In My Winter Garden
by Holly Nguyen, Lead Teacher in Morning Garden
In my winter garden, walking through the snow.
Snow is falling, falling, falling,
Down to earth below.
Morning Garden families gathered at Little Cat in December to celebrate the coming of winter. Children and adults hiked, fed chickadees, had sled rides, and enjoyed the snowy woods. Afterwards everyone warmed up in the Outdoor Centre with hot apple cider, warm tea, and delicious snacks.
The day ended with children, parents and teachers gathering for a closing circle of winter songs and verses. It was a magical day in the winter wonderland!
Notes from Grade 2/3 Class
By Brittany Shannon, Lead Teacher, Grade 2/3
As our feet crunch over the crisp, white ground, large greyish-violet clouds roll across the sky and remind us that King Winter has not yet finished his work for the year. Much like a painter’s fantasy, the playground at Mulberry was transformed over the holidays by King Winter and his silvery magic. Pelted by rain that froze into ice then layered with fresh snow, the playground appeared much like a glittering jewel. Icicles dangled like crystals from boughs and branches – allowing not only evergreens to be festively ornamented.
Nestled into our warm homes with food and drink suitable for royalty, many of us looked out at this wintery landscape and wondered how our furry and feathered friends were fairing. From frosted windows one could see foxes stiffly out of joint from leaping nose-first into ice-crusted drifts for field mice. Squirrels cheerfully chattered away, snuggly wrapped with their bushy tails. Daintily poised, birds carefully alighted onto slippery branches to peck away at ice covered sumac berries.
Many of us began wondering how we could help our forest friends whose homes and food supplies had been severely affected by the weather. This week, the grade two and three class began imagining ways to help sustain wild neighbourhood animals. Some of the suggestions made by the grade twos and threes have been posted below:
Eager to find more ways of helping out our animal friends, the grade two/three class would love to hear any of the suggestions that you or your family have! Hope you continue to keep warm and have fun in our outdoor winter wonderland!
- Keep birdfeeders well filled, especially if squirrels like to dine from you birdhouse too! If not, sprinkle some seed on the ground for the squirrels to nibble on.
- Provide a variety of bird food for different types of birds to feed on (“some might be vegetarians, others might be meat eaters”).
- Try not to disturb groups of animals huddled together for warmth.
Have you picked up your copy of the Mulberry Winter Fare cookbook? It is available in the office.
by Mary Pearson, Alumni Parent
I know when my children were at Mulberry School I wondered how they would fare when they moved into high school. My daughter, Jessica, attended Mulberry from junior kindergarden to grade 8. Hers was the first graduating class so I had no means of judging how the transition would be. My son, Sam, was four years behind her. He joined Mulberry in grade 4 and graduated from grade 8.
When my daughter moved into grade 9 at KCVI she found herself in a much larger social structure. What she found most difficult was finding friends that had a similar attitude. As she said: "they seem so much like babies". After a few weeks Jessica found her group at school and began to enjoy the year. She participated in the school musical and school athletics. Her academic preparation was excellent.. Academically she excelled. Jessica took a year off after high school to work at a women's centre in Africa and show cows. She is now in first year science at Queen's.
My son, Sam, moved to KCVI after grade 8. Sam, unlike Jessica, did not even notice the change. He remained unstressed and happy. His preparation (especially science!) was excellent. He is currently in grade 10, happy and doing well.
I am grateful for the foundation Waldorf education has given my children. I have two older children who excelled academically but there is no question that the emotional grounding my younger children received has been immensely beneficial. Socially, Mulberry allowed my children to find ways of negotiating relationships and valuing differences. Clearly, the expectation that everyone will learn and accomplish academically in a collaborative environment is key to long-term joy in learning. Both my children tell me I did the right thing to allow them a Waldorf education.
Morning Garden Parents at Little Cat
French at Mulberry
by Johanne Talbot, Lead French Teacher
Gr 1: Blanche Neige. The story of Snow White.
Gr 2-3 La crêpe dorée. The story of the crepe traveling around to escape grandpa wanting to eat it. Many animals want to eat it. One wiser will get to eat it! The story will be shared to another class for Mardi Gras in March. The class will make crêpes for all.
Gr 4-5: The Bear and the Giant Bird. I work with the class teacher on this bilingual play involving natives and Frenchman.
Gr 6-7-8: Aimé Guérin, a lumber jack from Kingston who traveled from Kingston to Quebec City, is told by me. A long poem: Les pins (pine trees) is worked by the class. Also verb conjugation! Reading: We are reading an excerpt from a book (title: Maire Calumet) about an adventure with Aimé Guérin.
See the little candles
Shining, shining bright
Oh, how we love to see their light
Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah
Come light the Menorah
Let's have a party
We'll all dance the horah
Chalkboard Art by Charlotte Schurer
Grade 5,6 & 7 Class Teacher
Changes to the Board
by Crista Thor, Board Chair
With deep gratitude for their contributions, the Board sadly said goodbye to Samantha Mussells, Ned Dickens and Peter Pain this year. We also said goodbye to Charlotte Schurer, who sat on the board as the faculty representative, and welcomed Mary Huggard in the same capacity. Also welcome to new members Jessica Bosso, Liz Grier and Anne Gaskin.
After Care is looking for a gently used food processor to make hummus! Please let Tim or Julia know if you have one to donate.
My name is Doug Vankoughnett. I am a second year Early Childhood Education student at St. Lawrence College. Between January 8th and April 17th I will be in the school Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays to complete my teaching practice.
Some of my interests include imaginative play, singing songs, and storytelling.
I’m excited to be at Mulberry. I look forward to learning as much as I can while working with the families and children here.
Feel free to stop me and say hello.
Yoga at Mulberry
Come join us for an excellent way to stretch, breathe and relax!
Yoga classes for all levels on Thursday afternoons for 6 weeks from 2-3:15pm in Mary's room.
If you are interested and would like more details please contact Kristie: firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy New Year!
Community Development Committee
Get – Together
Thursday January 30, 2014
7:30pm at Patricia’s house
You are invited to join us for a glass of wine and some great conversation. Bring your ideas about workshops, craft circle, information talks and of course, May Fair 2014.
Please email Patricia for details and/or directions at:
Meadow Garden icy winter fun
Annual Giving Campaign Update!
To date, our community has raised over $46,000 in this year's annual giving campaign. These funds will enable Mulberry to meet it's budgeted goal for the AGC, as well as cover it's projected deficit. Remaining funds will help to cover the required fire upgrades that the school is currently undertaking.
As a reminder, the campaign will run until the end of January to give families who are looking fora tax receipt in 2014 a chance to contribute, as well. For those who made your donations it the 2013 calendar year, please note that charitable receipts will be issued in February.
To everyone who has contributed, please accept a heartfelt thanks for your continued support of our school.
Parents making latkes for Hanukkah in Clover Garden
Chalk Drawing of Grade 4 and 5 Class Play, Mhairi Grey, Class Teacher Grade 4 and 5
Health and Safety Committee Update
by Peelu Hira, Administrative Head
You all must have noted the construction that started during the holidays and is nearly finished. The focus has been on improving safety at our lovely historic building in three areas: fire upgrades, lighting upgrades and repairing damage from ice build up on the roof. The following is a very brief synopsis and for details, please feel free to drop by the office.
Fire Upgrades to Comply with the Fire Department’s Inspection Orders
Thanks to Ewen MacKinnon (Owner of MacKinnon Construction and Morning Garden/Parent and Child Parent), who has been expertly managing all of this construction, we have nearly completed our compliance work including:
* Enclosures at the base of the basement stairwells (fire rated walls and self closing fire doors). We will be modifying the coat hooks and removing benches to follow the fire orders. In general, we are not allowing any furniture or combustibles in the hallways or stairwells.
* The French Office walls were torn down and reconstructed with fire rated walls and a self closing fire door. Many of you have lamented the loss of the beautiful artwork. Fear not, Jay Piercy managed to carefully save each panel after he and Tim Crease tore down the walls!
* Clover Garden bathroom construction has begun. The steel framing for walls and doors are in as well as the outside drywall. Still to come is plumbing and electrical work.
Many thanks to the numerous parents who came to prime and paint the walls.
Thanks to Rick Leduc (Owner of Leduc Electrical Services and Clover Garden/Parent and Child Parent) we have upgraded our lighting:
*There are 3 new exterior lights directly outside the main entryway.
*We have an additional light installed outside French Office to light up landing.
*The lights in the downstairs Grade 2/3 cloakroom have been replaced with lights with wire cages.
There was considerable leaking of the roof the week-end of 28-29 December. Many people came in to put buckets under the drips and came back many times to empty and replace the buckets. The drain on the roof was cleared of ice and this action as well as the plummeting temperatures stopped the leaking. However, as we all recall, on January 6th, there was quite a bit of rain (through the night and into the day) and the leaking started again. We had left the buckets under the areas affected, which helped. Channels were carved in the ice from the vents to the drain to direct the water and the leaking stopped. On January 7th, Rick Leduc’s team installed a heating coil around the roof vents and into the drain. The heating coil “kicks in” when the temperature hits close to minus 1 degree which prevents the ice from building up around the vents and drain. In the Spring, we will look at repairs and get an idea of how long we have with our current roof. Many thanks to the parents and staff who helped during this very challenging time.
Wednesday Bake Sales are back
Please note we will be having bake sales every other week in the main entrance! Our first one was held on January 15, hot chocolate and cookies were enjoyed my many. If you would to donate baked items please drop them off on Wednesday in the office. Thanks for your support!