March 2014 Calendar and News

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March 2014 Calendar

GATHERINGS AND HAPPENINGS

Now’s your chance to help make GBRSS the Best School in the Berkshires for the second year in a row!

BofBThe Berkshire Record publishes a list for the community to endorse their favorites in several categories. We have a write-in campaign for “Best School.” Complete the online ballot or email your vote to best@berkshirerecord.net. All votes are due March 5. Thanks for making GBRSS #1 in the Berkshires!

Doll Making for the Handcraft Fair, Friday mornings – continues

Our very talented parent, Valentina Akerman, is leading a Friday morning workshop to craft a simple, bunting doll for next year’s Handcraft Room. We welcome more participants and you do not have to commit to coming every week, so drop in if you can!

Open House, March 11, 9 am – 11 am

We will begin in the library and then tour the school buildings and park-like grounds, visitors will step into lower and middle school classrooms to experience Waldorf Education in action, tour dedicated art studios and visit Early Childhood classes for circle time.

Signe Schaefer Writing Workshop, March 12, 7pm, GBRSS Library

The Berkshire Festival of Women Writers celebrates Women’s History Month with 58 readings, workshops and performances throughout March. GBRSS will host SteinerBooks published author, Signe Schaefer, with a workshop Writing from life – Writing for life.

Janet Elsbach will host a reading for the festival with four other writers at Kripalu, route 183 in Lenox on Thursday, March 29. Titled Who Cares? Five Writers Raise the Voices of Women Who Tend to Others – Writings informed by the experience of caring for an aging parent, a dying sibling, a child with a disability, a partner with a chronic illness, and a job in a white coat, five women will represent the collected thoughts of a multitude engaged in the give and take of care. A discussion on looking after the self while tending to others will follow the readings. Seating is limited, pre-registration required. Please call 866-200-5203 to reserve tickets.

Steiner Art Show at the Good Purpose Gallery, Opening Reception March 15, 5-7 pm

GBSS Art Show 1 maroon black Interactive-page-0The school invites the community to a benefit art show March 15 through April 28 at the Good Purpose Gallery, 40 Main Street in Lee, Massachusetts. Works for sale include paintings, photographs, drawings, sculpture and ceramics by artists in the community, with proceeds to benefit the programs of the Good Purpose Gallery and the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School.
All are invited to meet the artists at the opening reception Saturday March 15, 5-7pm, and join in the festive atmosphere of good works with good purpose, including wine and small bites during the event.

Art Show Starts Online Preview online from March 3 – March 14 at paddle8.com. Anyone can register and bid online, and bids will transfer to the gallery on opening night, March 15th. More artwork will be available on the site than the gallery has room to display, so interested art shoppers should be sure to visit both the online and live components of the show.

Anyone needing childcare during the event is in luck, the Waldorf High School in nearby Stockbridge, MA is having a babysitting fundraiser from 4-8 pm. See details in the high school section below.

The Good Purpose Gallery is helping to connect art and education in a meaningful way by integrating the Berkshires’ growing art scene with young individuals on the autism spectrum and other learning differences. The gallery is a component of College Internship Progam (CIP), whose motto is “You were made for good purpose and are inherently valuable.” Founder psychologist Michael McManmon, an artist all his life, had the inspiration to use the creative arts as a mechanism for teaching, learning and growth with CIP students, enriching students’ lives through arts and creativity and providing the opportunity for professional artists to share their skills with workshops, lectures and exhibits.
Good Purpose Gallery hours are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 9am-4pm, Friday and Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 9am-3pm.

Linden String Quartet- Saturday, March 22 at 6 PM, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Children attend free with a paying adult ($25). Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani introduces selected pieces from Tchaikovsky and Brahms with interesting facts and observations. After the performance there is a reception on stage, and everyone in the audience is invited to come meet the artists. The Linden Quartet is especially known for their dedication to sharing their passion for string quartets with students. For more information, visit the Close Encounters with Music Website.

Elementary School Spring Assembly, March 28, 1:15 pm

Parents are invited to the Spring Assembly which includes offerings from grades one through eight. These class presentations illustrate what the children have been learning, including both main lesson and subject class material. Parents are reminded that assembly dress is required unless the teacher informs a class that they will be wearing special costumes for their offering. Parents are also reminded that unauthorized use of cameras or video equipment is not permitted in order to sustain the mood of this event.

Project Native Fourth Annual Film Festival, Saturday, March 29th and Sunday, March 30th

Project Native kicks off their 4th environmental film festival Saturday evening at 7:00 pm with a special screening of Revolution at Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. Revolution
is an award-winning film by Rob Stewart, director of Sharkwater. Sunday, at the Triplex in Great Barrington, Project Native’s annual environmental film festival will showcase documentary films selected for their artistry and illumination of global issues and actions that impact our future. A full day of award-winning documentaries on a variety of current environmental issues. FREE. Recommended for grade 5 and up. Visit their website for a full schedule and film details.

 

EARLY CHILDHOOD

All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.

These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you find them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic cup. The roots go down and plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup — they all die. So do we.

And remember the book about Dick and Jane and first word you learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK. Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and sane living.

Think of what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about 3 o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and clean up our own messes. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
By Robert Fulghum

Rhyme Time at Matrushka Toys and Gifts is every Tuesday at 10:30 am.

In partnership with Matrushka Toys and Gifts, GBRSS hosts “Rhyme Time,” every Tuesday morning at 10:30 am at Matrushka, 309 Main Street, Great Barrington. Rhyme Time offers rhymes, finger plays, circle games and simple puppetry especially designed to delight and engage infants, crawlers, toddlers and young children. Led by Waldorf Early Childhood teachers, Rhyme Time is a free, drop-in weekly event for young children with their parent or caregiver, and all are welcome.

“Hollyhock Dream” at Mason Public Library, March 15, 11:15 am

GBRSS early childhood teachers 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.

 

ELEMENTARY

Class nights
  • 2nd grade – March 6, 7 pm
  • 3rd grade – March 3, 7 pm
  • 4th grade – March 5, 7 pm
  • 5th grade – March 27, 7 pm
  • 7th grade – March 12 rescheduled from February 26
  • 8th grade – March 25, 7 pm
The Class of 2014 cordially invites you to their performances of
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

The magical story of lovers, fairies and rustics by William Shakespeare
“The course of true love never did run smooth.” ~Lysander

Performances will take place in the GBRSS auditorium
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 ~ 10:45 am
Thursday, March 20, 2014 ~ 10:45 am
Friday, March 21, 2014 ~ 7:00 pm
Saturday, March 22, 2014 ~ 7:00 pm
Refreshments for sale!

“Lord what fools these mortals be!” Puck

 

SPORTS UPDATE FROM MRS. PALMER

HOORAY TO OUR BASKETBALL TEAMS
The boys and girls basketball teams celebrated their seasons at Manhattan Pizza in the last week before the break.
The girls’ team proudly thanked coach, Linda Ackerman, and her husband Doug Ackerman. The team just played their last game against Washington Montessori and won the game, which gave the Steiner school another undefeated season with a record of 8-0. The highlight of their season was certainly the Waldorf tournament held at the Green Meadow Waldorf School. The girls played hard and with determination to win all four games that weekend.
The boys’ team also had a winning season. Making up for lack of height the boys showed tenacity, a spirit that never broke down, and very good teamwork. The boys graciously also thanked their coach Gary Casarsa who gave his time and knowledge to the boys.
In addition, the sixth graders played two coed games and won both of their games, showing a good understanding of the game and enthusiasm for the future.
I now thank all basketball parents for their support in driving, waiting in the parking lot, and cheering on for all the teams. I know the commitment and effort it all takes to keep everything going!
Please also join me in thanking the coaches for all their time, enthusiasm and teaching they gave to our students.
Spring sports will begin March 31. Please return all uniforms. If it’s red with a number on, it most likely belongs to the Steiner school! Thank you Krista Palmer

FRONT DESK

Faculty Administration Search

The faculty and staff have been very busy these last weeks’ meeting candidates for the Faculty Administrator position. While we continue with this process, Krista Palmer, games teacher and council chair will be acting as the faculty administrator for the rest of the year. Mrs. Palmer can be reached at 518-4015, ext. 105. The morning main lesson time and after school at 3 pm are the best times to reach her.

From the Business Office

Deadline for submissions of financial aid applications is Monday, March 3. A link to TADS (our new financial aid assessment service) is available on our website to access online applications. We have also changed our Tuition Management service from SMART to TADS. Our Tuition Contracts will be coming directly from TADS within the next month. If you have any questions, please contact the Business office.

HIGH SCHOOL

Waldorf Babysitting Fundraiser. DATE CHANGED Saturday, March 15 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the GB Waldorf High School.

Cleverly scheduled to coincide with the date of the Art Show opening reception. High school students will babysit with two or three adults supervisors. $35 for 4 hours of childcare including a home-cooked meal, age appropriate crafts, games and stories, $10 for each additional sibling. Please RSVP to high school parent Caroline O’Neill at jimandcaroline@verizon.net as soon as possible to reserve your child’s spot and let us know of any food allergies. If there are less than ten children signed up, the babysitting fundraiser will be cancelled.

Waldorf High School OPEN HOUSE, Thursday, March 27, 7:30 p.m.

Parents and students: Please join us for our last Open House to learn more about our school and programs, to meet teachers, parents, and students, and to share refreshments. Students spend 5000 hours in high school. Spend an hour with us to make sure it’s the right high school. Call (413) 298-3800 for more information.

THE GARDEN

Spring in the GBRSS Garden!

“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow” ~Proverb
As Spring begins to lift her head in the garden, we welcome your support and presence as we prepare for planting and projects. We will be preparing the soil, planting, seeding, spreading biodynamic preparations and other general garden maintenance. As well, we are looking for volunteers for specific building projects such as constructing fencing, trellises, gates, arbors, benches etc. If you would like to volunteer your time or materials towards these efforts, please contact Hadley Milliken.

As you are spring cleaning, there are a few items we could use in the garden.

  • Garden Tools- hand trowels, digging forks, shovels, watering cans, wheel barrows or garden carts
  • Perennials- As you are dividing or thinning out your perennials for spring, we welcome flowers, medicinal and culinary herbs, strawberries etc.

Please contact Hadley Milliken at garden@gbrss.org or (413) 717-2475 to sign up for volunteering or material and plant donations.

Thank you for your support — Hadley Milliken

PARENT ASSOCIATION

Café Night DATE CHANGE

Mark your calendars for April 5, 7 pm.  Start thinking about your act and book soon. This fun evening is for adults only, so line up your babysitter now! This event is best described by someone who has experienced it, so please talk about it with parents in your class who are new to our school. The more (talent) the merrier (the crowd).

 

SUMMER AT STEINER

Brochures for Summer @ Steiner program will be handed out this month at class nights or at school. Summer@ Steiner runs for 7 weeks starting on June 23 and ending August 8. There will be a $50 discount for Steiner families. We look forward to spending a wonderful summer with your children.

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School and Good Purpose Gallery Host Benefit Art Show March 15

Waldorf Education in the Berkshires for over 40 years

Good Art for a Good Cause at Good Purpose Gallery

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

(Berkshires, MA) February 21, 2013 – Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) invites the community to a benefit art show March 15 through April 28 at the Good Purpose Gallery, 40 Main Street in Lee, Massachusetts. Works for sale include paintings, photographs, drawings and ceramics by artists in the community, with proceeds to benefit the programs of the Good Purpose Gallery and the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School. All are invited to meet the artists at the opening reception Saturday March 15, 5-7pm, and join in the festive atmosphere of good works with good purpose, including wine and small bites during the event. To learn more, visit gbrss.org or goodpurpose.org

Art Show Starts Online – The art show will preview online from March 3 – March 14 on paddle8.com, an online auction site. Anyone can register and bid online, and bids will transfer to the gallery on opening night, March 15th. More artwork will be available on the site than the gallery has room to display, so interested art shoppers should be sure to visit both the online and live components of the show. Visit paddle8.com beginning on March 3, and search for “gbrss.”

GBRSS Art Show at the Good Purpose Art Gallery

The Good Purpose Gallery is helping to connect art and education in a meaningful way by integrating the Berkshires’ growing art scene with young individuals on the autism spectrum and other learning differences. The gallery is a component of College Internship Progam (CIP), whose motto is “You were made for good purpose and are inherently valuable.” Founder psychologist Michael McManmon, an artist all his life, had the inspiration to use the creative arts as a mechanism for teaching, learning and growth with CIP students, enriching students’ lives through arts and creativity and providing the opportunity for professional artists to share their skills with workshops, lectures and exhibits. Good Purpose Gallery hours are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 9am-4pm, Friday and Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 9am-3pm.

Waldorf Education in the Berkshires—Voted Best School in the Berkshires in 2013 by Berkshire Record Readers’ Choice Awards, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School provides a warm, developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to learning for students from early childhood through early adolescence. Pre-K 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-graders (from the Berkshires, northern Connecticut and New York’s Columbia County) provides a balance of rigorous academics and the arts, preparing students 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 scientist, educator 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 GBRSS Development Coordinator Jenna Lamond or Good Purpose Gallery coordinator Eileen Mahoney, please contact Robyn Coe at marketing@gbrss.org or (818) 287-1237.

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Announces First Grade Teacher Pamela Giles

Waldorf Education in the Berkshires for over 40 years

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

Pamela Giles - Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School(Berkshires, MA) February 18, 2014—<a href=”http://gbrss.org/”>Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) welcomes Pamela Giles as first grade teacher for the 2014-2015 school year. An experienced master teacher, Mrs. Giles has been a GBRSS faculty member for over 25 years, successfully graduating three eighth grades, and has served on several pivotal Board committees. GBRSS Interim Faculty Administrator Krista Palmer comments, “As a teacher, Mrs. Giles brings not only her deep insights of the students, but also her passionate vision for the future of our school. By virtue of her experience, she’s building for the future right from the beginning, fortifying her students’ capacities for imagination and learning. She is also wonderfully artistic, connecting all aspects of the curriculum to the child’s feelings and bringing subjects to life, so students are touched by what they learn.”

GBRSS is now accepting student applications for early childhood through eighth grade for September 2014, and will hold a “Meet the Teacher” evening, with an opportunity for current applicant families to meet Mrs. Giles, Wednesday April 2 at 7pm. To learn more, call Tracy Fernbacher at 413-528-4015 x 106 or visit gbrss.org

Primary Education at GBRSS—Pamela Giles grew up in New York City, where she was a student at the first Waldorf school in North America, the Rudolf Steiner School, from kindergarten through twelfth grade. She attended Colby College in Maine and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Empire State College, SUNY Albany. She completed her teacher apprenticeship at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School while teaching handwork, and is an accomplished knitter and avid gardener. Mrs. Giles is involved in the wider development of Waldorf education as a teacher at conferences, as a mentor and evaluator, and this year, pioneered GBRSS’s Teacher Apprenticeship Program. All three of her children also graduated from GBRSS. Mrs. Giles adds, “Here’s what I told my current eighth graders: ‘You’ll be moving on to Algebra II in 9th grade, but I’ll be moving forward by going back to the beginning, to the alphabet, straight and curved lines, and stories.’ I am thrilled about taking a new first grade. I so much look forward to meeting and getting to know the Class of 2022 and their families.”

Waldorf Education in the Berkshires—Voted Best School in the Berkshires in 2013 by Berkshire Record Readers’ Choice Awards, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School provides a warm, developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to learning. Students stay with their community of teachers from first through eighth grade, in a progressively deepening relationship that builds on each child’s natural curiosity and the unfolding of each child’s capacities. In accordance with educator, scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner’s insights into human nature and the developmental stages of childhood, the study of literature and cultural heritage, consistently integrated with fine and practical arts, provides a balanced and engaging education that prepares students for their choice of high school and college, while teaching them to care for themselves, one another and the world.
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Interviews and high resolution images are available. To schedule an interview with Class of 2022 teacher Pamela Giles or Interim Faculty Administrator Krista Palmer, please contact Robyn Coe at marketing@gbrss.org or (818) 287-1237.

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Presents Annual Student Science Fair Feb 26

 

Waldorf Education in the Berkshires for over 40 years

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

7th and 8th grade students deliver unique Chemistry, Biology and Physics Projects

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Annual Student Science Fair(Berkshires, MA) January 30, 2013—Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) welcomes the community to the 5th annual Student Science Fair and Open House, Wednesday, February 26 at 7pm in the school auditorium at 35 West Plain Road, Great Barrington. Independent science fair projects, in which students work with a mentor who has expertise in their area of interest, allow a student to choose their own topic from earth science, physics, chemistry or biology. Their project can be an experiment (How do different fertilizers affect plant growth?), an exploration (What are the therapeutic applications of hypnosis?) or a design project (constructing a robotic arm). This year, close to 50 GBRSS 7th and 8th graders will demonstrate projects on diverse topics, including many that concern conservation and “green” solutions to everyday problems, such as how pollution affects coral reefs, building an underwater house and creating a model ecosystem–providing a firsthand opportunity to explore how students learn science at GBRSS. To join the open house the same evening, contact Tracy Fernbacher at admissions@gbrss.org or 413-528-4015, x. 106.

In the GBRSS classroom, science is first and foremost observation—Leading the Science Fair this year is Waldorf teacher Rick Shrum, who studied Marine Biology at University of California at San Diego, and worked as a marine biologist at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. He received his MA in Neurobiology from University of California at Santa Cruz. Beginning his PhD, Shrum found out about Waldorf education by attending a Waldorf school fair, where he saw students’ main lesson books open on a table and thought, “Wow, this is a whole different way of looking at science!” He started his career as a science teacher in the Rudolf Steiner High School in Manhattan, and joined the faculty at Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School in 1996, where he specialized in middle school grades, as well as working in the Great Barrington Waldorf High School. Shrum says GBRSS teachers approach science in the classroom “by taking a phenomenological approach, starting an experiment—let’s say the production of hydrogen gas—with the experience of a phenomenon. Students make a detailed observation, and from there, draw conclusions, formulating a concept based on their experience rather than starting with a concept as a given, which keeps their sense of wonder and imagination active. I tell the students, ‘It all starts with a question, and your curiosity.’”

Authentic Learning in the Berkshires—Voted Best School in the Berkshires in 2013 by Berkshire Record Readers’ Choice, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School provides a developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to learning 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 scientist, educator 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.

GBRSS Winter 2014 Newsletter

The Infinite Classroom – Teaching to Multiple Intelligences

Chronogram’s January, 2014 issue features an article by Anne Pyburn Craig – The Infinite Classroom – Teaching to Multiple Intelligences in which GBRSS faculty administrator John Greene and teacher Nancy Franco are quoted.

The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School's projects knit together the multiple intelligences.Thirty years ago, developmental psychologist and Harvard education professor Howard Gardner published Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. The book set off a depth charge underneath the comfortable Stanford-Binet IQ test-based academic world in which learning ability was widely regarded as binary—verbal and mathematical. Drawing on his research with both brain-damaged adults and “normal” child development, Gardner proposed that rather than two main areas of intelligence, there are eight: linguistic, logic-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic.

Gardner was careful to make the distinction that what he had developed was a theory of developmental psychology and not a theory of education per se. Nevertheless, his thinking offered a breath of fresh air to a great many educators, validating and organizing as it did something many of them had long intuited about the failures of cookie-cutter instruction.

Steiner Got There First

“In the Waldorf movement, the reaction was a big ‘Yay! Wonderful,'” says John Greene, head of faculty at Great Barrington Rudolph Steiner School in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. “It was a sense of recognition that what Rudolf Steiner [founder of Waldorf education] was trying to articulate has merit and was being more widely recognized. Any teacher worth their salt recognized learning differences and their importance, but what he did was break it down—very impressive.”

Though she’s also quick to point out that Waldorf educators have been working from a multiple intelligence point of view for almost a century now, veteran GBRSS teacher Nancy Franco can reel off multiple examples that dovetail nicely with Gardner’s work. “We work with all of these aspects every day, both individually and en masse—you could say that the Waldorf understanding of these concepts is very honed,” she says. “They’re important aspects of the human being that deserve to be experienced by all students. And since the Waldorf way involves working with the same group of students for eight or 12 years [students advance through the grades with the same teacher], we become very aware of how the individual modalities operate within the individual kids. We seek to utilize the strengths as learning tools, and to develop the areas that might need work.”

For example, Franco says, a Waldorf school day begins with a musical interlude. “We sing, play instruments, recite rhythmic verse, do clapping games. Those activities touch on and elicit linguistic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic and interpersonal intelligence—so in that 15 minute opener, you’re looking at four or five of the intelligences right there.”

Read more at Chronogram…

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.