Issue: #4 April 2008

Dear Friends,

In early February the Colegio Yeccan School in Guanajuato, Mexico, was required by the Secretary of Education of Guanajuato to take part in a competition in singing the Mexican national anthem.  A bit reluctantly, Michelle Marin offered to perform it with her sixth grade, which was known for its strong musical talents.  But at least twenty children had to take part, so she also enlisted the help of the fourth and fifth grades. The Waldorf students were the smallest group that competed, and the only a capella group. They were also three times the first place winners in their school zone, then in their state region.  Michelle Marin writes: "I had to rush through my block on Rome to compensate for the practices and presentations, but it was worth it.  Our children obviously sang from their souls; the difference in their voices and the others was notable.  This spurred a huge vote of confidence in the curriculum and has served as a healing agent during a difficult year.  Out of the mouths of babes..."


Frances Kane            Patrice Maynard                   Michael Soule Administration           Development & Outreach       Programs & Activities


Research Study Shows
Positive Effects of Art on Intelligence

After three years of research, cognitive neuroscientists from seven leading universities in the United States released a report showing that the arts help the brain increase function, develop in segments that would not be developed in any other way, and that different art forms (dance, visual arts, music, etc.) "light up" different parts for the brain and cultivate creativity and memory in different ways that are unattainable without the artistic stimulation.

Read more: Why Waldorf Works


Olympics for Peace

On Sunday, March 30, at the edge of Gan Hashlosha in Israel, approximately 200 children aged 11 to 12, all of them students at Waldorf schools, participated in the Peace Olympics. They were dressed in white robes, and competed in the pentathlon, the five main sports of the ancient Olympics: the javelin, discus, wrestling, running and long jump. The children spent three days in the area, slept in tents and trained energetically. Yet the event did not emphasize competitive values and winning, but rather the beauty of movement and the harmony among contestants.

Read the complete article by journalist Ariel Rubinsky:
Why Waldorf Works
Book Review
How the Epidemic of Hyper-Parenting Is Endangering Childhood
By Carl Honoré
HarperOne April 2008

Under Pressure: Rescuing Our Children from the Culture of Hyper-Parenting is a far-ranging and page-turning investigation into what it means to be a parent in the age of anxiety. It is also an appeal to slow down, trust our instincts, and put the child back in childhood.

During his upcoming national book tour Carl Honore, bestselling author of In Praise of Slowness, will speak at the Portland Waldorf School on April 25. He will also be hosted by the Parsifal Waldorf School at the Ottawa Writers Festival on April 16.

"This book is not another parenting manual. My aim is to find a way to tame the anxiety surrounding children," Honoré explains. "That entails rethinking what it means to be a child and what it means to be an adult and finding a way to reconcile the two in the twenty-first century."

Read more: Why Waldorf Works


Waldorf High School Awarded Community Grant to Offer Green Chemistry Class

Waldorf High School of Massachusetts Bay, located in Belmont, MA has received an award from the Belmont Cultural Council to fund an after-school class introducing green chemistry to middle school students.

The class is scheduled for April 10, 2008, and will feature chemists from the Beyond Benign Foundation who have been coming to the high school for the past several years to teach a morning main lesson to ninth graders during their chemistry block.

Read more: Why Waldorf Works

About Us
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The Association for Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) is a not-for-profit membership organization that supports independent Waldorf schools, initiatives, and teacher training institutes, and promotes Waldorf education throughout North America.

Waldorf education is a holistic and developmental approach that integrates academic, practical and artistic elements as it addresses the changing needs of the growing child and maturing adolescent. Waldorf schools engage the heart and hands as well as the mind with a lively, experiential curriculum rich in the basics, literature, history, languages, the arts, the social and natural sciences and technology.

AWSNA provides leadership to schools by facilitating resources, networks and research as they strive towards excellence and build healthy school communities. The Association performs functions that its member schools and institutes could not do alone, including outreach and advocacy, accreditation and school support services, professional development activities, research and publications.

Please contact us if you have any questions about AWSNA or this newsletter.

In This Issue
Art and Intelligence
Olympics for Peace
Book Review
Green Chemistry Award
About Us
Quick Links