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Waldorf School of Cape Cod Expands Its Early Childhood Program for Fall

September 4, 2005 -- The newly expanded early childhood program at the Waldorf School
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 of Cape Cod welcomes its youngest students to school this month. In addition to offering grades 1 through 8, the school—now in its 21st year—has added another class to its early childhood offerings.

 “  This might include wet-on-wet watercolor painting or wool felting to create a simple finger puppet or felted ball.  
There is a nursery, a mixed age kindergarten, and a “traditional” age kindergarten. Although the curriculum among the three classes differs slightly based on the children's age and developmental stage, all three classes are based on the three R's of Waldorf early childhood education
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: Rhythm, Repetition, and Reverence.

“Working with young children is one of the greatest gifts,” states Claire Anacreon Small, who will be the nursery teacher. “The children have so much to teach us about wonder, being in the moment, and joy.”

Mrs. Small is new to the school this year. She taught at the Waldorf-inspired Plum Hill School on Martha's Vineyard for a year prior to home-schooling her daughter for kindergarten last year. Now a Falmouth resident, Claire explains that the program follows a daily, weekly, and seasonal rhythm.

“Rhythm allows a child to relax because they know what to expect. Mondays in my classroom, for example, will be days with water-based activities. This might include wet-on-wet watercolor painting or wool felting to create a simple finger puppet or felted ball. The following Monday, the children might dye the felted balls using plant dyes such as marigolds or onion skins. We really strive to create a calm, nurturing, and home-like environment for the children. I think that parents can see what's happening here and find elements of what we do that they would like to try at home.”

Also joining the early childhood faculty this year is Jeanne Rose, who is returning to Cape Cod after 33 years in Toronto. Ms. Rose, who resides in Monument Beach, comes with 10 years of experience in a Waldorf school and will be teaching the mixed age kindergarten. Her overall goal is to help children grow to their fullest potential.

“In the early childhood,” Ms. Rose explains, “we're not educating the mind; we're educating the body. This is done through movement, play, and imagination. We, as teachers, must work in a way that is worthy of imitation since the children are learning through imitation at this developmental stage. We work to foster security, love, gratitude, and respect for others and the environment—whether it's the woods we explore next to the school or the things in our classroom.”

Rounding out the early childhood faculty is Nancy Garvey of Wareham, who has been teaching at the school for 6 years and holds a Masters degree in Waldorf early childhood education
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.

In recalling her first experience at the Waldorf School, she says, “I attended the school's annual Holiday Fair, and when I walked into the kindergarten room, it took by breath away. I knew right then and there that some how, some way my children would attend the school.” Her children are currently enrolled at the school in 5th and 7th grades. Mrs. Garvey is excited about the upcoming school year and reports that “Our early childhood team has never been stronger. We have highly skilled, educated, and experienced teachers whose work will be complemented by mature and equally talented early childhood assistants.”

In addition to the regular early childhood program, the school has also expanded its popular parent-child program. These classes meet weekly for sessions lasting 8 to 10 weeks. Three age groups are served: birth to 9 months, 9 to 18 months, and 18 months to 3-1/2 years. A Saturday session is being offered for the first time this fall. Registration for this program is still underway, although some classes have reached capacity.

On Saturday, September 17, from 9:00-11:00am, the school invites parents accompanied by their young children to explore the early childhood classrooms, meet early childhood faculty, and take in a short Waldorf early childhood story. Pre-registration is requested but not required. To register for this event or to obtain further information about the school, contact the school's Enrollment Director, Meredith Hunnibell, at 508-759-7499. Parent-child registration forms, early childhood applications, and more information about the school and its philosophy is also available at the school's web site, www.waldorfschoolofcapecod.org.

About the Waldorf School of Cape Cod:

The Waldorf School of Cape Cod is a non-sectarian, 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The school is a member of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America and is affiliated with the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America. It is located in the historic Coady School building at 85 Cotuit Road in Bourne. The school offers parent-child classes, a nursery, kindergarten, and grades 1 through 8. It serves over 100 children from Bourne, Falmouth, Sandwich, Plymouth, Kingston, Wareham, Hyannis, Mashpee, Barnstable, Harwich, Dennis, Dennisport, Mattapoisett, Middleboro, Fairhaven, Wrentham, Mansfield, and Rhode Island.

Contact:

Meredith Hunnibell, Enrollment Director
Waldorf School of Cape Cod
85 Cotuit Road
Bourne, MA 02532
508-759-7499


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