Tuesday News - April 26, 2011

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

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Upcoming Events

The High School Coffee House

An Evening of Sweet Words, Sweet Music, and Sweet Treats!

This Friday, April 29, 7:00 p.m. in the Community Hall

What has become one of the most eagerly awaited traditions in the life of the our young high school will take place on Friday, April 29, at 7 p.m. Juniors Tyler O'Brien and Liza Simmons will co-host a program that should satisfy all Worshippers of the Word, music aficionados, and dessert addicts in the community. Come hear award-winning poetry, stirring short stories, and moving music. You may even experience--live and in-person--several You Tube celebrities in action! Although there is no entrance fee for this memorable evening, donations at the door will be gratefully accepted. Delectable desserts and beverages will also be sold during the program.


The 4th Annual

Merriconeag Poetry Festival

This Sunday, May 1, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Community Hall

     Don't miss our 4th annual poetry festival featuring Maine’s new Poet Laureate, Wesley McNair, and finalists from the following high schools: Aucocisco, Cheverus, Deering, Falmouth, Gorham, Merriconeag Waldorf, North Yarmouth Academy, Scarborough, Thornton Academy, and Yarmouth.

     The event is open to the public and will feature the student-poets reading their prize-winning work. As Festival judge, Mr. McNair, nationally acclaimed author of eighteen books, will read his own work as well and speak briefly on the power of poetry. He will also reveal the first, second and third prize winners, whose poems will be displayed on a poster to be distributed to all high schools in the region. All finalists will receive gift certificates and a festival booklet containing all the selected poems.


May Celebration and Medieval Faire

Saturday, May 7, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

57 Desert Road, Freeport

A family day of festive activities: Maypole dancing, games, delicious food & drink.







News From the High School





Congratulations to the class of 2011!
The class of 2011 has received a record number of acceptance letters this year. Colleges do seem to be very interested in accepting Waldorf educated students as they try to build diverse freshman classes. The list of colleges that have accepted Merriconeag High School seniors has grown to 36 schools which is very impressive considering we have only had two small senior classes!

Colleges and Universities that have accepted Merriconeag seniors: Alfred University - School of Engineering, Antioch College, Bard College, Becker College, Bennington College, Centre College, Champlain College, Clark University, Colby Sawyer College, Colby College, Endicott College, Evergreen State College, Franklin Pierce College, Gettysburg College, Goucher College, Guilford College, Hampshire College, Hobart and William Smith College, Husson College, Kalamazoo University, Lasell College, Lewis and Clark College, Johnson and Wales College, Skidmore College, St. John’s College, (NM), St. Lawrence University, Roger Williams College, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of New Hampshire, University of Maine – Orono, University of Maine – Orono, School of Engineering, University of Maine – Farmington, University of Southern Maine, University of Puget Sound, University of Vermont, Warren Wilson College.


Donate your gas powered machine to science! Lawn Mower, weed-wacker, chain saw, roto-tiller not working after the long cold winter? Donate it to Merriconeag. Every year the 9th grade dissects engines. Instead of paying a disposal fee, take a tax deduction! Please put any donated equipment behind the community hall and the office portable. Any questions call Jeff O'Brien at the high school (688-8989) or at home (688-3245).


From the Administrator

 Spring Forward – A Day in the Life of Building the Merriconeag Community   

On Wednesday morning, as I walked across Desert Road with a second grade student, we talked about seeing the eighth grade play, “Cheaper by the Dozen” later that morning. He told me that one of his friends, who had a sibling in the eighth grade, said the play was really funny…we were both looking forward to a room full of laughter in the Community Hall.

     Walking back into the Farmhouse at 8:30, I discovered that the laughter had already begun. The smell of Lynne Espy’s freshly baked scones, hot coffee, and a kitchen filled with parents met me at the door. The Auction committee was having another party! This one was in celebration of their unprecedented success, raising over $51,000 in one night! The amazing group of volunteers, who worked with Lynne for the Beach Party Auction, filled the Fireplace room with excitement and a sense of accomplishment. That community-building event not only helped us let go of our winter woolens, enjoy the “imagination of sun” and the company of good friends, it raised an additional $20,000 beyond our goal for tuition support this coming school year!

     At the same time, in the conference room by my office, a serious group of board/committee members were meeting with the Finance Director discussing financial planning. They had started at 7:00 am, and were still going strong. (There was laughter in that meeting, too!)

     I was about to meet with two parents for a planning session for this year’s eighth grade “thank you dinner.” We had trouble finding a space! We finally pulled chairs into the Development/Buildings & Grounds office which was free for the moment. By 10:30 parents and some of the staff were headed to the Community Hall to enjoy a beautifully staged production of “Cheaper by the Dozen.”

     As I walked back up to the Farmhouse at 12:30, I reflected on the astonishing variety of “gatherings” of people that had taken place that morning at Merriconeag. In those few short hours, not counting the classes that were taking place in all three sections of the school, I had experienced the volunteer work of six different groups of people, and joined the audience of students from 6 years of age to 18 as they delighted in the artistry of our eighth grade play.

     Merriconeag Waldorf School is truly bursting with new life as we “spring forward” this year! Soon we will be breaking ground for the new Handwork Building, and finally saying goodbye to one of our well-used “portables.” Look for follow-up stories as we begin this new project in the “heart” of our lower school campus. There will be many new ways to lend a helping hand in the months ahead. Christine Sloan


From the Development Office

Annual Appeal Update:
      I hope you haven’t forgotten about the Annual Appeal, because we are still waiting for gifts from a number of families, and we still need to raise $5,000 to reach our goal of $60,000! All gifts and pledges for the 2010-11 Annual Appeal must be received by June 15, 2011.

     The Annual Appeal has two goals: the first goal is to raise $60,000 for the operating budget. This keeps the school running, pays faculty salaries, provides essential supplies for the arts, music and movement programs, and helps families who require tuition support. The second goal is to reach 100% participation among all current parents. As we seek funding from foundations, a high level of participation demonstrates our community’s commitment to Merriconeag and to Waldorf education. Please remember that any size gift counts, and your one gift counts toward all of your children’s classes. Please help your child’s class get to 100% participation!

     My offer still stands: the first class to reach 100% participation will receive a decadent chocolate dessert, made by Lynne Espy. Last year, it was the 8th grade – who will get it this year?

These classes have exceeded 50% participation - let’s get them to 100%!
• 1st Grade: 87%
• EC (Kristina Farm Morrill’s class): 82%
• 4th Grade: 81%
• 2nd Grade: 77%
• 3rd Grade: 74%
• High School: 72%
• 7th Grade: 70%
• 8th Grade: 68%
• 5th Grade: 67%
• 6th Grade: 67%
• EC (Bridget Jeffer’s class): 57%

     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. Every gift counts – please make your gift today!
In gratitude, Lynne Espy (developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org 865-3900 Ext. 116)



School Community Updates



Summer Camp News:

Summer Camp Afternoon Program:
We have increased interest in an afternoon program for the two weeks of summer camp, July 18 through 29th. Most of the inquiries have come from families who currently have children in the 2nd and 3rd grade. We will be designing a relaxed afternoon with lunch, restful activities, art projects, and games. The cost for extending the program to 3:00 will be an additional $50. Campers will need to bring a bag lunch.
As we are shaping this afternoon program and the staffing around the age groups, we encourage interested families to contact Kathy Watko, bookkeeper@merriconeag.org, as soon as possible.

     To learn more about our six summer camps and to register, click here.

We are very excited to announce that a new summer camp, a collaboration between 317 Main Street music instructors and Merriconeag faculty, has been added to our offerings!

Strings Music Camp: building Community Around Music and Play

Here's what we know so far:

  • The camp will take place July 11 - 15. It is for students entering grades 5 - 8, a half day (9-noon) strings music camp for students who have at least one year of stringed instrument instruction (violin, guitar, bass, viola, mandolin, etc.).
  • 317 Main Street music instructors will team up with a Merriconeag faculty member to share their passion for cooperative play, expressed through music and outdoor games.
  • 317 Main teachers will lead the small group instruction, with some individualized attention, for two one-hour sessions per day. Students will be divided into groups by ability, with the goal of building passion and skills for playing music in a small group, refining technique, and learning about improvisation, jamming, and all the skills needed to play as a group, as they learn new tunes.
  • Merriconeag faculty will lead cooperative outdoor games (or indoors, in inclement weather), for the one hour break in between the music sessions, mirroring the creative and cooperative fun of working and playing as a group.
  • The last day of class will be “open”, so parents can witness how much fun it all is!


Japan Supported with Notecards by Merriconeag Students:
    We are nearing our goal of raising $5,000 that will allow us to qualify for a matching donation. A few packs of cards are left at Royal River Natural Foods and Island Treasure Toys. Donations of any size will be much appreciated as we wrap up this effort to help Japan in its hour of need. Many thanks to everyone for their support.

     Over the break, The Times Record and the Portland Press Herald picked up our press release about these wonderful cards created by Merriconeag students in support of Japan. You may follow the links below to read the coverage:



     Please visit http://www.jcie.org/earthquakeupdate.html for more information on how the funds donated to the recovery fund are being used.


Read (Listen to or Watch) This

Finland's Educational Success? The Anti-Tiger Mother Approach

Joshua Levine, Time.com, April 11, 2011

Why Preschool Shouldn't be Like School

New research shows that teaching kids more and more, at ever-younger ages, may backfire.
By Alison Gopnik, Slate.com, March 16, 2011






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