March 20 marked the Spring Equinox and official first day of spring!
Please RSVP via email to attend. This is an open community event, so feel free to invite others. A $20 suggested donation per family will be collected at the door.
starts this weekend!
SATURDAY MOVEMENT + MINDFULNESS
A SPECIAL CLASS FOR AGES 3-7
SATURDAYS (3/23-4/13) 11:00AM - 12:00PM
($80, 4 CLASSES)
Led by Danyelle Vilmenay, students flow through an imaginative journey of interactive storytelling and renewing yoga poses while practicing peaceful movements, calming techniques, and gratitude. At the end of every class, students use fine motor skills to create beautiful origami art, which promotes hands-on focus and mimics nature.
Peaceful Parenting Across Cultures
Back in the 1960s, Jean Briggs traveled above the Arctic Circle, persuaded an Inuit family to "adopt" her, and made a landmark discovery about the nature of human anger. She discovered something remarkable going on in these families: The adults had an extraordinary ability to control their anger. When a child in the camp acted in anger — hits someone or had a tantrum — there was no punishment. Instead, the parents would wait for the child to calm down and then, in a peaceful moment, do something that Shakespeare would understand all too well: They put on a drama. The idea was to act our what the child experienced in order to lead the child to develop rational thinking. They also used storytelling to discipline. These were oral stories passed down from one generation of Inuit to the next, designed to sculpt kids' behaviors in the moment. Sometimes even save their lives.
The culture continues to view scolding — or even speaking to children in an angry voice — as inappropriate. With little kids, you often think they're pushing your buttons, but that's not what's going on. They're upset about something, and you have to figure out what it is. When we yell at a child - or even threaten with something like “I'm starting to get angry,” we're training the child to yell. We're teaching them that yelling solves problems. In contrast, parents who control their own anger are helping their children learn to do the same. Kids learn emotional regulation from us. These approaches develop self-control, which seems to be something the Inuit have known for hundreds, perhaps even, thousands of years.
Performed by Ms. En’s 2nd/3rd Grade Class
Last week, the second and third graders performed a heartfelt rendition of the Native American legend “Jumping Mouse,” for which they have been practicing diligently. The story of Jumping Mouse tells of a small mouse who dreams of traveling to a storied faraway land of beauty. Jumping Mouse gathers his confidence and declares, “If there’s hope of ever someday seeing lands so bright and far, I must leave the place I know. Act! Stop wishing on a star!” On his journey he meets kind and generous Frog, who awakens in him unwavering courage and hope, carries him across the deep river, and tells him, “Always keep hope alive within you and you will know strength in your heart, faith in your plans, and courage for the truth to show.”
Across the great desert, Jumping Mouse meets Fat Mouse, who invites him to stay in his home. Though Fat Mouse yearned long ago to find the faraway lands, he instead chose a life of safety, warmth, and comfort in his house. Jumping mouse stays with him awhile, enticed by the ease of his lifestyle, but when Fat Mouse is eaten by Snake, Jumping Mouse realizes that he has confused safety with stagnancy, and journeys on.
Over the mountains and into the plains he travels, where he comes across Bison, who has been blinded and is crying. Jumping Mouse gives Bison a new name, “Eyes of a Mouse,” and with the words his own eyesight is bestowed upon Bison. However, now blind himself, Jumping mouse begins to lose hope, fearing that his great journey has come to an end. Bison carries small Jumping Mouse across the remaining plains with his powerful legs, and his generosity rekindles Jumping Mouse’s hope.
Jumping Mouse next meets Wolf, who is weeping, having lost his sense of smell after misusing the gifts mother nature had given him. Jumping Mouse tells him, “Hope within you must not fade! What’s left of me will amend this debt you’ve paid. From now on you will be called ‘Nose of a Mouse!’,” and gives Wolf his sense of smell. In return for this favor the wolf carries Jumping Mouse up and over the mountains and lays him under a star.
Jumping Mouse finally arrives at the faraway lands that he has been seeking, though finds himself surrounded by beauty with neither the sight nor smell to experience it. He then hears the familiar voice of frog: “Jumping Mouse, your journey’s ended. The hope within you has led you to this place. For your courage and your hope strong, you have now a new life found! I have one last name to give you. Jumping Mouse you are no more. Perseverance has transformed you. Generosity made you more! From now on you will be called Eagle! Eagle shall your new name be!” Jumping Mouse transforms into a great Eagle and soars above the beautiful lands, understanding that generosity, courage, and hope can change all things.
Thank you Ms. En for bringing this story to life in our children’s hearts.
Thank you parents for sewing all of the costumes and props.
Thank you second and third grade students for a wonderful performance!
NEXT Parent Evening
Whole School Parent Meeting
Wednesday, May 1
SAVE THE DATE
Kim John Payne Lecture: The Overwhelm of Boys
Thursday, March 21
Friday, March 22
Good coffee. Good conversation. Downstairs after drop-off.
LAST DAY TO DONATE
Friday, March 22
Monday Morning Eurythmy Mini-Session (for Parents)
Monday, March 25
A quick 15-minute eurythmy session with Brigida to start your week.
Monday Book Club
Monday, March 25
School Closed- Spring Break
Friday, April 19 - Friday, April 26
Real Estate Update
Over the past two weeks, much has happened in the real estate world of New Amsterdam. This is the brief version of where we are now. We are still waiting on 160 Christopher Street due to a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy not being in place of yet; this has completely stalled the negotiations. It may even end the negotiations if they cannot get a TCO in place by May or so, which is about the time we feel would be the last possible moment to begin work to ready the space for the fall. We have continued to investigate other options all winter and one key options has returned to us: 41 Ave B, previously a Montessori school, is now available and the landlords are willing to discuss a two-year lease, something that was off the table a few months ago. So, we are now beginning negotiations with them. A two year lease would allow us to max out the space in terms of classrooms and it gives us time to find a permanent location for the whole school. Finally, a third option has come to light, and that is the option of staying where we are and growing a third kindergarten within our current space. Impossible you say? We thought so too, until creativity struck! The kindergarten teachers have been working for a while on a plan to have the students outside more often, maybe twice per morning. By tweaking that schedule a bit, we would be able to have two classes use the Juniper room, during alternating times, and both have lunch together at the end of the morning. (If you are a kindergarten parent, you'll hear more from your teachers on this idea since it is possible we will implement it whether or not the rest of the school stays put.)
Please keep your eyes open for a meeting next week or the week after for those interested in joining the next stage of the Campus Development Committee and/or taking part in more discussion about how we are growing. There is much to discuss on the finer points of these options, and we look forward to gathering an engaged group of parents to plan together.
Donate your gently used children’s clothing and shoes, baby clothing, and maternity wear as we prepare for our annual spring clothing sale, a benefit for El Jardin Garden. Drop off in the lobby.
Please drop off by next Friday, March 22
Sense of Warmth
Children who live in an atmosphere of love and warmth, and who have around them truly good examples to imitate, are living in their proper element. -Rudolf Steiner
Continuing our discussion on the middle senses, today we focus on the sense of warmth. Fostering physical and emotional warmth in children helps them to better integrate on physical, developmental, emotional and spiritual levels. Only when a child is sufficiently warm can their energy be used to support the developing brain, heart, liver, lungs, and other organs. Warmth also supports comfort and connection with ourselves, fosters empathy towards others, and, perhaps most importantly, allows children to meet, digest, and properly transform the world around them.
Below is an interesting article by Dr. Adam Blanning of the Denver Center for Anthroposophical Therapies exploring these ideas from a clinical point of view.
Summer waldorf courses
for Teachers and Parents
June 23-July 5
Wilton, New Hampshire
Did you know that your Amazon purchases could be raising funds for our school? Shop through Amazon Smile to easily help our school:
1. Go to smile.amazon.com
2. Choose New Amsterdam School as your selected charity
3. Shop as normal and a percentage of what you spend is automatically donated to our school!