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.
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.
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.
Full Day Workshops: Sat & Sun, November 5th & 6th
A former Montessori Pre-school teacher, with a Masters in Human Development and over a decade of clinical experience, Janet Oliver will present a workshop on the eight primary reflexes and their development and integration. Primary reflexes are instinctual movement patterns which help us to survive. These include the finger grasp reflux of a newborn or the startle ‘Moro’ reflex of a baby. They are not meant to last a lifetime, but rather organically integrate into our central nervous system. Children and adults who still retain elements of these reflexes can be frustrated because they are constantly being subverted by interfering instinctual responses. These reflexes may affect a person’s learning, behaviors, and well being.
This workshop is for any parent who would like insight into their child’s neurological development.
Janet L. Oliver has been in private, clinical practice in neurodevelopment and reflex integration for thirteen years. As a certified HANDLE Practitioner, her passion is in sharing the sensory motor developmental model for lifelong learning and efficient functioning. She works with public, Waldorf and Montessori Schools for teacher trainings and helping students with developmental delays.
The Janet Oliver workshop will take place at the Chicago Waldorf School in the Upper Eurythmy room. It is designed to assist body workers, occupational and physical therapists, teachers, parents and caregivers. Follow this link for the registration form for this workshop. For more information, please contact CWS Educational Support Teacher Cynthia Trevillion.
Braving the cool, wet weather last weekend, my two-year-old daughter and I attended the Early Childhood Fall Festival as guests this past weekend. Upon arriving, we were greeted with warm smiles and lots of joyous laughter. My daughter gleefully lined up among Waldorf school children to make beautiful banner flags for the upcoming Michelmas Assembly. Judging from the active turnout, the rain didn’t hold anyone back, nor did it spoil any moods.
Susan Bruck, Early Childhood faculty member, has been participating in the Fall Festival for over 11 years. She explained that in celebration of Rudolf Steiner’s 150th birthday, the Early Childhood program gifted 150 flags strung into banners for the assembly. Children proudly stamped leaves and various patterns on linen cloth and selected fall foliage to weave among the flags for decoration. As the banners took shape, they were stunning to see strung among the bushes to dry.
In between bites of apple cake, corn muffins and cider, parents and staff swapped summer stories strengthening the already vibrant and diverse community. Fathers tossed around balls with children in the parking lot next to the school. The littlest kids colored with sidewalk chalk and all wiggled to violin music and song as provided by Felipe Tobar (EC teacher, Nancy Matson’s son-in-law) . It was a wonderful kickoff for a new school year and fall season; one the children fully enjoyed and that I think Rudolf Steiner would be most proud of.
Submitted by: Lori Browder, CWS Marketing Volunteer
Puppetry Workshop for CWS Parents and Friends
Friday, October 7, 8:15am – 12:00noon
Join us for an exploration into the delightful and meaningful world of storytelling and puppetry for young children. We will create a needle-felted pumpkin house and a hedgehog, and with them develop a magical seasonal puppet story that will warm hearts and help children feel that all is right with the world. You will leave this workshop with many ideas, and a puppet story ready to share with your children! This workshop welcomes beginners and seasoned storytellers alike.
All children love stories and a puppet show!
Suzanne Down is Director of Juniper Tree School of Story and Puppetry Arts based in Boulder, Colorado. She travels internationally bringing delightful workshops like this one to schools and other organizations! Learn more about her work at www.junipertreepuppets.com.
The Puppetry & Storytelling Workshop cost is $35 plus $10 for materials – Pre-registration is required. To pre-pay and register please contact the Main Office.
For Questions, contact Susan Bruck, firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-465-2662, ext. 8301