspects of the human being—intellectual, physical and spiritual—provides a truly well-rounded education.

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Interviews and high-resolution images are available. To schedule an interview with Rhyme Time teacher Trice Atchison or GBRSS School Administrator John Greene, please contact Robyn Coe at (818) 287-1237 or marketing@gbrss.org

Saturday, December 7, 6:45PM: GBRSS Carolers at the Great Barrington Holiday Stroll

Come join us for caroling at the Great Barrington Holiday Stroll. Everyone is invited! Meet at Matrushka at 6:45, sing and stroll to City Hall by 7:00 for the lighting of the trees. Sheet music will be provided. See you there!

GB Holiday Stroll

Thursday, November 14, 7:30 PM: Rudolf Steiner Study Group

Rudolf Steiner Study Group Tuesday, September 18, 7:30pm -GBRSS Library
The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner Study Group continues to meet monthly and all are welcome.

This group was founded by Paul Marguilies, and Kathy Bradley and Davina Muse have written a quick history of the group and Paul’s leadership to honor him and his work:

Gratitude to Paul Margulies, Steiner Study Group Leader

Paul, a parent of a Steiner School alumnae, has led the Study Group in the Great Barrington School library for many years. He is retiring to help look after his beautiful wife, Vicky.

When I called Paul to set up a conversation, he said, “Sorry, can’t talk now, I’m busy preparing for the Sixth Epoch”…. We both laughed: he was actually reading those lectures by Steiner when he picked up the phone; and “Preparing for the Sixth Epoch” is indeed what he has been doing as a student of Steiner and as a Study Group Leader, for more than 50 years.

Those of us lucky enough to have been in a group led by Paul will remember with a chuckle his sense of humor, his jokes and anecdotes, his magic tricks (to illustrate a point from the Philosophy of Freedom) and most of all the extraordinary devotion and humility he brought to the leadership of the group. He would write out by hand each chapter in his own words, in order to review it with the group, adding whiteboard drawings and summaries for clarity. Occasionally we would glimpse the inner work, prayer, and personal support – in other words, the LOVE – that he offered to the life of the group.

Paul began attending Study Groups in New York City in his twenties, in a group led by the remarkable Beredine Jocelyn, then in her eighties. His next experience, in an argumentative group without leadership, led him to a “real Study Group”, with George and Gisela O’Neill in Spring Valley, NY. This monthly all-day group was attended by 30 people, who were expected to analyze the thinking and structure in the texts they studied, in order to wring out “the juice of the meaning”.

Paul missed the depth and breadth of this experience when he moved to England, continuing his studies by correspondence, and then attending a group studying economics, and finally beginning a group studying basic Anthroposophy, which he led himself.

Back in New York, he began a new group, then when he moved to the Berkshires in the 1980’s, Paul was able to expand his work on behalf of anthroposophy. He initiated, with others, the Anthroposophy Working lecture series, bringing well-known speakers to gatherings of 70 – 120 people, and led a study group in Connecticut for many years, as well as the group in his hometown, Great Barrington. All students were given assignments to prepare presentations of their own understanding of the text.

Paul says that his hope for the study group in Great Barrington is that it will move forward, continuing the work together; that students will take assignments and “do it!” developing the will in the body by writing summaries of the text, as he has done for so many years.

Perhaps the most powerful form our gratitude to Paul can take, is to make this hope a reality.

Wednesday, November 27, 11 AM: Thanksgiving Assembly

Our students will be participating in our annual Thanksgiving Assembly, which is traditionally exceptional! Each of the grades presents work they are doing in class.

Prospective families are invited, the assembly is a lively and informative introduction to Waldorf education. We suggest you arrive at 10:45 a.m. for the assembly, which begins at 11:00 a.m.

Reminder to current parents: Students are required to wear assembly dress. Students are also asked to bring a non-perishable food item to contribute to the Great Barrington Food Pantry.

Pumpkin PI at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School

Order GBRSS Hoodies Online

hoodie with order online
All sizes available online in both EcoSmart cotton blend and UnderArmour styles–even Adult!

To order your hoodies online, please visit the private group page at Stadium System and choose Rudolf Steiner. Enter the access code: RS75

This site will close on November 22nd, 2013 at midnight. All orders will be processed after that date and given to Bob Posey for distribution at GBRSS.

Please note: When ordering online you will need to enter your address as the shipping address, even though the items will be delivered in bulk to the school.

Thursday, December 12, 7:30 PM: Rudolf Steiner Study Group

Rudolf Steiner Study Group Tuesday, September 18, 7:30pm -GBRSS Library
The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner Study Group continues to meet monthly and all are welcome.

This group was founded by Paul Marguilies, and Kathy Bradley and Davina Muse have written a quick history of the group and Paul’s leadership to honor him and his work:

Gratitude to Paul Margulies, Steiner Study Group Leader

Paul, a parent of a Steiner School alumnae, has led the Study Group in the Great Barrington School library for many years. He is retiring to help look after his beautiful wife, Vicky.

When I called Paul to set up a conversation, he said, “Sorry, can’t talk now, I’m busy preparing for the Sixth Epoch”…. We both laughed: he was actually reading those lectures by Steiner when he picked up the phone; and “Preparing for the Sixth Epoch” is indeed what he has been doing as a student of Steiner and as a Study Group Leader, for more than 50 years.

Those of us lucky enough to have been in a group led by Paul will remember with a chuckle his sense of humor, his jokes and anecdotes, his magic tricks (to illustrate a point from the Philosophy of Freedom) and most of all the extraordinary devotion and humility he brought to the leadership of the group. He would write out by hand each chapter in his own words, in order to review it with the group, adding whiteboard drawings and summaries for clarity. Occasionally we would glimpse the inner work, prayer, and personal support – in other words, the LOVE – that he offered to the life of the group.

Paul began attending Study Groups in New York City in his twenties, in a group led by the remarkable Beredine Jocelyn, then in her eighties. His next experience, in an argumentative group without leadership, led him to a “real Study Group”, with George and Gisela O’Neill in Spring Valley, NY. This monthly all-day group was attended by 30 people, who were expected to analyze the thinking and structure in the texts they studied, in order to wring out “the juice of the meaning”.

Paul missed the depth and breadth of this experience when he moved to England, continuing his studies by correspondence, and then attending a group studying economics, and finally beginning a group studying basic Anthroposophy, which he led himself.

Back in New York, he began a new group, then when he moved to the Berkshires in the 1980’s, Paul was able to expand his work on behalf of anthroposophy. He initiated, with others, the Anthroposophy Working lecture series, bringing well-known speakers to gatherings of 70 – 120 people, and led a study group in Connecticut for many years, as well as the group in his hometown, Great Barrington. All students were given assignments to prepare presentations of their own understanding of the text.

Paul says that his hope for the study group in Great Barrington is that it will move forward, continuing the work together; that students will take assignments and “do it!” developing the will in the body by writing summaries of the text, as he has done for so many years.

Perhaps the most powerful form our gratitude to Paul can take, is to make this hope a reality.

Friday, December 13, 7:30PM: Nowell Sing We Clear

Nowell Sing We Clear
Nowell Sing We Clear are four musicians / singers who perform a concert of folk carols for the Yuletide celebration, playing fiddle, accordion and other instruments with four part harmonies and audience chorus to sing along and a Mummers’ Play in the midst of it all. Great family fun for all.

Nowell Sing We Clear will be performing on Friday, December 13 at 7:30 pm in the school auditorium. Book early as it will sell out! For ticket information, contact a 7th grader or Mark Eurich (413) 528 4015. All proceeds to benefit the class of 2015.

Thursday, December 19, 3:15PM & Friday, December 20, 7PM: The Shepherds’ Play

Rudolf Steiner recommended that the faculty give one or more of three Christmas plays as a gift to the children of the first Waldorf School. They were medieval plays that had been performed between the 8th and 16th centuries, carrying profound and universal themes of life’s journey to actors and audience alike.

In this tradition, our faculty and staff will perform The Shepherds’ Play to our children and community this holiday season. The Shepherds’ Play is a delightful portrayal of the shepherds’ journey to Bethlehem, filled with humor, love, joy and the awe-inspiring possibilities that birth brings.

If families elect to have their children stay afterschool Thursday, December 19, they are asked to pick them up promptly at 4:30 pm (at their regular dismissal areas). Faculty will be present for supervision and parents are not required to attend with their student (though they absolutely, positively welcome to attend any or all of the performances).

Friday, December 20,11AM: Holiday Assembly

On Friday, December 20 at 11:00 a.m. parents and friends are invited to join us in song and celebration of the season. Early Childhood will be dismissed at 10:45 a.m., so that the children can attended the assembly with their parents.