Tuesday News - September 9, 2014

Click here for Tuesday News Archives

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   (B= Early Childhood Blog)  

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


Upcoming Events

SAVE THE DATE! Confirmation of this event came along too late

to make our parent calendar so please make note of it.

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, throughout North America and in South America, Europe, and Asia. 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.



Join us at the First Annual Portland Greenfest

This Saturday, September 13,

10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Monument Square, Portland


Come on out for Southern Maine’s premiere eco-event! Merriconeag Faculty will be presenting a children's activity. All free! Rain or shine – most activities are under tents or indoors!

To learn more about what's happening at the First Annual Portland Greenfest, please visit www.portlandgreenfest.org


Wildflower Assembly 2014

 We kicked off the year celebrating the Classes of 2015, 2019, and 2026 at our annual Wildflower Assembly!



From the Development Office

Come see the Farmhouse Renovation:

Thanks to the incredible generosity of the following businesses and individuals, over the summer we transformed the old kitchen and bathroom in the Farmhouse using funds that were directed by a donor for this purpose. This new, beautiful, highly functional, welcoming space showcases our school’s commitment to sustainable building products, and demonstrates what our community can accomplish on a small budget when we work together with creativity and shared vision.



• Catherine Weiland, Balance Design Studio, worked closely with us to design a space that met all of our needs and wishes, and deftly oversaw all aspects of the project through to completion. She donated all of her time on this project, as well as the bathroom light fixture, while also launching her new kitchen design business.

• Steve Konstantino, Maine Performance Building Supply, donated non-VOC polyurethane for the refurbished wood floors and provided the “green” countertops and cabinets at discounted prices. Steve keeps us green and still on budget.

• Scott Libby, Royal River Heat Pumps, donated the installation costs for the new heating system – a highly efficient and cost-effective heat pump, in addition to donating the time of his crew to help with the kitchen demolition. Scott volunteers on our Buildings and Grounds committee, bringing expertise and humor.

• Adrian Bossi, Swell Construction, along with crew Drew Tieman and Josh Espy, expertly installed the cabinets and counters and are responsible for much of the high quality construction work you see in this project. They also donated the open shelves and a lot of time.

• Other Friends who should be recognized:
o The Farmhouse itself was donated in 1996 by

Peter Milliken and Linzee Weld, parents of two alumni students.
o This Farmhouse renovation was paid for by a directed gift from a grandmother of three Merriconeag alumni who recognized that improving the structural and aesthetic features of this space was critical.
o Peter Gross, parent of Jonathan Gross (’14), donated the red coffeemaker.
o Zach Neveu (class of ’15) and Bennett Hight ably assisted Will Hight in the hard work of demolition.

From The Kitchen Renovation Cmt: Will Hight, Jacqui Koopman, Christine Sloan, Barbara Guffin,

Melissa Gormley, and Lynne Espy, under the wise direction of Catherine Weiland.


Last summer’s Merri-Happenings were so much fun – thank you to the fabulous hosts!
Thanks to the generosity of many in our community, Merriconeag families connected in fun ways throughout the summer at gatherings that we fondly call “Merri-Happenings”. At last spring’s Auction, over 125 people signed up for one or more of these parties, which collectively raised $5,860 for Tiered Tuition. Let us know if you have a fun idea for a Merri-Happening that we can offer for next summer – and thank you again to these wonderful 2014 Merri-Happening hosts.
• Bill and Stacie Waldron and Bart and Ilse Haag hosted a barbecue, music and karaoke party that brought out the hidden talents of many.
• Michael and Victoria Stefanakos, Dan and Sarah Pierce, and Dan and Melisa Walker hosted a Local Craft Cocktail and Tapas Party – where Michael shared the art and adventure of mixing and drinking locally sourced, edgy craft cocktails.
• Lucretia and Michael Woodruff hosted an outdoors Farm to Table Dinner at their lovely sustainably run Milkweed Farm, complete with the best-tasting pizzas from their beehive oven, scrumptious pies, and the freshest salad greens and toppings from their amazing gardens.
• Katie and Chuck Martin hosted a summer shore day for families, including a full lobster picnic and numerous boating and swimming opportunities.
• Jane Koopman, Waldorf alumna and outreach coordinator at Teens to Trails, led a group of teens in a kayaking trip on the Sheepscot Reversing Falls.
Submitted by Lynne Espy, Development Coordinator, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org, 865-3900 x 116


From the Circus Coordinator


Circus Smirkus Freeport 2014 was a Huge Success!
We couldn't have done it without each of your contributions - from those who volunteered a shift to stuff playbills, park cars, or be creative while painting faces to those high school students who jumped in to sell ice cream after the performances. A big thank you and BRAVO to the Circus Smirkus Committee for all of their fine work: Robert Caron, Aly Fullagar, Jennifer Fitzpatrick, Melissa Hoy, Drew Teiman and Barbara Kappelmann.

     I am always looking for interested parents to help with this fabulous and fun fundraiser. Please let me know if you would like to join our committee.

Many thanks, Mary Martin, Freeport Circus Coordinator, 207/865-3900, x113, events@merriconeag.org.



From the Business Office

Merriconeag Waldorf School Launches

Local Goods Sale to Raise Funds for Tiered Tuition:

Merriconeag Waldorf School has launched a new fundraiser with Close Buy Catalog, a local goods school fundraising catalog featuring only made in New England products. A whopping 30% of each sale will benefit Tiered Tuition at Merriconeag. This year’s sale runs from now through October 3rd.

     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.

     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.

Please note: The Close Buy Catalog went home with the oldest child in your family yesterday. Families whose oldest child is in early childhood, will receive theirs in the Early Childhood Center tomorrow.


News from the High School

A Swan Song to Start the School Year
      Last week the entire high school took its annual opening-of-school camping trip to Swan Island, just south of Richmond. While half the students kayaked around the island, the other half were ferried over to the island, hiked the mile-and-a-half to the campsite, then performed community service for the ranger, cleaning out a shed. The groups switched activities in the afternoon, then participated in senior-led “Wilderlympics” events, including a competition that involved stuffing as many marshmellow in one’s mouth as possible and attempting to say clearly “Chubby Bunny,” a trivia contest and choreographed team cheers. Around a memorable evening campfire, students and teachers shared goals and hopes for the year. The next morning, the Wilderlympics concluded with the most “Waldorfian” of events—fairy house building—before returning to school for the cross-country teams’ first race of the season. Below, several students shared brief impressions of the trip:

Perhaps the most memorable experience for me was when a couple of my friends and I decided to take a "shortcut" while paddle boarding. The wind was blowing and it was slow out in the open so we decided to cut through some reeds. Unfortunately it became quite shallow and it took a good 25 minutes to go through, having to pick up our paddle boards at one point. Although we were quite tired at the end of it, it certainly was adventurously fun!
Dylan Wu, Tenth Grade

The warm weather made for some lovely kayaking on the Kennebec river and everyone had a great time trying out paddle boards with varying degrees of success. Luckily the water wasn’t too cold if you fell in.
Samantha Pierce, Twelfth Grade

The camping trip to Swan Island that kicked off the school year included many exhilarating activates, everything from leapfrog relay races to fairy house building competitions. It was also a great opportunity to meet and bond with all of the students, exchange students and new teachers. Nicholas Neveu, Ninth Grade

I really enjoyed the kayaking and paddle boarding. It was a great way for us to meet people we didn't already to know and to have a fun afternoon with those we did. Forrest McCurdy, Eleventh Grade

Although the exceptionally nice weather did invite the mosquitos into our lean-tos, it made for an abundance of fun outdoors. At night, the clear sky gave a full picture of the stars, and the afternoon swimming was prime.
Lila Bossi, Tenth Grade

Despite torrid conditions, the athletes competing in the annual wilderlympics remained phlegmatic throughout the senior-planned games, and effortlessly negotiated its many challenges. Thanks to every team’s uncanny ability to sell block crayons in the Block Crayon Commercial Competition, Stockmar is sending a scouting team to the school, and will be discussing hiring students for their marketing team. Stay tuned for more info on that. Congratulations to Kyrgyzstan, which clinched first place in the medal count for the first time in the country’s olympic history, and to all the other teams who represented their countries well. Thanks to all for a great trip. Lars Gundersen, Twelfth Grade

I really enjoyed paddle boarding and kayaking a lot. The water was the perfect temperature; it was especially funny when Eli kept tipping everybody over. I also really loved getting to know everybody better at the campfire and during mealtime. I made many new friends and learned more about everyone, even the people I've known since kindergarten. Sarah Kinzer, Ninth Grade

Kayaking on the beautiful, still water with the sun beating down on us was the perfect beginning to our annual high school camping trip. Heartfelt feelings and inspiring goals were shared as we sat around the fire, and it seemed as though a spell was cast over us. Sophie Ichizawa, Eleventh Grade


School Community Updates

Merriconeag community hall will be filled with singing on Sunday evenings this year:

This year, beginning Sunday evening, September 7, the Greater Freeport Community Chorus will be rehearsing in our community hall every Sunday evening, from 6:15 to 9:15. The Merriconeag adult community is warmly invited to join. Just come in for two rehearsals before committing to the $70 dues per semester. Merriconeag High School students are welcome to join the chorus at no cost. There will be two concerts, one in December and the other in May.
Our Mission: The purpose of the Greater Freeport Community Chorus is to provide an opportunity for primarily amateur singers to rehearse and perform with a professional director in local venues for the musical enrichment of the community and themselves. As a community chorus it is our goal to include all groups in our community.
We have members from all over the greater Freeport area including Bath, Bowdoin, Brunswick, Cumberland, Durham, Freeport, South Freeport, Portland, South Portland, Pownal and Yarmouth. No audition required.
Our History: The Greater Freeport Community Chorus was founded by Sukie Rice of Freeport in 1996 and was directed by her for five years.
      During the summer of 2005 we performed with Tim Janis at Merrill Auditorium where we taped a PBS holiday special. We had Tim Janis as our guest at the winter concert 2005, where he presented us with cds of the July concert at Merrill Auditorium.


Read (Listen to or Watch) This

Teaching Is Not a Business
David L. Kirp, Opinion, The New York Times, Aug 16, 2014
Reformers misunderstand how central human relationships are to the educational process.

Parenting Lessons I Learned From a Waldorf Kindergarten.
Victoria Fedden, Jun 14, 2014

Greater Community Link


Community Classifieds Link


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