In 2008, when daughter Sophi ’20 was in elementary school, Waynflete parent and Bates College Professor Krista Aronson found her worlds as a psychologist, scholar of racial identity, and parent colliding. As her town’s majority-white public school district rapidly diversified, Krista—a mixed-race mother raising a multiracial family—turned to research with children’s picture books for answers to the difficult questions her young daughter had begun asking about her own identity (read more here).
We are thrilled to announce that Waynflete has received a matching $250,000 Educational Leadership Grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation. The grant will enable the school to build on the success of the The “Can We?” Project, which brings students from disparate communities together to learn dialogue skills and practice collaborative decision-making across political divides, and the New England Youth Identity Summit. The grant also allocates funds for the development of new programs and partnerships.
As part of the Lower School’s study of Spain (this year’s “Global Focus” country), students recently participated in the celebration of a Valencian festival called “Las Fallas.”
Each home station in the Lower School spent weeks creating a Spanish themed “Falla” out of paper mâche for the event. EC made a cactus, K-1 created animals native to Spain, 2-3 whipped up Spanish food, and the 4-5 Fallas depicted Spanish sports. On March 19, Spaniards in Valencia burn their Fallas during the final event of the festival called “La Cremà.” The Lower School had a Cremà of their own. Students watched their creations burn as they enjoyed Paella Valenciana cooked over an open fire.
Students in Waynflete’s 4-5 program visited the Portland Museum of Art on March 1. To prepare for the trip, Daniel Kany—an art historian and critic for the Portland Press Herald—gave a presentation entitled, “How to Appreciate Art in a Museum.” Dan shared with us that he has written more than 500 art critiques for the Press Herald!
One of the highlights of our year in 2-3 is the “Kids’ Choice” study in January. After brainstorming ideas, students vote for the topics they would like to study. This allows us to narrow down the list to four choices—one to be taught by each 2-3 home station teacher. This year’s topics were astronomy, big cats, cartooning, and cooking.