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)


Detroit Waldorf

I visited the Detroit Waldorf School today with Nancy.  Both she and Chris have been to the school before.  Today’s visit was the orientation/tour.  It’s the beginning process of applying for acceptance to the school.

Let me just say at the outset–I love this school!!!!  I so want Hannah Rose to be able to attend it! 

The school is beautiful.  See:

And that’s just the outside!! 

When we got there this morning there were some kids playing outside.  Yes, even in the snow!!!  It was great to see!

This school is more than beautiful, though.  I really like their philosophy and the way they teach.  Classes are small–20 kids at most.  Teachers follow students from 1st grade through 8th grade.  The arts–music, poetry, drama, movement are all emphasized and used as teaching tools.  She’d be learning Spanish and German.  She’d learn how to play a recorder in 1st grade, violin in 3rd grade, and in 5th grade would pick a permanent orchestra instrument.  Imagination and creativity are more than encouraged here–they flourish!!!

Concerning language arts–they don’t work on teaching little kids to read immediately.  Instead they teach them stories with rich vocabulary.  So when they do start to learn to read they’re able to read the words and the meaning behind the words.  You know, that just might be my favourite part of the school–the way they approach language arts!!!

The students have no computers in this school.  It’s old-school at school.  (Like they can’t learn computers at home!!!  lol)

There’s no cafegymitorium either.  Kids all brown-bag it and eat in the classrooms.  No vending machines.  No soda machines.  They have a small but elaborate and beautiful theatre space.  They hold their plays, concerts, and assemblies there. 

I think this school would be an ideal fit for Hannah Rose.  She’s so imaginitive, creative, and has such an affinity for music already. 

To find out more about the school yourself go to their website at