Community Events to engage the head, heart, & hands

Alumni News

Using The Influence of Social Networks


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What the CWS Community Offers Us…

The Increasing influence and benefit of social networks manifest in both social & digital realms.

Click Here to visit the NEW CWS Facebook Page

Once there click on the “Like” button to the right of the title.

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Dear CWS Friends, Families, and Community Members-

As this thought-provoking lecture by Nicholas Christakas shows, inter-connectivity has a value in empowering individuals and strengthening their ability to assimilate information, aid their health and even create new social experiences.

In a very literal way, our community can strengthen our psychological well-being and our lived experience. Just see the other articles in this week’s bulletin about the Holiday Fair and the Festival of Lights Season to get a sense of the value of our school’s families and friends as a deep resource for enhancing your life. And to support and strengthen our community we are asking that you stay connected to CWS via our Facebook page and other online forums.

As we all head off to far-flung places, or stay here at home for the Winter break,
WE ASK THAT YOU SIGN-UP FOR AND “LIKE” THE NEW CWS FACEBOOK PAGE

If you are already a member of Facebook, the like button will connect some of our posts with your network. If you are not yet a member, please use this opportunity to sign-up for Facebook and join the CWS Facebook page, so you can receive our stream of activities information.

And we appreciate any help that you can give us by simply suggesting to your Facebook community to find and “Like” us on Facebook as well. We will update the Facebook site as frequently as possible. As a newly active social media resource, please feel free to leave comments or CWS related activities postings on the new CWS Facebook page.

Finally thanks for “Liking” us, promoting us to your online community networks and being a part of our networked community both online and off!

-Jason Greenberg
CWS Marketing & Communications Director

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Holiday Fair: Feel the Warmth of Our Community…

Join us for a wonderful holiday celebration that is sure to be a favorite with your family.

Chicago Waldorf School’s 2011 Holiday Fair features unique vendors, fabulous food, candle dipping, crafts & activities, handmade holiday greenery for sale, a raffle (with a ticket included with each paid admission), puppet plays, a chess & game room, an alumni room for our CWS graduates. Look for old favorites including the Care to Share room, Waldorf Recycled (for gently used natural toys and items) and the always-popular Children’s House special treasures just for the little ones.

Holiday Fair Entertainment

11:00am Capoeira Performance with Rhea Yap

CWS students Eli Miller, Noah Teague and Morgan Reesh will be among the performers in this energetic mix of dance, performance and martial arts that is guaranteed to get you excited if not downright dizzy. Audience members will be invited onstage to try capoeira afterwards.

12:00pm African Drumming Class w/ Instructor Ernest Kinnison

High school students Gabrielle, Jenna, Quin, Claudia, Nora, Natalie, Jimmy, Mataline and Caroline
will be performing traditional African drumming. Wait til you feel the rhythms through your body. The huge sound of the drums will infiltrate your limbs, heart, and mind until you can’t sit still!

1:00pm Bass Clef Bandits w/Brendan Finucane

Six CWS strings students Olivia, Liam, Marci, Leo, Zane and Jessica are the Bass Clef Bandits with their CWS music instructor, Brendan Finucane. See what the mighty musical lessons have wrought from these enterprising and talented young musicians.

2:00pm The CWS All Dads Band

A “rock star” group of Waldorf Dads (Adam King, Heath Jansen, Joe Dennis, Matthew Zumann, Mike Rowe, Mark Miller & Tom McCarthy) take the stage to share pop & rock tunes, seasonal favorites and who knows what they surprise us with next? Spontaneous dancing has been known to break out amongst the crowd.

3:00pm Miss Aimee Leigh

CWS auntie, Aimee Cousineau will grace our stage and share her repertoire of quirky, caring and fun original kids favorites songs including Be True to You Teeth, My Brother the Pirate and Hey, Lunch Lady! and more. Especially great for the Early Childhood crowd; dancing will likely be involved.

4:00pm Holiday Fair Raffle

Come find out if you are the one who wins a week-long stay at a beautiful 40 acre brick farmhouse, tickets to a Cubs Game, YOGA lessons, Tea for Two at the Drake Hotel and more!



Don’t miss this wonderful holiday tradition!
Chicago Waldorf School is located at 1300 W Loyola Ave in Rogers Park just a block west of the Loyola Red Line L stop


Holiday Festivals Schedule

In this active time of the year, there are many opportunities to join with the children, faculty and staff in community and ritual events and celebrations. Please note that you can check the school’s web-based calendar for the most up-to-date information about these festivals.

We invite you to join in this season by celebrating with us to appreciate the values that we hold dear as a community. Here is a brief overview of upcoming events:

Festival of Lights Season

These festivals, presented in series, remind us of the light shining within each individual in the midst of the encroaching darkness of the season. School begins each Monday morning with a silent assembly that honors the power of light and community. These assemblies are not appropriate for children younger than 1st grade. All those attending are asked to enter in silence.

1st Festival of Light

Monday, Nov. 28, 8:15am, Auditorium
A peaceful, candle-lit celebration, for ages 3 & up. Parents are welcome to attend.

Winter Spiral

Tuesday, Nov. 29, Auditorium Stage
EC, 1st, 2nd, 8th & 12th grades – classes take turns throughout the day journeying through the spiral. Evening spiral will be open to the community, for ages 3 and up.

A Waldorf tradition made up of a simple pathway of pine boughs leading to a candle in the center. This is a way of experiencing the time of year through movement and reflection. As students take individual turns walking a path into and out of the center of the spiral a candle apple is placed on a star to illuminate the new pathway. Teachers tell stories, and quiet music is played.

Chicago Waldorf School Holiday Fair

Saturday, Dec. 3, 10:00am-5:00pm, throughout the school
This school fair is open to the entire community, friends and neighbors, for all ages.

Join in a day-long festival including:
Live Music & Entertainment • Candle Dipping • Unique Artisan Vendors • Jump Rope Making • Crafts for All Ages • Games & Raffle Prizes • Handmade Holiday Greenery • Photo Portraits • Mouthwatering Food & Fresh Baked Goods • Children’s House & Puppet Show (for wee ones)

2nd Festival of Light

Monday, Dec. 5, 8:15am, Auditorium
11th grade eurythmy, for ages 3 & up. Parents are welcome to attend.

A Visit from Saint Nicholas & Rupert

Tuesday, Dec. 6 – to the 1st & 2nd grade classrooms
In Early Childhood, Saint Nicholas & Rupert leave treats in the children’s shoes but do not go into the classrooms to visit. But the 1st and 2nd graders not only get treats but also get a visit from these moral arbiters. This intentional focus is because children of this age do not have a well developed ability to self-reflect. It is the outside conscience that helps makes clear what is right and wrong. In this ritual, Saint Nicholas reads from his “Golden Book” and proffers sage admonitions to the children on how to act kindly and positively. As a model of the id and superego, in this tradition Saint Nicholas is the embodiment of the higher well developed self, whereas Rupert is a non-human, undeveloped, lower self who is very mischievous, offensive, and self-absorbed when left on his own.

Santa Lucia– 3rd Festival of Light

Tuesday, Dec. 13, 8:15am, Auditorium
2nd grade will be offering their Santa Lucia processional at the Festival of Light, for ages 3 & older. Parents are welcome to attend.

Based on the Swedish tradition honoring Saint Lucy (Santa Lucia) this candle-lit processional celebrates the gift of light in the time of darkness. Lucia’s name is derived from lux, lucis “light,” as she is the patron saint of those who are blind. The Second Graders will bring a beautiful gift of song and candlelight to the community. We have sometimes shared our Lucia celebration with community organizations like the Swedish American Museum. This integrates with the 2nd grade curriculum which usually includes stories of the saints.

Winter Music Festival

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 7:00pm, in the CWS Auditorium
Musical offerings from students and faculty to the community, for 1st grade and older. Parents are welcome to attend.

As a gift from our students, to our community, this song-filled event is a fun and beautiful evening of music and choral entertainment. The music program builds toward this opportunity for the students to sing en masse in varied groups, rounds and other choral arrangements. Traditional and holiday-themed songs are presented to paint the spirit of the season.

Chanukah

Wednesday, Dec. 21, studied/celebrated in the CWS classrooms.
Chanukah is also a festival of light and many classes observe the event, its ritual and its history with story, song, and the lighting of the menorah. The Jewish festivals are especially celebrated in the grade school along with studies of the Hebrew Bible in the 3rd grade class curriculum.

4th Festival of Light

Tuesday, Jan. 3, 8:15am, Auditorium
As a culmination of the season allowing community reflection upon returning from Winter break, the 11th grade presents a eurythmy performance for ages 3 & older. Parents are welcome to attend.


Rocket Club Alumnus: A Boy and His “Bottle Rocket”

Chicago Waldorf School alumni Jackson Lubin (grade school class of 2011) and current parent Judy Lubin were featured on the Science Channel in a show called Large, Dangerous Rocket Ships. Over Labor Day weekend, Jackson and Judy travelled to Kansas to take part in a national rocket launch and “odd rocket” competition. The challenge of the competition is to turn an ordinary object into a rocket.

Making an “odd rocket” is much more difficult than making a regular rocket; ordinary objects are not meant to fly!

As the main engineer and design expert on the team, Jackson put his skills to the test for this project. The team started with a 5 foot tall, 2 foot wide garbage can & recycling container shaped like a soda bottle. After 10 months of hard work, the finished rocket weighed over 100 pounds and was skillfully engineered to be aerodynamically stable. With the help of 10 pounds of solid rocket fuel, the soda bottle soared to over 4,000 feet and clinched second place in the competition. To learn more information about the project, visit Science Discovery and JLRockets.

Sumbitted by Judy Lubin, Chicago Waldorf School Parent/Rocket Club Advisor / Photo by Sather Ranum


Slide Show of CWS at Pride Parade

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Chicago Waldorf School celebrates at the 42nd Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday June 26th, 2011


Support the Legacy of 2011’s New Graduates!

Welcome our newest Alumni, the Class of 2011

Graduation is a special time of transition, of growth, of marshaling resources and of striking out in exploration of new opportunities. Each year, graduation brings a vivid reminder of the journey CWS students have made to this culminating point. It is a time to reflect on the relationships that have sustained and nurtured the students and their families throughout their growth and development. Its also a time when the role of community takes on an added significance as many graduates make the transition to join–or form–new communities of support, even as they cherish and reaffirm ties to their old ones.

Honor the history, spirit and experiences of our graduating students with a gift to Annual Fund today!

Thank you to all who have already made a contribution to the 2011 Annual Fund. If you haven’t yet, it’s not too late! The Annual Fund closes June 30th. Honor the legacy of our 2011 graduates by contributing to this year’s Annual Fund. Your gift will make a difference!

Change a Life. Give a gift to support future graduates.
Click Here to recognize an alumnus via Annual Fund

Reasons to Give:

  • HONOR the developmental process for future generations of CWS Graduates
  • FEEL GOOD about simply giving back
  • REPAY the rewards you gained from our Festivals and Family Education Programs
  • RECEIVE the benefit of a tax-deductible contribution
  • BUILD on the legacy of your own experiences at Waldorf
  • SUPPORT our financial aid program
  • HELP offset our annual operating expenses
  • ENABLE the next generation of students to receive the benefits of a Waldorf Education


CWS Alumnus- Olympic Skater, Ben Agosto

Chicago Waldorf School alumnus, Ben Agosto’s professional skating career included earning the honor of competing in the 2006 Winter Olympics where he and his partner, Tanith Belbin, took the silver medal in ice dancing.

Some of his former Waldorf teachers met him recently while he was in Chicago on a professional tour. This portrait shows Ben with Ro Hart (left) and Arlene Brennan (right), both former CWS early childhood teachers. Arlene was Ben’s kindergarten teacher when he was 5 years old (in 1987) at Chicago Waldorf School. Now he is 28 years old and an Olympic champion. Ben was pleased to reconnect with his former Early Childhood teachers.

Here are some facts about Ben’s athletic career:

Benjamin Alexandro Agosto (born January 15, 1982) is an American ice dancer. With partner Tanith Belbin, Agosto is the 2006 Olympic silver medalist, a four-time World medalist, the 2004–2006 Four Continents champion, and 2004–2008 U.S. champion.

In 2010, Agosto & Belbin were ranked 4th in the world by the International Skating Union (ISU).

At the 2010 United States Figure Skating Championships, they were nominated to represent the United States at the 2010 Winter Olympics, and ended up 4th in ice dancing.

Benjamin Agosto was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Northbrook, Illinois. He moved to Detroit, Michigan in June 1998 in order to train under Igor Shpilband. He is the son of a Puerto Rican father and a Jewish mother whose family has roots in Romania and Russia. Agosto attended grade school at the Chicago Waldorf School before moving to Michigan where he graduated with honors from Groves High School in June 2000.

In 2004, Belbin and Agosto won the U.S. Championship and repeated four times. At Nationals in 2005, the last year of the 6.0 system, Belbin & Agosto earned straight perfect sixes for presentation in their free dance. Of the 30 6.0s given out in ice dance at US Nationals, Belbin & Agosto have 14 of them. Their 6.0 count is second only to Michelle Kwan’s career 38 at nationals.

In February 2005, Belbin and Agosto organized and performed in their own figure skating benefit show, Skate Aid for Tsunami Relief, which raised more than $37,000 for Red Cross relief efforts. Belbin and Agosto went on to win the Olympic silver medal in ice dance on February 20, 2006. They were the first American ice dance team since 1976 (the first year ice dancing was contested at the Olympics) to win an Olympic medal.

See the source for these career facts.


A Raw Milk Warrior

Michael Schmidt—farmer and raw milk advocate— fights for the right “to eat what we want.”

Michael Schmidt’s grandfather was part of the Agriculture course with Rudolf Steiner in 1924 and his family fled their ancestral biodynamic farm in Germany in the middle of the night from occupying Russian troops at the end of World War II. Michael has fought tirelessly for the rights of farmers and consumers in Ontario for the better part of a generation.

In November 2006, Michael Schmidt’s farm in Durham, two hours north of Toronto, was raided by over 20 armed officers.

They weren’t looking for drugs or guns. 

They were looking for milk.

Michael’s crime: Selling and distributing raw milk.

Schmidt, a graduate of the Waldorf school in Stuttgart, has seen his share of trouble with the government over his fight for consumer freedom. He saw his farm threatened and his livelihood disintegrate as a result of the first “Milk War” in the 1990s. He had to sell 500 of the 600 acres of his family farm to pay his legal bills. The toll on his family was immense, but he built his business back up by partnering his customers with his cows (he actually “sold” each teat for $300) in a cow-sharing program. His customers owned the cows and he took care of them. However, it was still illegal in Canada to sell or distribute raw milk to consumers.

Michael Schmidt’s opposition to the raw milk ban put him on a collision course with the Ontario government, and has set off a public debate that touched upon a whole host of issues: the immense power of Canada’s $12-billion dairy industry and the challenges facing small, independent farmers; the increasingly controversial nature of large-scale factory farming methods; and a growing public unease about the way most of our food products are processed before they reach us.

After the raid in 2006, government pressure continued and after $80,000 in legal bills, Schmidt decided to represent himself in court in the second “Milk War.” In his own words, his goal had always been to be “a happy farmer.” The most recent court judgment acquitted him of any crimes and allows him to continue his farm’s raw milk sales in Ontario.

Despite a government appeal to try to overturn the judgment, Michael and his supporters remain confident that their freedom to drink raw milk will not only be supported in Ontario, but will spread to the rest of Canada. A group of highly respected constitutional lawyers has taken up Michael’s case in the appeal, leaving him free from fighting the legal battle against the appeal himself.

Michael, whose son Markus is helping with the cows on their farm in Durham, is busy traveling across Canada and the US to support the many initiatives and farmers who are trying to enshrine their right to drink raw milk in a vast array of proposals that are coming before legislative bodies this year. Many of these farmers remain under constant threat from the government and the dairy industry. Schmidt insists that this fight is about more than just milk; it is about the fundamental right “to eat what we want.”

In September 2010, a film about Michael Schmidt’s courageous battle premiered in Toronto. Milk War was co-produced for the ichannel by Stornoway Productions and The Path to Gimli and features an award-winning production staff.

The Bovine (Michael Schmidt’s raw milk blogsite) is a great place to start for more information about his campaign to guarantee the right to drink raw milk.

This article is shared from WaldorfTeachers.com Michael Schmidt talked with them during a regional biodynmamic conference in January. He told them about his raw milk campaign and shared the recently released documentary about his work entitled “Milk War.”


Parent/Child Program featured on CBS 2 News!

News segment airs Tuesday March 1st at 10pm

Today the children in our youngest program were featured in a special profile segment being developed by CBS (channel 2) Network News & WBBM News Radio. News anchor Mary Kay Kleist brought a cameraman and visited one of our Parent/Child classrooms. Ms. Kleist interviewed parents, children, and Waldorf teacher, Susan Bruck, about the special qualities of the Waldorf approach to support child development from infant through 3 year old phases of growth and learning.

CBS2 news had been researching a story on the value of programs that foster child socialization and focus on the will and independence of the child. Their investigations led them to the Waldorf Parent-Child program as an exemplary model that recognizes and fosters the child’s growing free will to explore, determine and effect their environment.

Sitting around a finely appointed table watching the children forming—and then eating—hand-made fresh baked bread, Mary Kay Kleist, recognized the CWS program as an extraordinary model that demonstrated constructive, engaged interactions between the children and adults. “This is one of the only programs we’ve found in the Midwest that mirrors the Resource Infant Educare programs on the West coast that we were inspired by,” Ms. Kleist said. “Waldorf is special—just like these programs—in that you treat the child like a real individual with choices and self-agency; and not just an object to be carried around and spoon-fed to.”

We are very proud to be receiving national attention and recognition for our Parent/Child program. If you are interested to see the full news report, it will be aired this Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 in the Channel 2 CBS Network News program that starts at 10pm.

Please tell your friends to tune in as well! Tuesday, March 1st at 10pm / Channel 2 News

If you are interested in learning more about our Parent/Child program, please contact program coordinator, Jennifer Zielinski at jzielinski@chicagowaldorf.org


Waldorf Education: Alumni In the News

His engineering talent has taken one Waldorf graduate all over the country;

one day, his ideas could be flown in space.


Michael Maylahn, 19, a 2009 graduate of The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs, recently led a team of engineering students in creating a prototype Mars rover at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. A sophomore at Santa Monica College in California, Maylahn was recommended by a teacher to participate in the project, in which just 89 students from across the country were accepted into NASA’s National Community College Aerospace Scholars program after completing a rigorous months-long application process.

To qualify, Maylahn spent about 800 hours last summer completing four web-based research assignments in which he drew up a plan for a hypothetical robotics mission to Mars — in addition to holding down a full-time job and taking an online class. His plan — including a financial proposal, timeline and sketch of the rover — was accepted, and the process culminated in Maylahn flying from California to Alabama for the three-day, hands-on experience at the NASA center earlier this fall.

There, he led an 11-member team of students from throughout the U.S. to put their rover plan into action, with only 30 hours to get it all done. They competed against 33 other students in Alabama, while a separate group was sent to compete at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

“We had to create a business model for a robotics firm that would hypothetically create and sell a Mars rover to NASA for a mission,” Maylahn said. “Then we were given a box of robotics parts and actually built the rover.”

Maylahn tapped into his natural leadership abilities to encourage team bonding, which is what he believes gave his team the edge to win the competition.

“I divvied up the tasks and helped people if they needed help. The most important part was briefing everyone every couple of hours so they knew what everyone else was doing. As a result, it brought our team close together,” Maylahn said.

The “think outside the box” mantra of his Waldorf School education also played a key role in his success as the team leader, Maylahn said. Though his forté has always been math and science, Maylahn said he was grateful to his teachers at the Waldorf School for helping him strengthen his weaker areas, like writing and art. “That made me more well-balanced,” he said. “The more well-balanced you are, the more things you’re able to achieve. I also feel like I have a really good idea of who I am, and at 19 years old, I feel like most of my peers don’t have that.”

Ultimately, Maylahn hopes to combine his love for math and science with his natural leadership abilities and one day run his own robotics firm. “I feel like I earned so much from this experience, (and got) a glimpse of what I want to do in my career,” he said.

Source profile by MAREESA NICOSIA, published by The Saratogian