Waldorf School Communities from around the Continent participated in a service trip to Lakota Waldorf School in April
Pine Ridge Oglala Reservation, SD- AWSNA's 2nd Annual Alumni Service Weekend was a miraculous success in that it accomplished all the ambitious goals it set for itself! 53 volunteers accomplished a deck, an outhouse, beautiful silk curtains, a playhouse, a loft, garden bed prep and dozens of toys for the little ones!
Heartfelt gratitude to volunteers from these schools:
Anchorage Waldorf School
Waldorf School of Baltimore
Beaver Run/Camphill Special School
Chicago Waldorf School
City of Lakes Waldorf School
Detroit Waldorf School
Four Winds Waldorf School
Hawthorne Valley School
Kimberton Waldorf School
Orchard Valley School
Susquehanna Waldorf School
Waldorf Institute of Southern California
Waldorf School of New Orleans
Westside Waldorf School
A Child's Garden of Thyme
Youth Initiative High School
Thanks also to Tabor White Buffalo for fabulous coordinating. AWSNA was represented by Patrice Maynard, Frances Kane, Sarah Dinan, Trish Lynne, and Anamyn Turowski, as well as all the Board members. We also send a HUGE shout-out to volunteer-extraordinaire David Maynard for incredible planning and execution and to Bob Amis, his second in command, who trucked the requisite tools by van from Minnesota on top of steady hard work. And Lowe's Lumber was very generous with their contributions, without which much of the construction would have been almost impossible.
"Pilamaya ye" in Lakota means "You make me feel grateful." This year of such fine publicity and continued resiliance in the strong work in our schools is remarkable. Pilamaya ye, all parents, administrators, and teachers for your work, your commitment and your sacrifice to make Waldorf Education and genuine freedom possible for the children of North America.
The Lakota Waldorf School was founded in 1992 by a group of Lakota parents committed to a vision for their children's education that includes traditional Lakota values. Located in the heart of the Pine Ridge Oglala Reservation, the school "strives to initiate the educational process while maintaining the Lakota language and culture. Our goal is to empower our Lakota children so they will create positive active futures for themselves and their community."
The Pine Ridge Reservation where the school is situated within the Shannon County where the per-capita income makes it the second poorest county in the USA with an average annual income of $3,700.00 and an unemployment rate of 80%. Residents suffer from serious illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and chronic health conditions at levels vastly disproportionate to the national average. The life expectancy rate on this reservation is 48 years for men and 52 years for women. The school dropout rate is over 50%, the incidence of teen suicide is 150% above the national average. Almost 50% of the residents on the Pine Ridge Reservation live under the poverty level. Even in the year 2011 there are still residents on the reservation without plumbing facilities, without kitchen facilities and no electricity. The Lakota people are much, much more than that, however! Despite these harsh conditions, despite of poverty and suppression, the Lakota people still proudly live a rich culture, work toward maintaining the cultural heritage and toward the revival of their language.
Learn more about the Lakota Waldorf School on their website, and more about the service weekend event on the AWSNA Alumni Corner or on the www.whywaldorfworks.org site or friend us on facebook.
This is the second annual alumni service week sponsored by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). Last year members of the Waldorf community met at the Waldorf School of New Orleans. Projects there included lazure painting of classroom walls, building a large storage shed and a porch for play. Volunteers also designed and built a playground. Several staff members from New Orleans are joining the Lakota service weekend in gratitude for what was accomplished at their school last year.
Read more: Why Waldorf Works.