Literacy for Lifelong Learning Conference

Detroit Waldorf School

For Immediate Release

Contact: Melanie Reiser, Outreach Director


Literacy for Lifelong Learning Conference

Saturday, February 14, 2009

8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Detroit Waldorf School

Detroit Waldorf School (DWS) will host a conference on the topic of literacy as the foundation for lifelong learning on Saturday, February 14, 2009, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The program will highlight the imagination-focused language arts curriculum endorsed by Waldorf education, one of the world’s fastest-growing independent school movements. The keynote address will outline the Waldorf approach to language arts, which is rooted in the notion that children who love to read will develop the critical and creative thinking skills necessary for a successful and balanced life. The goal of the Waldorf methodology is to awaken in every child a love for the powers of language, which in turn leads to exceptional independent reading skills and writing abilities. In contrast to most reading programs taught in today’s schools, the image-based Waldorf curriculum eliminates the rote memorization that can take the joy out of reading and lead to academic overload.

In addition to the keynote presentation, conference participants will choose from among four workshops covering the following topics: parental support for reading and writing at home; early childhood literacy; Waldorf education as preparation for high school, college, and beyond; and authentic assessment: an antidote to standardized testing.

The conference features keynote speakers Sian Owen-Cruse, PhD, and Dana Davidson of Detroit‘s Cass Technical High School. Owen-Cruise is a Master Waldorf Teacher and the program director of the Waldorf Institute of Southeastern Michigan, a teacher’s training program for Waldorf educators. She is also the program manager of Washtenaw County’s Success by 6 initiative, which provides support for parents, childcare professionals, and agencies aiding young children and their families. Additionally, Dr. Owen-Cruise serves as president of the Detroit Waldorf School Board. Dana Davidson teaches English at Cass Tech and has authored the young adult novels Jason & Kyra and Played. Davidson was the recipient of a Newsweek/WDIV Outstanding Teacher Award in 2001.

The Literacy for Lifelong Learning conference is open to the public at a cost of $25 per person, which includes admission and a continental breakfast. Prospective attendees may register online at or contact Detroit Waldorf School Outreach Director Melanie Reiser at 313-822-0300.

Celebrating its 42nd year, the Detroit Waldorf School is part of the international Waldorf School movement, which comprises over 900 schools in 83 countries. Located in Historic Indian Village, just three miles east of downtown Detroit, DWS is housed in a stately historic structure designed by Albert Kahn. Situated on four acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, the school provides a warm and inviting environment that nurtures growth, learning, and creativity by focusing on each student?s developmental needs. DWS offers enrollment in nursery school through eighth grade. Its interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizes analytical, creative, and critical thinking, as well as self-discipline, initiative, and reverence for the natural world.

The Detroit Waldorf School is located in Historic Indian Village at 2555 Burns Ave., Detroit, MI 48214. For more information, call 313-822-0300 or visit

Thank you!


Melanie Reiser

Outreach Director, Detroit Waldorf School

(313) 822-0300, (313) 822-4030 (fax)


Ethnic Potluck

Kelly kicked my butt this morning for not updating on the Ethnic Potluck.  I’ve been crazy busy and not updating as much as I should, and I will work on doing better! 

 The Ethnic Potluck was great!  Prior to the Potluck itself, there were a bunch of activity tables set up for the kids in the halls.  Hannah Rose had a lot of fun.  She made macaroni necklaces for herself, her mom (who was there with us), and for me!  Mine happened to have a lot of green and orange–I told her it was beautiful and that I loved the Irish colours.  I wore it that day, and it now lives on the China Cabinet door. 

What you really want is pictures, isn’t it?  Here they are:

Here’s Hannah Rose at the beginning of her feast!  There really was a lot of food and a lot of choices!


 She’s showing off her quesadilla in this next shot…you can see her full plate there.  She ate quite a lot, but she didn’t finish her plate–no surprise with all that food on there!


Here’s Hannah Rose with her friend N.  He used to be in her class last year, but isn’t this year.  She picked this table to sit at so she could sit near him.


After the meal, the school had brought in a harpist who played a lot of different songs incorporating stuff from all over the world.


Here’s Hannah Rose dancing to one of the songs:


Afterwards, the kids could come up with a parent or teacher and were allowed to strum the harp.  Hannah Rose actually got to strum it twice cause she was so quick on the draw I didn’t get any pics the first time!  The harpist was really nice about that!


All in all, we had a great day.  Hannah Rose liked her Irish Soda bread, and a million other things as well.

Family Game/Literacy Night

Thursday night, Hannah Rose’s school hosted a Family Game/Literacy Night.  It was a night of games, fun, and books for the whole family.  It was also the kick-off night for the school book fair.

Chris and I had had other plans–our small group meets on Thursday nights, and this past Thursday was the first night of a new 7 week study.  However, we decided it was more important to be there for Hannah Rose so we opted to attend Family Night at her school instead! 

Hannah Rose was very happy to see us there!  She and her mom literally pulled into the parking lot right behind us!  Hannah Rose couldn’t wait to get out of the van and run over to give her daddy a hug!

The different classrooms had different activities.  The first activity that Hannah Rose did was arts and crafts.  She made a snowflake out of a paper coffee filter. 


After that, there was a games room that we went into.  Hannah Rose really had fun in this room!  There was an elephant on the carpet that spewed out butterflies and you had to try to catch them.  She was laughing up a storm at this!




There was a movement/music class where she got to make a musical shaker.  (A decorated paper plate folded in half stuffed with beans and stapled shut.)  She even got to put streamers on it!


Then we checked out the book fair where we bought a couple of books:  “Me and My Dad” and a Disney’s “Magic Kitchen Cookbook.” 

I headed over to the story room where I had volunteered to read a story.  I read “Baby Bear, Baby Bear What do you See?” by Bill Martin and Eric Carle.  I had a small audience, but it made it more intimate!

After I was done reading, I found Hannah Rose in the Cake Walk room.  She won!!!  She got to pick out one of the bigger cakes.  We thought it might be a butter gooey cake, but it wasn’t.  It was strawberry.

To finish off the evening’s festivities we meandered over to the cafegymitorium where there were refreshments and books for every child (all they had to do was collect four stickers–one sticker from each activity room, of which there were more than four, and they could pick out a free book!).  Red Robin was there, too.  Hannah Rose was completely enthralled with him!  She loves to be around different “characters!”  


Because we had a Winter Storm warning and Friday’s weather was supposed to be really really bad, Hannah Rose came home with us Thursday night instead of coming over on Friday.

All in all, it was a good evening.  Hannah Rose had a blast and both Chris and I agree we made the right choice in deciding to go! 


Back in the Game

Started back at school today.  I’m going part-time, 6 units.  I’m taking Western Civ II and Intro to Philosophy.  Have had both instructors before and I like them both a lot.  Classes went well today and I’m expecting the semester to go very very well. 

Of course, I have homework already.  But I was expecting that! 

The drive home was actually better than the drive there this morning.  I’m thinking it’s because the roads were a bit icier this morning than they were this afternoon.  The drive is a little over an hour long, one way.  Fortunately, I only have to do it twice a week!  Yay for that!  It’s kinda weird getting up at 6 am and being out of the house at 7 am.  Not something I’ve had to do for some time now.  I might get used to it soon.  Then again, I am a night owl by nature so I might just end up tolerating it!  Who knows???