Waldorf Student Swims 30 Mile Relay to Benefit Dyslexia Non-Profit "NoticeAbility"

The Kids Swim For Dyslexia Open Water Relay in Galveston Bay, October 2016. Many of these swimmers will make up the team attempting for the 30 mile Galveston Coast.

The Kids Swim For Dyslexia Open Water Relay in Galveston Bay, October 2016. Many of these swimmers will make up the team attempting for the 30 mile Galveston Coast.

Chip Blair (Class 5) and his team will swim a total of 30 miles on May 20th in Galveston, Texas. Chip has taken part in relay swims before, a 6-mile relay in Galveston and on Martha's Vineyard, to bring awareness about dyslexia and raise funds for NoticeAbility, a non-profit organization that designs and delivers proprietary curricula to students with dyslexia. 

"Cape Cod Chip" has been training hard for this relay - it is the longest and toughest swim he has done to date. He, along with his brother, Warren (Class 8) and cousin, Kyra Brimdyr (Waldorf School of Cape Cod Class of 2015) made wish bracelets to raise money for this important cause. Donations are also accepted through Crowdrise, under the event "Kerry Swims for Dyslexia." Below you will find the press release from organizer Kerry Yonushonis, with links to the NoticeAbility website and Facebook. 

Their collective goal is to use this swim as a platform to highlight their grit, resiliency, and drive that comes with learning differences. While many people think of dyslexia as a negative, these students are aware of the many positive and unique neurological advantages, as well as strong coping skills that come with this learning difference.

We congratulate Chip on this outstanding accomplishment, and wish him and his team good weather and good swimming in Galveston this month!

Waldorf School Student Named a Winner in Peace Poem Contest

Waldorf School of Cape Cod eighth grade student and Falmouth resident, Maija O’Hara, was named a winner in the Voices of Peace 2017 Poetry Contest. Earlier this month, winners were chosen in this 22nd annual contest sponsored by Cape Cod Veterans of Peace.

Along with all the contest winners, Maija will read her winning poem at a public gathering at the South Congregational Church, 565 Main Street, Centerville, at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 29, 2017. Winners also receive an awards certificate and a copy of the published book of all winning poems.

Poetry is an important part of the middle school curriculum at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod. Eighth grade teacher, Ted Curtin, inspired all his students to write Peace Poems for the Cape Cod Veterans of Peace poetry contest. The peace poems were one of many poems written by his students this year which are all posted in the middle school hallway at the Waldorf School.

Dreaming of Peace
by Maija O’Hara
Forever men have looked down on him
With disdain for the color of his skin.
He believed one day he would join our troops
In the hope for a better life to begin.

The scars on his dark open face
Outshone by his sparkling eyes
Lit up for a moment by a rare smile
Before the war, the last one seen in a while.

He wears the mark of a Naval soldier
Been overseas for too many fights
Complete in a world of shrapnel and bombs
Soldiers lost in a world of white.

He’s seen men at the their absolute worst,
Planes spiraling down from flight
Witness to the ends of the best
Still, past the darkness, he believes in the light.

For the others who share his story,
Whose children grew up without a father
He shines before them in all the glory
Pleading that they accept one another.

Looking out over harbored seas,
He resents not ever going back
To right the wars and tell his children,
“Hate cannot drive out hate, 
only love can do that.”

How a Waldorf Teacher Inspires Mindfulness

by Ted Curtin, Class 8 Teacher

Class 8 begins each morning by taking a walk around the recess field. It gives us a chance to wake up and stretch our legs after the ride to school, and it gives the students some time to check in with each other and socialize a bit before beginning the day's work.  Before we head back in, we always take a moment to be in the moment, to take in the quality of each particular - and unique - morning. 

At this point in the 8th grade year, we are becoming more cognizant of the fact that we are looking at our last days together at the school. We look at the work that remains to be done - the final blocks, the class play, the last assemblies, the class trip in May - and we find moments that cause us to reminisce about the years that we have spent together. It has been fun to hear the random memories that bubble to the surface and that are retold with humor from that particular perspective of classmates who have spent many years together. Looking back, these 8 years seem to have passed by so quickly!

When we return to the classroom from our morning walk, we sometimes take a few minutes to write something about some aspect of the morning that has touched our thoughts or feelings, or that we have purposefully focused our attention on.

Last week, on a morning misted with a light rain, we stopped in at the Sunhouse. We sat quietly and took in the experience of the place and the moment and then went in to write some impressions. As usual, there were many examples from the students of perceptive observation and beautiful description, in poetry and prose. As the students wrote, I decided to join them, to see what the muses would bring me. I was a bit surprised by what came from my pencil, and share it here not for its literary value, but as an indication of the mood of 8th grade from the teacher's perspective at this point in our story.

In the Sunhouse a drizzly March morning
Incipient Spring gets an early start,
A new season of growth and becoming.
The students in my garden
Are getting ready to unfurl new capacities
Toward their individual futures;
The raindrops on the roof
Tip-tap the passing moments,
Counting out the time left to us.