Active Learners Blog

The past school year began with two memorable endeavors arising from and belonging solely to the children - a sudden burst of unicycle and stilt use. The renewed unicycle interest continued until the arrival of cold weather with the stilt walking pursued until the warm winds of spring. The unicycles rest on pegs along the outside wall of the hallway — always present and used faithfully by the children throughout the year. Over the course of my five years as school manager, I have observed that typically the challenge of learning the unicycle begins during the Kindergarten year with sporadic periods of interest throughout a child’s years at the school. The desire to ride a fve foot unicycle or learn complicated maneuvers may encourage increased use for short periods of time. The autumn months brought an unprecedented wave of unicycle learning and interest. Older Group children who began in the Nursery as well as those new to our school were suddenly challenged to learn. Two additional five foot unicycles were purchased and immediately put to use. Our older Nursery children took down the smallest unicycles, carried them to the porch, held on to the bar along the porch wall, mounted and tried over and over again to move forward. It truly was a marvelous time to quietly observe from the office window.

I believe though that I shall always remember the 2012-2013 year as the year of the walking stilts. The use of our two old, wooden, handmade pairs of stilts began during the first days of school. During free time, the older Younger Group girls were choosing to stay inside walking up and down the hallway on stilts instead of going out to play in the beautiful autumn sunshine. As the interest expanded, purchased aluminum stilts began to arrive. As the winter months passed, I was thankful for our carpeted hallway for on any given day as many as six pairs of stilts were put to excellent use during the children’s free times. If a child on stilts came into the office to visit, little up and down steps were used to stay in one place. It truly was a marvelous time to quietly observe from the office window.

My deepest thanks and appreciation to the faculty members, past and present, who have safeguarded the educational philosophy of Antioch School; to our parent and community school board and committee members for their devotion and willingness to accept this enormous responsibility; to the dedicated parent and community organizers of Grandparent’s Day, Anything on Wheels, the Harvest Soup Supper, the Citrus Sale, the Pancake Breakfast and Children’s Silent Auction (organized by the Older Group children) and the Comedy Show and Silent Auction; to our parent volunteers who make so much possible for the children; to our devoted and gracious donors; to the Yellow Springs Community Foundation and Morgan Family Foundation for their kind and generous assistance; to Antioch College for the use of gym space.

My special thanks to former Antioch School parent, Doug Snyder, for his gracious and expert assistance with the publication of Active Learners. This journal issue is dedicated to former Younger Group teacher, Linda Greene, who returned to her native land of California to be of assistance to her family. Throughout her six years, Linda exhibited the highest degree of dedication and devotion to the children and the Antioch School community. Thank you, Linda.

We welcome our new Younger Group teacher, Christine Lipari-Althaus, with open arms and great confidence in her abilities. Welcome, Christine.

MJ

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