Friday, October 12, 2012

Announcements: Week of October 12, 2012

- A Note from the Board 
Thanks to all the parents who filled the kindergarden room on October 3 for our first community meeting of the school year. It was the most packed meeting we've ever had and the energy in the room was palpable and good as we shared the state of the school, got you all to sign up for committees, and answered questions. As a board, we feel really good about where we're at coming into this year and look forward to growing parent involvement and improving all of our communication back and forth. Thanks as well to those of you who we've been able to chat with in the past two weeks. Your enthusiasiam for the meeting, as well as your suggestions for making it even better we're really helpful and appreciated.


-Parent Lecture
Monday, October 15th at 7:00PM
"Truth, Beauty, and Goodness: Building an Environment for the Young Child"Please join us in an evening of discussion and exploration as we look into how these concepts affect our daily lives and the environment of our young children. We will also look into how to support our individual journeys and these life questions. Parent lectures are open to everyone, invite your friends! Facilitator: Lisa Bono.

-Parent Study

Wednesday, October 17th at 9:00AM

-Upcoming Admissions Events & Volunteer Opportunities

Open House: Thursday, October 18 7:00-8:30PM 
The Open House is for parents only and is a time to tour our classrooms, meet our teachers and participate in an in depth discussion about our programs and Waldorf early childhood education. Parent Volunteers are so helpful at these events. Please let me know if you would like to help at one of our upcoming events. Contact:
For more information on each event and how you can get involved, see the blog post,

-Upcoming Events at Nearby Waldorf Schools
Saturday, October 20
The Green Meadow Waldorf School and Waldorf School of Garden City will both be hosting their Fall Fairs on Saturday, October 20th in Garden City NY (Nassau County) and Chestnut Ridge, NY (Rockland County). For more information on each event, see the blog post,

-Garden Updates & Events

There will be a meeting in the Parent Lounge on Wednesday, October 17 at 11AM. The Annual Clothing Re-sale Week to benefit the garden will take place on Monday, October 22 through Friday, October 26 in the Parent's Lounge. Collection of gently used items will begin Wednesday, October 17. Also planned is a Family Garden Workday followed by a BYO Picnic in the meadow on Saturday, October 27th. Be sure to check the blog for the latest in garden updates and further information about these events.

-Holy Mama/Holy Papa
Beginning Wednesday, October 31
For more information on joining this group that supports, honors and inspires the inner life of mothers and fathers, see the blog post,

-Save the Date: Lantern Walk

Friday, November 9th 
We will celebrate our first festival of the school year. Join us in the Garden for this year's Lantern Walk.

-Weekly Article: A Video on Media and the Young Child by The Marin Waldorf School

For our community here at New Amsterdam, it can be helpful to look at how other Waldorf schools approach the topic of media in their schools and communities. At the Marin Waldorf School they created a video that expresses their perspectives on media exposure during the childhood years. Perhaps it will provide useful context for our ongoing conversation around media and the effects it has on children. See the article and video on the blog, 

-For Last Week's Announcements 


Holy Mama and Papa Beginning Nov. 14th

holy mama  --  holy papa:
a group to support, honor
and inspire the inner life of mothers and fathers

                    What is wisdom? Wisdom is seeing the whole in the parts, 
and in the whole seeing the holy. 
– sufi teaching.

What is the sacred wisdom that being a mother/father offers us?
What are the parts? --  the parts we can not see, the parts we do
not want to see, and the parts that are strong and reflect our deepest essence.
How do we develop the capacities to see and be our whole self,
our HOLY self.
A holy mama/papa is a aware that parenting is an initiation into wholeness.  Meeting,
accepting and learning to work with all the parts of our self we meet in being parents – we become healthy, whole, holy.

this group will meet one wednesday morning a month 
from 9am - 11am @ the new masterdom school.
the fee for each group is $65 and a commitment for
oct - june is required.  there is scholarship available --
please contact jeriyn brownstein directly to inquire about financial support for this program.

dates:  nov 14th, dec 12th, jan 9th, feb 13th, march 13th, april 10th,
may 8th and june 5th

Weekly Article: A Video on Media and the Young Child

Dear Community Members,

As we move fully into our year together and start to look with fresh eyes at the growth and capacities of the children we continue to meet the challenges that media can have on our young children.

Please join us this Wednesday Oct. 17th  at the Parent Study to discuss more the effects, alternatives and power of media.


Lisa Bono

Faculty Chair

Another Note from faculty member Meaghan Witri:

For our community here at New Amsterdam, it can be helpful to look at how other Waldorf schools approach the topic of media in their schools and communities. At the Marin Waldorf School they created a video that expresses their perspectives on media exposure during the childhood years. Perhaps it will provide useful context for our ongoing conversation around media and the effects it has on children.

Here is their description: "Learn more about Marin Waldorf School's approach to media through this short film. Our experience, as a school and as a movement, is that popular culture, especially as expressed through various forms of media, overwhelms children's thinking and imagination. We make a conscious effort to quiet pop culture and media awareness in order to make room for the development of intellectual curiosity and a healthy and authentic sense of self. Waldorf education strives to awaken a children's excitement and enthusiasm for learning through a curriculum rich in academic and artistic expression."


New Amsterdam Media Statement

Children and Media

Some parents have concerns about the “media policy” of Waldorf schools and find limiting media exposure to be difficult.  This is particularly so if their child otherwise wants their attention while the parent is attempting to do something else, like respond to emails or cook dinner.  This is a common issue among parents with very young children. 

Children are remarkably flexible creatures and can easily become as used to having the TV, iPad or computer off as they may have become to having it on.  They are excited by their own capabilities, which they can only discover through their own active play, and not by watching a video that often renders them “numb” and “glued” to the device.  Television, videos and computer games are a barrier to creative play because they present the young child with fully manifested “shows” that leave no room for the young mind to contribute.  If we seek to support the development of our children’s own initiative and creativity, we need to limit anything that dampens the discovery of their own abilities, imaginative powers, and enjoyment.

For purposes of this statement, “Electronic Media” includes television, movies, computers and all other video and audio devices, including cell-phones, personal digital assistants, video games and music/mp3 players. The scope of this definition may well change as media technology and its applications evolve.   Care and judgment also should be applied to permitting exposure to other forms of media, including print media (newspapers, magazines and catalogs) and radio (news and recorded music).

At the New Amsterdam Early Childhood Center we seek to support parents in striving towards these ideals of encouraging children’s play and freedom.  We recognize that our world is media-rich and parents may find it hard to be 100% “compliant” with this approach.  Working together we support each other within the classroom and at home.  Feel free to talk to your teacher, the school admissions director or the school faculty chair if you want help with free play and weaning your child from media.

News from the Garden

Announcing our Annual Clothing Re-sale Week - a school-wide benefit for our Garden 
Monday, October 22nd through Friday, October 26th

Followed by a Family Garden Work Day Saturday, Oct 27th
The Annual Clothing Re-sale Week is our reuse/reduce/recycle fundraiser week to benefit the garden and help purchase garden supplies for the children.  
Our school will begin accepting gently worn children's clothing donations starting on Wednesday, October 17th. Parents are invited to drop off their donation of what we hope will be 5 or more items to be resold at the event.  All items must be clean and in good condition with sizes clearly marked, Of course, cash donations are warmly accepted  All contributions will go directly to the school's garden fund. The pop-up re-sale will be organized and opened Monday morning October 22nd in the parents' lounge for one week. We will then close that Friday, October 26th when aftercare is complete for the day, hopefully giving families time to bring things in, browse, and shop all week as new things came in every day. Last year we raised $930.00.  We would love to top that this year :)  Come on y'all, You know you all have stuff, bring it!

On Saturday, October 27th Family Garden Work Day 9:30am-12:30pm we will clean and garden in the morning, and afterward we will have a BYO -picnic lunch in the meadow. All age groups invited. We will be working throughout the garden on different tasks cleaning, weeding, planting bulbs for spring. preparing soil, sowing grass seed, planting late fall ornamentals, preparing school plot for the children digging and planting bulbs. Mulching and more to follow.

The garden  next meeting in the parent lounge on Wed. Oct. 17 at 11:00 am.
Shoshana will be the first to have a "look-see" at the garden on Monday. The sign-up sheet for future "look-see-ers" will be available on Monday, also.

El Jardin del Paraiso

315 East 4th st between Ave C and D

Upcoming Events at Nearby Waldorf Schools

Fall Fair at the Waldorf School of Garden City
Saturday, October 20th from 10 AM to 4 PM

The Waldorf School of Garden City will host their annual Fall Fair and Alumni Day on Saturday, October 20th from 10 AM to 4 PM. The event, which is free and open to the public, promises to be a wholesome and fun-filled day for children and families.  The day includes crafts for children, jump rope making, an Enchanted Children's Room, puppet show and much more!

The Waldorf School of Garden City is located in Nassau County.
225 Cambridge Street, Garden City, NY 11530

Fall Fair at the Green Meadow Waldorf School
Saturday, October 20th from 10 AM to 5 PM

The Green Meadow Waldorf School will host their annual Fall Fair on Saturday, October 20th from 10 AM to 5 PM.  You are invited to share in their beautiful Fall tradition, with children's activities including cider pressing, pumpkin carving, and hayrides, plus unique vendors, live music, organic food, and much more!

The Green Meadow Waldorf School is located in Rockland County.
307 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977