Tuesday News - September 30, 2014

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All submissions for the Tuesday News should be sent by Friday, 3:00 pm. to publicrelations@merriconeag.org.


Our blog is expanding! Merriconeag's blog is now a resource for parents and community members with children of all ages. Biweekly posts will be written by teachers in various parts of the school, offering glimpses into our work. We hope to provide information for our community to better understand the how and whys of Waldorf education.

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Upcoming Events

Michaelmas 2014

The days shorten, shadows lengthen, and the
Harvest is gathered. Morning mists are caught in spider webs, 
Meteors streak through the night skies.
We wonder at the blaze of leaves set afire by summer’s heat
Preparing our hearts to meet the
Dragon of winter’s cold.

This Friday, October 3rd, grades 1 through 12 along with their teachers will be celebrating the start of Michaelmas Season with a creative and playful improvisational pageant. This festive time of year marks the end of summer light and warmth, and calls upon all of us to find the strength and courage to bear that light, warmth and truth within ourselves and the students will be working in mixed aged groups to bring the Michaelmas story to life. Please feel free to join us at 1:30 p.m. on Friday the 3rd to witness the fruits of our labor. If it is sunny weather we will be outside on the Desert Road Campus. If it is raining, you will find us in the Community Hall.
      We seek your help as the following items are needed prior to Friday: Like last year, we will be using recycled or upcycled materials for a Michaelmas inspired project. We need your help collecting these materials, such as: yarn, glue, old containers, fabric, egg cartons, milk jugs, cups, aluminum foil, or any other crafty items that you can think of and are willing to donate. Donations can be placed in the gallery area of the community hall. Please place the items in the containers labeled Michaelmas. Thank you for your help!

The Michaelmas Festival Committee

For more information about why many Waldorf Schools celebrate the Michaelmas Festival of Courage, you might find this article from the Baltimore Waldorf School  helpful.


Early Childhood Families are invited to join a Michaelmas Fall Celebration on Saturday, October 18, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. (rain or shine). We will collect apples, press cider, work on our gardens, and enjoy the morning together. For more information on the event, please click here for their Michaelmas Gathering poster.




The Gift of a Commercial-Free Childhood

A public talk by Dr. Susan Linn

Wednesday, October 8, 7:00 pm

Community Hall, 57 Desert Rd

Donation at the door.


"No parents in history have ever had to cope with the unprecedented convergence

of a ubiquitous, sophisticated, alluring, habit-forming screen technology

and unfettered, unregulated advertising." Dr. Susan Linn

     With the intensity of the California gold rush, corporations are racing to stake their claim on the consumer group formerly known as children. What was once the purview of a handful of companies has escalated in a gargantuan enterprise estimated at over $17 billion annually.

     While parents try to set limits at home, marketing executives work day and night to undermine their efforts with commercial messages irresistible to children. Childhood obesity, violent behaviors, precocious sexuality, rampant consumerism, family stress and the erosion of children’s creative play have all been linked to a commercialized childhood. Dr. Susan Linn will talk about the magnitude of this pernicious problem and provide suggestions for what we can do about it.

SUSAN LINN, ED.D: Susan Linn is Founding Director of The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Research Associate at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. A psychologist, she has written extensively about the effects of media and commercial marketing on children. Her book, Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood, was been praised in publications as diverse as The Wall Street Journal, and Mother Jones and helped launch the movement to reclaim childhood from corporate marketers. The Boston Globe called her new book, The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World, “a wonderful look at how play can heal children.”

     Dr. Linn has lectured about the importance of creative play, the impact of media and marketing on children, and about puppets as a therapeutic tool, internationally. Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, Today, Sixty Minutes, Dateline, The Colbert Report, and the acclaimed documentary, The Corporation. Dr. Linn is also an award winning ventriloquist and children’s entertainer, who appeared on Mister Rogers Neighborhood, and is internationally known for her innovative work using puppets in child psychotherapy. With Family Communications, Fred Rogers’ production company, she created Different and the Same: Helping Children Identify and Prevent Prejudice, an award winning video series for first- to third graders. Among other honors, she was awarded a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association for her work on behalf of children.


From the Board

Dear Merriconeag Parents,
      The Board of Directors welcomes everyone back to the new school year! We have been working steadily through the summer on some projects and are excited to share Board news with you. Now that the first weeks of the year have passed, everyone might have a chance to take a breath!
MWS Board for 2014
      Our first announcement is the addition of three new board members: Susan Stark, an educator and mother of three children grades 1, 4 and 6, Sarah Staples an educator and mother of two children grades 4 and 7, and Joe Newlin, a 2014 MWHS graduate filling the new alumni position on the board. Each of these board members brings an important perspective to add to the current board.
      Board members this year include: Jim Ahearne (parent, Chair of Communications Committee), David Barham (faculty, Chair of the College of the Teachers), Christine Byrne (Chair of the Investment Committee), Martha Eshoo (parent), Sean Fitzpatrick (parent, Chair of the Development Committee), Barbara Kappleman (community), Tyler Kolle (parent), Jeff O'Brien (faculty), Ben Pearson (community), Margaret Samuelson (faculty), Gina Sawin (community), Michael Stefanakos (parent, Chair of Enrollment Committee), and Tay Veitch (parent, Chair of Finance Committee). Christine Sloan (administrator), Lynne Espy (development), and Barbara Guffin (business manager) are included as non-voting members.
      The Executive Officers of the Board are Christine Byrne (vice chair), Susan Stark (secretary), Tay Veitch (treasurer), and Martha Eshoo (chair).

Community and Board conversations through the year
      We have organized meetings throughout the year for the Board and community to meet and talk about several important topics. This calendar will be included in the MWS calendar however I am including it here for your immediate review. We have chosen several topics so that parents have the opportunity to speak with the board directly about their work in these areas.

Tuesday, October 14 - Community Meeting: "Sharing the Strategic Plan", CH, 7pm
Wednesday, December 10 - Community Meeting: "Setting the Tuition", CH, 7pm
Thursday, January, 15 - Community Meeting: "State of the School", CH, 7pm
Tuesday, February, 10 - Community Meeting: TBA
Tuesday, March 10 - Community Meeting: "Enrollment Issues", CH, 7pm
Wednesday, April 1 - Community Meeting: "New Programming/Parent Association", CH, 7pm
Parent Association is developing for the whole community
      The Parent Association Research team presented their findings to the Board in June 2014. They had spoken with several Waldorf Schools who were our "age" and served the Early Childhood - Grade 12 population. The research team also interviewed seventeen members of the Merriconeag community in order to collect data on how our community perceives the development of a parent association. They also polled all of the parents at the May Faire who wanted to complete a survey revealing their thoughts on a parent association.
      Based on all of this information they offered their recommendation to the Board: spend a year creating a strong infrastructure to support a parent association that focuses on communicating with families and reaches out to community members for parent education, events, and connections.
      The Board in conjunction with the administration and faculty have invited Sarah Barmby, Amy Eshoo, Tracy Libby, Mary Beth McMenamin, and Rosemary Teegarten to gather for their first meeting on October 2 to begin this important work. It is our plan to have a strong and successful Parent Association that will serve the whole school formed by the end of the year.

     We welcome the community to join the Board in their work this year through committee work, subcommittee work, or discussions and reflections. We are looking forward to this year and anticipate a productive year as we work together. Martha Eshoo, Board Chair


From the Development Office

Grandparents and Friends Day: Grandparents and Special Friends Day is Friday Oct. 24 (10-12:30). We always get wonderful feedback from grandparents about this day; it gives them a rare glimpse into Waldorf education, as demonstrated through the delightful performances by their grandchildren and special young friends. Some out of town grandparents schedule their visits to their families around this day – and we love seeing them at this event each year.

     All grandparents listed on your families’ school information forms will receive an invitation to the Oct. 24 Grandparents and Friends Day. In order for your grandparents to receive invitations, their contact information in RenWeb must be complete. If a grandparent has moved or passed away, or if you prefer we not send them an invitation, we need to know this. Please review your grandparent information in the RenWeb database today. Invitations will be mailed out later this week.

     Also, if there is someone other than a grandparent who you would like to invite (aunt, uncle, surrogate grandparent, or even a neighbor who is a special friend of your child), please send us their complete name and address so we can mail them an invitation.

     If they do not receive an invitation by the end of next week, or if you have any questions about the address used, please contact Lynne Espy, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org, 865-3900 x 116

Volunteers are needed for Grandparents Day; this involves helping with refreshment setup and cleanup, organizing nametags, and greeting guests. You would need to available to help from 8:15 am – 12:30 pm (includes watching the performance). Contact Lynne about your availability.

Lynne Espy, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org, 865-3900 x 116


Fall Fair & Open House

Fall Fair planning is underway. Choose where and how you get involved:

We have a wonderfully energetic and creative team of Fall Fair organizers this year, and hope that our enthusiasm will entice every family to help make this day a huge success. If you can get involved in the planning stages of the Fair, or be a valuable helper to one of the activities, please contact the Fall Fair Team Leaders listed below. Any area can always use more help, but those where there are blanks indicate we really need you to help plan! All contact information is in the school directory.

Activities for Young Children: (EC – lower grades)

Pocket Person: Dal Holtrop
Squirrels Attic: Tonya Sattin, Nicole Walther, ____________
Puppet Shows: Jess Moore, __________________
Young Children’s Crafts: Julie Yeo, Michelle Jean, ____________
Activities for Older Students: (middle grades through high school)
Older children Crafts: Lynn Thurrell, Ananda Kaymen,
Outlandish Outdoor games: Adrian Bossi, Michael Stefanakos, _________, ____________, _______________
Candle Dipping: Heidi Randall, ___________
Balloon Darts: David Beringer, __________
Class Fundraisers: Grade 7 & 8 reps

For All Ages:
Waldorf Store: Lisa Mainella, Nancy Goldberg, Mary Beth McMenamin
Community-Made Crafts: ______________, _________________
Gently Used Outerwear: Catherine Weiland, Seren Sinisi, Alicia Heyburn
Outdoor Craft Demonstrations:
Woodworking: Yunus Lowenthal and Bob Thurrell
Blacksmithing: Scott Libby
Printmaking: Rose Mary Burwell
Artisan Marketplace: Susan Caron, Katie Martin

Food for Everyone:
Café: Amy Eshoo, Lisa Lukis, Stephanie Blackburn, Sean Goodrich
Luncheon Food:
German Sausage: Oliver Kinzer and some German students
French Crepes: Regine Whittlesey and French teachers and students
Rudolf’s Diner (soups and chili): High School parents, students and Faculty
Family Farms of Merriconeag: Steve Sinisi, Lucretia Woodruff

Fair Logistics:
Fair Design: Lisa Bossi
Signs Assistant: ______________
Outdoor Decorations: Katie West, Cathryn Bigley
Indoor Decorations: ___________, _____________
Volunteer Staffing: Stacie Hamilton-Waldron, ______________
Childcare Support: ________________
Admissions Open House: Amy Kessler
Composting: Lucy Ahearne, ____________

Overall Fair contacts:
Lynne Espy, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org, 865-3900 x 116, in the farmhouse
Mary Martin, events@merriconeag.org   865-3900, 113, in the office portable

Bring a Friend! Help us spread the word about the Fall Fair and about Merriconeag:
Take a look at our Fall Fair postcard – and send it along to friends, colleagues and neighbors who might want to come to this family friendly, unique Waldorf Fair.
Back by Popular Demand: The night before the fair, Nov. 7th, from 6-9 pm, adults are invited to a reception and Local Artisan and Crafts sale. Free Admission, and open to the public.

Fair Day (Nov. 8th) is also an Admissions Open House, so please reach out to anyone who might be interested in learning more about our programs while their children enjoy all the festivities.


The Squirrel's Attic Co-Chairs are happy to present the first in a series of DIY craft ideas for this year's Fall Festival. They are posted in index card format on the EC bulletin board, but by request, will also be featured here in the Tuesday News,
beginning with a very easy one: Fairy Twig Wands.

Materials Needed: clean tree branches or wooden dowels, no more than two feet long. Ribbons, rick-rack, fabric scraps, or pom-pons; vintage or new.

  • Simply cut strips of the chosen fabric (slightly longer than the branch) and tie on to your branch or dowel.

Full instructions and more photos available at: http://www.minted.com/julep/2013/08/07/fairy-twig-wand-party-favors/

These wands are sweet and pretty for little fairies but please don't forget our little elves as well. Some boyish options would be appreciated. Please leave finished wands and any other donations in the Squirrel's Attic basket in Lisa's office or in the EC. Many thanks, Tonya Sattin and Morgan Lake Adams


Seeking Pocket Person Treasures: As you are cleaning out those stuffed drawers from the summer, please set aside any "treasures" for the Fall Fair to be used in the pockets of the Pocket Person. Some example items you might donate include: bells, crystals, sea glass, jacks, molding beeswax, coins, old keys, candles, buttons, marbles, wood figures and small boxes, (or last year's pocket treasures). Please drop items off in either of the offices that is labeled “Pocket Person Treasures”. Thank you! Dal Holtrop


From the Business Office

Merriconeag Waldorf School With Close Buy Catalog

Raise Funds for Tiered Tuition:

This just in: We have three weeks of sales for $6717,

giving MWS $2000 for Tiered Tuition!

     Share the news! A whopping 30% of each sale will benefit Tiered Tuition at Merriconeag. This year’s sale runs from now through October 3rd so you have just two more weeks to shop!

    This year’s Close Buy Catalog features over 120 New England vendors – showcasing their locally made specialty food, body care, gifts, accessories, toys and stationary. Maine vendors featured in the 2014 Close Buy Catalog include Bixby Bar, Dave’s Coffee Syrup, Lacey Goodrich, Spring Break Maple & Honey, Rogue Wallets, Studio E. Flett Designs, and Seapoint Chandlers. Over 150 of these products are $20 or less.

     Anyone can shop! To support Tiered Tuition, visit closebuycatalog.com, enter your youngest child's name and choose Merriconeag Waldorf School in the drop-down list at checkout. If the person ordering doesn't have a child at school, they can just enter their name as the customer. For more information, please contact Melissa Hoy in the business office: bookkeeper@merriconeag.org , 865-3900 x 151.

     There will be samples of items set up outside on Tuesday at pick up, weather permitting and in the community hall during the school day for the remainder of the week.


School Community Updates

Welcome Baby: High School Art Teacher Johanna Flath, her husband, Eric, and son, Zev, welcomed Isla Katrina Ritter, 7lbs-6oz, into their family at 9:41 am on September 22.




Order by this Thursday at 2 pm

for delivery this Friday, Oct. 3rd.

Willow Pond Farm apples and cider are back but

there is an important change to note in the delivery schedule!

Apples/cider orders will be delivered to Merriconeag's Early Childhood Center on the following four Fridays only: Oct. 3, 17 & Nov 7, 21. Orders must be placed with Willow Pond Farm (willowpf@aol.com) by Thursday at 2:00 p.m. prior to the Friday delivery dates listed above and payment must be left in the envelope on the file cabinet in the Early Childhood Office prior to delivery on the Fridays listed.

Macs, Cortlands, N.spy and red delicious available
Fancy: peck $11, half bushel $18
Utility: half bushel $10.50, bushel $18
Cider- no preservatives, not pasteurized - Gallon $6.00, half gallon $3.85

Be sure to note the delivery schedule above as this is a change from previous years!.
Jill Agnew, Willow Pond Farm, 395 Middle Road, Sabattus, Maine 04280, 207-375-6662
To learn more about the farm, click here. Future order information will be listed in our Community Classifieds.


Athletic News

Please share any XC photos with the Tuesday News by sending them to publicrelations@merriconeag.org.

Middle School Cross Country: Yesterday, 9/29, the middle school runners took on a cornucopia of of teams from many local schools in the Greely Relays at Twin Brook in Cumberland. Suffering many injuries and illnesses, we managed to muster four teams of five (or more) runners. Each runner on the co-ed teams ran a loop a bit shy of a mile and fast times as one would suspect. Kipling Samuelson, Dylan Randall-Newberg, Adriel Barham, Matinicus Neveu, and Charlie Wilson combined for a 25:28 cumulative time, Owen Stefanakos, Max Waldron, Eliza Skillings, Wilson Haims, and Sam Wilson locked in a 29:20 team time, followed by Zeb Adams Staples, Jennie Bakewell, Tillie Munro, Charlotte Joseph, and Aidan Stark-Chessa at 31:57. We came up short in creating a fifth team of five, so our "mega team" of Ava Teegarden, Eric Bloch (season premier), Noah Hight (debut), Myah Garrison, and tri-anchors Magnolia Sinisi, Brenna Moore, and Grace Kessler brought a 36:20 finish. Being a self-timed race by each team, there were no team scores or places assigned.

     Next up is the Scarborough Invitational at Smiling Hill Farm (781 County Road, Westbrook) on Friday, 10/3, where the team will meet dozens of teams from many statewide schools in the largest venue of the season. All runners may participate. The team will depart via school vans at 2:50 behind the upper grades building, immediately after the Michaelmas celebration. Girls run at 4:15, boys at 4:45 - different order and a little later than usual. Awards ceremony at 5:30. Hope to see you all there! Coach John Olson


High School Cross Country: This past week the cross country team travelled to Gray-New Gloucester for a race with GNG, Kennebunk and Lake Region. Results were stellar this week, with Merriconeag runners coming in first for boys and girls (Tucker and Olivia) and both teams placed first in the team scoring. We also saw strong efforts all the way through the team. Full results  and more can be found on the results page of the blog.

The team’s next contest is a big one – the Festival of Champions in Belfast on Saturday, October 4 - which will see over 1800 runners on the course throughout the day! Races are as follows:
11:00 AM - Unseeded Boys
11:45 PM - Unseeded Girls
12:30 PM - Freshmen Boys
1:15 PM - Freshmen Girls
2:00 PM - Seeded Boys
2:40 PM - Seeded Girls
3:20 PM - Awards Ceremony in Gym
Note: Teams should report to the start area 20 minutes before the above times for check in and team introductions.

Click here for the complete race schedule.

Throughout the season, everyone can keep on top of the running team happenings via the blog.


Read (Listen to or Watch) This

Limiting screen time critical for children's academic, emotional development
More than 45 minutes of screen time per day leads to academic and social consequences, study finds.
Heidi Stevens, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, September 9, 2014

The Screen Time Rules You Really Should Enforce This Year
While parents grapple with how much screen time is too much for children, new research now supports their suspicions: An excess amount of time in front of screens is bad for kids.
By Rebecca Adams The Huffington Post, 09/08/2014


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