Tuesday News - March 8, 2011

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Tomorrow Night: Wednesday, March 9, 7:00 PM, Community Hall:

Growing Up Real in a Virtual World

A Public Talk by Lowell Monke

Cost: $10

     It’s hard to remember a time before the advent of the internet, before mobile computers transformed our daily lives, altered the way we communicate, do business, teach, learn, entertain ourselves. Yet with this brave, new world of electronic wizardry comes an ever-more insistent question: What is the human cost, especially for children? How can parents and teachers both protect children and, at the same time, prepare them for the challenges of living in a technologically driven world? On Wednesday evening, Lowell Monke will help us wrestle with the confusion many of us feel raising children in a world saturated with powerful machines that are both awe-inspiring and disturbing and whose influence often feels beyond our ability to control.
Lowell Monke is Associate Professor of Education at Wittenberg University. He is coauthor of Breaking Down the Digital Walls: Learning to Teach in a Post-Modem World (SUNY Press, 2001), and numerous articles on the role of technology in children’s lives. For twenty years Lowell taught young people with and about computers in schools in the U. S., South America and Europe. He is a founding member of The Alliance for Childhood and serves on its board of directors. Currently Lowell spends most of his time confusing aspiring teachers about the purpose of education and its role in American society.

     In preparation for Lowell Monke's visit in March, we encourage you to read two significant articles by him that were published in Orion Magazine. Please use the following links: Unplugged Schools   Charlotte’s Webpage





This Friday, March 11, 6:00 PM, Community Hall

Lobster Dinner Fundraiser - $20

Please join Merriconeag High School's Model United Nations Club for their annual lobster dinner fundraiser  this Friday in the Community Hall. All proceeds will be used to send the club to two

conferences at High Mowing School and Dartmouth College. For $20 you will receive a fresh cooked lobster caught by a local fisherman, a local and organic salad provided by New Leaf Farm, a baked potato and dessert. There will be live entertainmentthroughout the meal. After the meal there will be a contra dance. Reservations are required by Wednesday afternoon, March 9th. All are welcome so please come! Contact David Whittlesey @ 666-5525 or whittlesey@interpeace.org.


Please Note: The Parent Coffee Scheduled for Tuesday, March 15, has been postponed.


Tuition Support Fundraiser and Silent Auction:

Saturday April 2, 6:00 PM
      Over a third of the families at Merriconeag rely on some level of tuition support (formerly called tuition assistance). Whether or not you receive tuition support, it is clear that everyone benefits immensely from a more socio-economically diverse community, both in the classroom and within our parent community. Merriconeag’s annual Tuition Support Auction is the fundraiser in which we show our commitment to economic diversity and tuition support. Please demonstrate your support for all of the families that rely on tuition support, and your appreciation for the whole community that benefits by this diversity, by getting involved in this important fundraiser.


Listed below are the numerous ways in which you can make a difference!
1.) Come to the Auction and bring a friend! The fundraiser will be successful, and the party will be lots of fun, if everyone comes! Mark your calendar and get a babysitter so you can enjoy the evening! That includes ALL families, from early childhood through high school - we want to see you there! If you bring a friend from outside the community, they come for free!
2.) Donate a service or item to the silent auction
A large and active Auction Committee is working on soliciting donations from businesses as well as our parent body for the Silent Auction. All of us have something of value to offer – a service or an item that can be donated to help raise money for tuition support. If you haven’t yet submitted your auction donation form, please do so by March 14th! Hard copies can go to any MWS office; send email submissions or direct questions to the Auction Committee volunteers who are spearheading the solicitation effort:
o ECC Coordinators: Julia Dodge (jdodge5@maine.rr.com) and
   Victoria Stefanakos (mainevic@gmail.com)
o Grades Coordinator: Susan Stark (sstark@bates.edu)
o High School Coordinators: Becca Herron Donisvitch (mamablessed@yahoo.com)
o Board Coordinator: Barbara Kappelmann (boston97@roadrunner.com)
o Faculty Coordinator: Lynne Espy (developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org)
o Business Solicitators:
    • Brunswick: Alicia Heyburn (aheyburn@hotmail.com)
    • Yarmouth: Sarah Currie (sarahpcurrie@yahoo.com)
    • Falmouth and Portland: Rhonda Cashell (camcurt@myfairpoint.net) and Stacie Hamilton Waldron      (shamwald@maine.rr.com)
    • New Gloucester: Laura Dorsey (ldorsey@smccme.edu)
    • Freeport: Melisa Walker (melisa_thompson@yahoo.com) and
Victoria Stefanakos (mainevic@gmail.com)
    • Other Towns: feel free to volunteer! Contact Lynne Espy
New This Year! This year, all donated auction items will be posted on our Auction Facebook page, so that you can see photos and descriptions of what others are donating. We will also post an Item of the Week in the Tuesday News. This should spark your imagination as to what YOU could donate, and get you excited to bid on these items at the Silent Auction.
Link to the Auction Facebook page

What can I donate? Here are some examples, but this shouldn’t limit your ideas. Ask yourself: what could I offer? What might others want?
• Classes, workshops or retreats: yoga, pilates, zumba, meditation, T’ai Chi, dance, eurythmy, gymnastics...
• Alternative healing modalities: Massage, Rolfing, Polarity therapy, cranial manipulation, dietary or health consultations...
• Music classes, catered meals, dance lessons, ski clinics, computer consultation…
• Handmade toys, clothing, artwork, jewelry, footwear, household items…
• Artwork: photography, paintings, felted wall hangings, pottery…
• Support: house-cleaning, fresh eggs each week, home-cooked meals...
• Tickets to the theater or performance, or to a Patriots, Bruins, or Red Claws game…
• High tech goods: laptop, iPod, iPad, Kindle, or cool software apps….
3.) Be an Auction Sponsor: On the back side of the donation form, you will see all the benefits of being an auction sponsor. Sponsor the Auction as an individual, in memory or in honor of someone, or as a way to promote your business! Each dollar raised goes directly to tuition support, and your sponsorship comes with great visibility and benefits. Contact Lynne Espy (developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org)
4.) Buy a cash raffle ticket: Now available in each office, and to be mailed in your invitation which is coming next week, cash raffle tickets are $25 each or 5 for $100. It’s a 25/75 split – you keep 25% of all proceeds from the cash raffle. Last year the total cash raffle amount was $9,475 and the lucky winner took home over $2,000! You do not need to be present to win, there is no limit to the number sold, and anyone (family, neighbors, friends) can purchase cash raffle tickets.
5.) Volunteer at the Auction: Stacie Hamilton Waldron and Rhonda Cashell are coordinating the staffing at the Auction. We will need volunteers to work a shift to make the magic of the evening happen! Look for further details about volunteering the night of the auction.
What will happen on Sat. April 2nd? This year’s theme is BEACH PARTY, and you are welcome to dress accordingly (ideas will be offered in coming weeks) or come as you are. There will be delicious hors-d’oeuvres (from Catering to You), homemade desserts, student-made raffle items, the infamous silent auction, a return of the highly successful ‘reverse auction’ (to be described in a subsequent issue) and, of course, dancing to tunes after 9:00pm. Don’t forget, the auction isn’t just about fund-raising through shopping—nearly half of every admission ticket purchase price goes directly to the Tuition Support Fund. It’s sure to be a great evening – you won’t want to miss it!
Many Thanks! Submitted by Lynne Espy and the Auction Committee


2011 Summer Camp at Merriconeag

The snow is deep, the wind is howling, but here in the farmhouse we’re planning Merriconeag’s 2nd summer camp! Don’t put away your skis just yet, but you can start planning your summer. This year, we’re expanding our summer camp offerings with more weeks, more programs and that means more fun!

July 18 – 29, we will have ½ day programs (9:00 - 12:00), for pre-school through 8th grade students. Teachers will include Johanna Flath, Merriconeag High School Art Teacher, Julie Pennington, Merriconeag Grades Handwork Teacher, Oliver Kinzer and Kam Anderson. (We will offer the option of an afternoon program for younger students based on interest in a full day program.)
Some of last year’s favorites are back, but there are new programs as well:

  Buttercup Camp for 3 ½ - 6 year olds will delight in the magic of our early childhood center and surrounding woodlands.
• Grades 1 - 3 will become Summer Explorers from “Gnomeville to the meadows of woodlands of our beautiful campus. Story, song, cooking and crafts will fill each morning.
• Grades 4 - 6 and 6 - 8 will have alternating weeks of  Fun with Fiber and then Beautiful Birds, exploring the natural habitats, materials and folklore of local birdlife in Maine.

July 18 – 22, 12:30 - 3:30, we will host our first week long, fun-filled Basketball Clinic for Grades 6 – 9. Zachary Sloan, a Waldorf graduate, will be coaching this clinic. After graduating from Wheaton College, he joined the program Teach for America, where his classroom duties extended to the basketball court, coaching his 7th and 8th grade boys to the playoffs in Glendale AZ.

August 15 -19, Circus Arts Camp will fill the Community Hall with jugglers, tight- rope walkers, clowns and acrobats! John Saccone will gather his outstanding troop of professional mime artists and jugglers to bring the big top back to the Community Hall after Circus Smirkus leaves town!

     Look for more information soon on the Merriconeag website. Registration and medical release forms will be available on line by the end of March. Please contact Christine Sloan, administrator@merriconeag.org with questions.


From the Development Office

2010-11 Annual Appeal Update: 

     To date, we have raised $51,795 towards our Annual Appeal goal of $60,000. We are in the home stretch now – and we need everyone’s help!!

     We are hoping to reach 100% participation by all current families. If a high quality education isn’t incentive enough, the first class to reach 100% will get to enjoy a decadent chocolate dessert by Lynne Espy. Remember, a gift of any size counts. We hope you will consider all that Merriconeag brings to your family, and make a gift accordingly.

If you have any questions about the Annual Appeal, or why we ask every family to consider making a tax-deductible gift, please click here.

Classes with participation rates exceeding 50% :
• 2nd Grade: 67%
• EC (Kristina Farm Morrill’s class): 65%
• 7th Grade: 59%
• 5th Grade: 58%
• 4th Grade: 56%
• 8th Grade: 53%
• High School: 53%
• EC (Bridget Jeffer’s class): 50%
• 1st Grade: 50%
• 3rd Grade: 50%
• 6th Grade: 50%

     Please make a donation to the Annual Appeal today by submitting a check to the office (remittance envelopes available), going to our website and making an online donation, or calling us about a stock gift. If your employer matches your charitable gifts, please let us know so we can stretch your gift even further.

     As a community, we are enormously indebted to every family who chooses to make a donation to the annual appeal. In gratitude, Lynne Espy (developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org, 865-3900 Ext. 116)



News From the High School

High School Forum - Ambassador Jonathan Moore
      Last week, the high school was very honored and privileged to host Ambassador Jonathan Moore who came, invited by M. David Whittlesey, to participate in the Model UN class. We took advantage of this opportunity to invite Ambassador Moore to our monthly Forum as well as have a conversation with the 9th grade class who had recently studied US government.
      Ambassador Moore came through to the students as a man of high probity, in quest of truth and integrity through his understanding of world affairs. He approached his talk with kindness and lucidity, explaining for example how everything is interrelated such as pessimism and optimism, when it comes to world affairs. Read more.

We are so grateful for the visit to Merriconeag School by this highly respected international diplomat!
Submitted by Regine Whittlesey

A Student Perspective on the forum:   Don’t let his age fool you. Ambassador Jonathan Moore’s mind is sharper than most others you will encounter. This becomes clear as soon as he begins speaking and presenting his ideas coherently, lucidly and without hesitation. In addition to, and perhaps because of, his great experience on both the domestic and international level, Ambassador Moore provides startling insights of our world today and what steps must be taken to live in a healthy and sustainable manner. One of the most surprising parallels he drew was between the rich-poor gap and the speed and ease at which information travels. He pointed out the effect on poor people of having ready access to images and videos depicting lives of opulence and waste. This appears blatantly obvious but it is an aspect I, and I know most of my peers, never thought of before. Ambassador Moore’s main point, one he came back to again and again, was that we Americans, as individuals and as a nation, need to accept a role of responsibility, not entitlement. We as individuals rely on all the members of our community, whether it be our family, neighborhood or the planet, and we must think of our communities in return, not only of ourselves.
      Many thanks to Ambassador Moore who took time to travel to Maine in order to speak to the Model UN class and to the whole High School in our Forum. Ambassador Moore also shared some insights with the 9th grade class after their work on US governement. We all profited greatly from his wise and interesting insights.

Submitted by Ben Tindall, Grade 10

The following thank you letter from some of our students in our high school's Model UN Club recently appeared in the Maine Chapter of the United Nations Association Newsletter:

On January 15, it was a great a great pleasure for us to attend the luncheon and talk by Edward Elmendorf which was part of the UNA annual meeting. The four of us are part of a class of 14 students at the Merriconeag Waldorf High School in New Gloucester who are participating in a Model UN class, and will attend MUN Conferences at High Mowing School and Dartmouth later this year. This was a real opportunity to get a first-hand view about the role of the UN from someone who has been directly involved for several decades, and to meet and talk with UNA members about the UN today. (We also had a delicious meal for which we are most grateful!)
      The Model UN process is exciting and informative, as it brings us face to face with many of the difficult issues facing the world today, not from our somewhat isolated perspective from small towns in Maine, but by putting us in the shoes of delegates from countries around the world and debating in a setting that closely follows the United Nations reality. In addition, meeting and discussing with people who have personal experience with the UN, including Mr. Bradley Babson and Ambassador Jonathan Moore who will be joining our class in March in addition to Mr. Elmendorf, makes the experience that much more real and alive.
Again, many thanks to UNA Maine for inviting us to attend!
Cyrus Fenderson, Wyatt McCurdy, Phineas Samuelson and Brian Watko



David Sloan has more poems published:

     As you may recall, David Sloan, Merriconeag High School’s Humanities and Drama teacher, is an accomplished poet. He recently had two poems, The Spaces Between and The Fire Starter published in the Winter 2011 edition of The Cafe Review.

   In the fall, David's poem, Lines in Algonquin, won Honorable Mention in Carpe Articulum Literary Review’s 2010 Poetry Competition. David has also had poems

published in the Northern New England Review, and was a prizewinner in the Friends of Acadia Nature Poetry Contest.

Athletic News - Sports Updates

Merriconeag Waldorf High School Cross Country Coach, Tom Ryan has been named Coach of the Year by the Maine Track and Cross Country Coaches Association. This is in addition to his being named Girls XC Coach of the year by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram in November. Coach Ryan will be presented the award at the annual luncheon of the Maine Track and Cross Country Coaches Association on March 19th. Congratulations, Coach!



School Community Updates

Queen of the Sun: Our thanks to all of you who made our showing of Queen of the Sun such a success.

Special thanks to our sponsors:

If you missed the film, you can see it, March 25 - 27, at The Movies at the Portland Museum of Art. Click here for show times.

Earthquake Recovery at the Christchurch, New Zealand Rudolf Steiner School:

Dear Friends on the North American Continent,

News from the Christchurch Steiner School in New Zealand is coming now slowly. Damage to infrastructure has made contact difficult. The Principal of the Steiner School there wrote to friends at Lillipoh and reported that all at the school are fine. The school now has a FaceBook page up: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Christchurch-Rudolf-Steiner-Earthquake-response/201414923205026?sk=wall . This is a good way to read up on steps being taken in regaining order. The page also offers ways to help. Of course, your thoughts and prayers need no computer links and might be the biggest help of all. Many thanks for that.

     If you or your school community would like to make a donation, here is how from the school principal: anyone in your school, centre or community can make a donation to this fund by sending cheques made out to the Federation to Mark Thornton at 655 Findlay Road Miranda 2473 or making a direct credit into account 06-0457-0114198-00, notifying Mark by email to steiner.federation@gmail.com.

     Please call our office (518-672-7878) if you have any information or questions.
With hope for the people of Chirstchurch,

Patrice Maynard, Leader, Outreach & Development, AWSNA

To read an email from from Thomas Proctor, principal, Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School, please click here.

The 7th Grade launches fundraising enterprise, SEVENTEEN SEEDS:
      The 7th Grade, with the help of Fedco Seeds, has carefully chosen a variety of vegetable and flower seeds (seventeen varieties in all), which they are selling in a bundled pack. For $25, you will received 17 seed packets filled generously with highest quality seeds. Fedco has given us an incredible deal, allowing us to raise money and while also passing along on much of the savings to you. (We have estimated that these same seeds at a retail outlet would cost between $30 and $40).
     The varieties in the bundled pack are: Bush Bean, Sugar Snap Pea, Slicing Cucumber, Zucchini, Delicata Squash, Pumpkin, Carrot, Radish, Spinach, Lettuce Mix, Greens Mix, Chard, Kale, Cosmos, Nasturtium, Sunflower, and Zinnia. They were chosen based on flavor, popularity, and ease of growing. While some of these can be started indoors, the don't need to be, as they can all be direct seeded in the spring, summer, and even early fall.
      How to get them: The 7th grade will be busy labeling envelopes, weighing, dividing, and packing the seeds over the next couple of weeks. We plan to begin selling the bundles by the first week of March at pickup and in the office. Remember that this will make a wonderful gift as well.



Please check the Lost & Found in the upper and lower buildings on the Grade School Campus. After conferences (March 24 and 25) all unclaimed items will be donated to the Clothes Tree Thrift Shop in Freeport.




Read (Listen to or Watch) This

Another reminder to read two significant articles in Orion Magazine by our upcoming speaker, Lowell Monke. Please use the following links:

Unplugged Schools

Charlotte’s Webpage





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Greater Community Link


Community Classifieds Link