Camphill Special School
by Kyra Walker Pearson, Mulberry Receptionist, and mother to Kezyan, Mulberry alumnus.
Camphill Special School is located in rural Chester County, Pennsylvania, about forty -five minutes west of Philadelphia. It was founded by Carlo and Ursel Pietzner in 1963 and is a member of the International Camphill Movement, an innovative leader in the fields of disabilities and intentional communities for seventy years. The school is accredited by AWSNA, Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, and a cutting -edge educational community serving children and youth with mild to severe developmental disabilities.
The Children's Village and School at Beaver Run consist of residential and day academic and pre-vocational programs, as well as therapeutic care for children in kindergarten through grade twelve. The Transition Program for young people ages eighteen to twenty-one is located at Beaver Farm. The Camphill School of Curative Education and Social Therapy offers up to a four year professional course of studies in anthroposophic curative education, youth guidance and social therapy in a practice -integrated environment.
Therapies offered include conventional therapies, physical, occupational and speech, horseback riding, anthroposophictherapies (including art, music and massage therapy), Eurythmy (movement therapy), oil diversion baths and coloured-light therapy. Under the guidance of the School Physician, a specific therapeutic program is created for each student.
In addition practical skills such as woodworking, weaving, pottery, sewing and gardening are integrated fully with academic work.The students learn how to play the piano, recorder or hand bells. They stage concerts, dramatic performances and elaborate puppet shows. They help with the building and painting of sets and memorize lines. The transition program is located on a 56-acre biodynamic farm that the students help to run, and the program offers specific and individualized programming in academics, life skills and vocational readiness.
Camphill Special School is located on 88 acres situated on sprawling hills lined with apple trees and surrounded by creeks and forests. Geese families, chickens and ducks roam free. There is a barn with horses, gardens and wood sculptures. There are nine lovely residential homes where currently 55 students reside with their house parents. There is the Kindergarten House, which offers a fully inclusive program for typically developing children, while some have special needs. The main school (where the Eurythmy room, music room and another main therapy room are located) stands central to the homes, the woodworking room, pottery room, weaving room, main theatre and grocery store.
I had the privilege of meeting and having lunch with, Ursel, the founder of Camphill Special School. She was born in Heidelberg, Germany in 1927. After World War II she was trained as a weaver. She had heard about Karl Koenig, founder of the Camphill in Scotland and he invited young Germans to come to Scotland to help with the Camphill Movement. In 1949, Ursel and her younger sister traveled to Scotland to a new future. Ursel had never seen anyone with a disability before. In Germany disabled people were generally hidden away, and many had been killed during the war. She was quite shocked and had to fight the urge to flee. After the first evening becoming familiar with her surroundings, Ursel grew to love the children. Ursel lived in the big house where Carlo Pietzner was the principal.
In Vienna, in 1936 Carlo was an art student when he joined a youth group founded by Karl Koenig. In 1941, he joined Camphill Scotland. Ursel and Carlo married in 1953 and after three children and seven years in Ireland, Karl Koenig sent Carlo to America where he and Ursel began and built the work of Camphill in America-- founding Camphill Special School at Beaver Run.
My husband, Michael, our son, Kezyan, and I, along with Michael's parents, visited Camphill Special School on June 6, 2013 with Kezyan in mind.
Kezyan is ten years old; at four years of age, he started seizing, and was diagnosed at six with a rare neurological disorder called Subcortical Band Hertopia or Double Cortex Syndrome. His symptoms include a multitude of difficult to control and unpredictable seizures. He is considered moderately intellectually disabled, mostly due to so many seizures, still he continues to grow intellectually and otherwise. We are committed to raising Kezyan into adulthood and are a close knit family with a lot of love between us, but at times we have questioned our ability to be able to cope as he grows bigger, faster and stronger. Still, we live in hope we will get good control of both seizures and behaviour; in the meantime we are seeing what our options are. We won't send him to overnight camp let alone consider a group home. We are determined to stay together. We feel the deepest of sorrows even looking into these things.
Kezyan had five wonderful early years at Mulberry School (parent and child, two years Morning Garden and two years Kindergarden) and we feel really great that he has that base of education inside him and we all carry it forth in our daily lives.
Experiencing Mulberry School and now Camphill, we are grateful for the many wonderful people and things Kezyan brings to our lives and to others lives and it continues. We feel truly blessed. It is heart wrenching to see our little, precious, beautiful boy suffer and be pummelled with seizures. He is so full of love and joy, intelligent and kind hearted, a wonderful and talented little boy who loves life and is truly resilient; we learn so much from him and want him to have the best possible life.
The fact that places like Waldorf Schools and especially Camphill communities exist has given us a renewed faith in humanity, inspiration and hope.
Our deepest hope is that we can create a Camphill movement in the Kingston area so we can help nurture Kezyan and others in our community. If this interests you, please get in touch with me!
Kyra Walker Pearson - email@example.com 613-539-9193
Grade 3 and 4 girls on their camping trip
Grade 3 and 4 class goes Camping
by Mhairi Gray, Lead Teacher for Grade Three and Four
As with most things, the key is in the preparation. I innocently thought that a camping trip for grade three and four children would be an EASY, fun and light hearted way to lead us into summer.
Preparations for our camping trip to Fare Well farm moved into full swing just moments after its announcement. Jessica, Jack and Shayna were full participants in organising this event. As the children were getting increasingly excited, the parents were planning and preparing where and what and how we were going to eat, sleep and go to the bathroom. Jessica came into our classroom to guide us through packing just the right thing for an overnight trip. When we all had our bags packed, we were given a safety talk on poison ivy, tics and privy usage. We practiced the squats that we would need to be proficient with in order to use the rustic privy.
Monday morning arrived and it seemed as if every kind of threatening weather was upon us. We were as ready as could be and full of great expectation for a grand adventure at the farm. The site had been prepared by Jack, John, Francisco and Jay and was ready for our arrival. We carried our packs in and began the process of setting up tents.
Our day was unexpectedly bright and sunny. Crista and Mike gave us the opportunity to perform some farm tasks and with the help of Marissa, the farm helper, guided us through the weeding of onions and asparagus as well as lettuce harvesting.
Laura and Sam joined our group for the duration to give an extra hand. Francisco worked with the children on shelter building and lashing skills.
While the chilli was simmering over the open fire, Kyra played guitar and sang. As the evening wound down, it was my pleasure to weave a tale of the Norse gods, Thor and Loki, who went on an adventure to the palace of the giant Geirrod. The bright morning followed a short night of sleep...
After a feast of pancakes and maple syrup whipped up by Jack, we were ready, well almost ready, to pack our tents away and clean the site before hiking back to the waiting bus. I got the fun and light hearted part just right!
Thank you to all the parents who helped to make this a truly wonderful experience.
Mulberry needs a Teacher's Desk
Please let the school know if you have a solid desk. We need one !
Grocery Cards – We sold all of them by June 25!
Thanks to many parents and community members, we sold all of our remaining grocery cards by June 25th. Just in the nick of time to help send Ms. Shannon to her Waldorf Intensive at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto!
We have ordered our first batch of grocery cards for the 2013-2014 financial year (the school’s financial year runs from July 1st to June 30th) and our goal will be to sell $20,000 by Thanksgiving (October 14th). If you would like to purchase grocery cards over the summer, you may call either Peelu (613-544-1332), Cheryl (613-572-0071) or Lois (613-531-9406).
We have $50, $100 and $250 cards that are redeemable at Loblaws, No Frills, Valumart, Fortino’s and many other stores. These cards have no expiry date and may be used at anyone of these stores (not just in Kingston). Your purchase donates 5% of the value of the card to the school.
We have chosen this as our ongoing fundraiser as everyone needs groceries! As an independent school, it is imperative that we cover our expenses through our two sources of revenue – tuition and fundraising (Annual Giving Campaign, Fairs and ongoing fundraisers - grocery cards).
Kite Flying in Meadow Garden
COMING TO KINGSTON!
FOUNDATION STUDIES IN ANTHROPOSOPHY: Distance
Beginning this fall, Carlina Heins will be offering Part One of the AWSNA certified course “Foundations in Anthroposophy” offered through the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto . The course will be an On-Site Program held at Mulberry Waldorf School. It will be a combination of group work, independent study and conversations with Carlina, the course mentor. The format will be customized to the needs of the participants who register while still maintaining all requirements for certification.The Distance Program, Part One, includes approximately three hours a week of reading assignments, from books by Rudolf Steiner and others, on-going journal writing and artistic development, facilitated by 12 hour-long mentored phone calls. Our On-Site version will offer the advantages of group work as a format for many of the required assignments.
The Full Foundations Course:
· A path of self-development that emphasizes careful observation, clear thinking, refinement of feeling and strengthening of will
· Inspired by the philosophy and work of Rudolf Steiner, known as Anthroposophy, the wisdom of the human being.
· With opportunities for personal growth as well as a solid foundation for careers in anthroposophical professions, including our Waldorf teacher education programs.
Please register directly with the Rudolf Steiner Centre at www.rsct.ca and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to request a course outline and to set up an initial conversation to discuss your goals. We can also send a group discount request to the RSC.
Tuition: Registration Fee: $50
Part I – Introduction to anthroposophy – 12 sessions $750
Part II – Advanced work with anthroposophy – 20 sessions plus a research project, will be offered after winter break $1,500
Carlina Heins is a co-founder of Mulberry and has 10 years of teaching experience. She is also a graduate and facilitator of the anthroposophic New Adult Learning Movement. Carlina will be working under the direction of Gene Campbell, a veteran of 30 years teaching in public and Waldorf schools, founder of Chiron (Waldorf inspired support for homeschoolers), counselor and mentor and program director of Foundations in Anthroposophy: Distance.
Enrol at Mulberry!
Mulberry is looking for a few students to fill our Kindergarten programs, and Grade School Programs - particularly the Grade One and Upper Years classes (Grades 5-8).
If you know someone who is interested in Mulberry Waldorf School, please ask them to call the office: 613-542-0669 or email Peelu at email@example.com
We will have an Open House on Thursday August 29th between 1pm and 3pm. Please come and encourage your friends to visit Mulberry. All are welcome!
"Heimdall" and "Odin" from The Theft of Thor's Hammer
Tired of looking for misplaced shoes and clothing? Buying labels is an investment that will help ensure that your children’s belongings, old and new, don’t get lost or confused with someone elses. Lovable Labels are also great for labeling your children’s sports equipment, toys, dance outfits….and much much more!!
Knitting is More Important than Homework
If your children can lose it, you can label it!
Lovable Labels provides parents with an easy way to buy quality personalized labels for your children’s belongings....and the best part is you will be supporting our school too! We will receive 20% of the sales from this fundraiser. Order Booklets will be arriving when school resumes in September! You may also order on-line at: www.MWS.loveablelabels.ca
If you have any questions, please contact Danielle at firstname.lastname@example.org or or 1-866-327-5683 x412
Links We Like
Skeleton Park Arts Festival Video
What Learning Cursive Does for your Brain
Winter Fare cookbook recipes still required
Dear Parents and Staff,
We are really close to having all the recipes required for the amazing Winter Fare cookbook that will be sold as a fundraiser at Winter Fair this year. Many parents and staff have already contributed - thanks very much to all of you! We are still in need of some specific areas to fill out the book please see the list below and forward your favourites to Jillian by July 25 at: email@example.com
Warm Mornings: 6 more recipes
Seasonal snacks: 6 more plus dip recipes
Seasonal sides: 7 more recipes
Winter salads: 4 more recipes
Festive fare (thanksgiving, winter holidays, new year): 7 more recipes
Quick & easy meals: 5 more recipes
Slow cooker meals: 5 more recipes.
Take care and have a great summer everyone.
Jillian & Patricia