HVWS Celebrates 100 Years Of Waldorf Education
Housatonic Valley Waldorf School (HVWS) students, staff, and invited guests gathered in a circle outside the school on September 19 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of international Waldorf schools.
HVWS middle school teacher Laura Hayes welcomed everyone to the morning celebration, which featured a clapping exercise and Melissa Merkling, Housatonic Valley Waldorf School (HVWS) educational support coordinator, sharing a history of Waldorf education. Ms Merkling was one of the founders of HVWS in 1989, when it was named Star Meadow Nursery-Kindergarten in Milford. The school later moved to Newtown, and this year marks 30 years since it was founded. Alumni were invited to the celebration.
As Ms Hayes said, all around the world on September 19, other Waldorf schools were celebrating.
Ms Merkling later shared a history of how philosopher Rudolf Steiner came to speak at the Waldorf Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart, Germany. The factory was owned by Emil Molt, and Ms Merkling said he thought it would be a good idea to start a school for his company’s children and their relatives. Ms Merkling said the aim was to change the world by starting with educating children differently. Mr Steiner taught “a young group” of teachers his philosophies for the school.
“100 years ago today, the doors of the school opened,” said Ms Merkling, adding that today there are more than 3,000 Waldorf schools in more than 80 countries.
After the gathering, students broke into groups to participate in activities throughout the day, like dyeing flags and taking lessons in German and Spanish.
HVWS Board President Laura Stotz attended the event. She said Waldorf education, “is the most intentional education of a child — a whole being — that I’ve found. It’s so rich and deep in understanding what a child need in every stage of their development.”
More information about Housatonic Valley Waldorf School is available on its website, waldorfct.org.