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Join us for a fun filled morning of nature play, as we foster a love of the earth, and a deepening of artistic and creative capacities, for ages 4 – 12. Each week will have a different emphasis:

Week 1 June 21-25 Growing Together

Week 2 June 28-July 2 Creative by Nature

Week 3 July 5-9 Fairytale Play

Week 4 July 12-16 Adventures in Art

Week 5 July 19-23 Wilderness Camp

Week 6 July 26-30 Animal Explorations

This camp will take place outdoors from
8:30am – 1:30 pm

Please pack: bathing suits, towels, water bottles, snacks, change of clothes, and a sun hat.
 
 Limited space available. The cost per week is $200; registered Mangrove students receive a discount. Partial weeks may be possible with pre-registration, and is based on availability.

Registration forms can be emailed to mangrovesarasota@gmail.com. Payments can be made to https://paypal.me/mangroveschool

Please email mangrovesarasota@gmail.com with any questions.

 

In lieu of a Winter Assembly this year, here is a heartfelt offering with the warmest wishes from our students, in their natural element!

Videoography by Allen Clements, Music by Jon Stevens.

What a tremendous display of generosity of the past 24 hours! Thanks to the Community Foundation of Sarasota for hosting and facilitating, and to The Patterson Foundation for MATCHING all donations, $25-$100!

The outcome? Over $18 million raised, by 58,947 people, for 687 non-profit organizations in the Sarasota area! In 24 hours!

This year, as we face unprecedented circumstances, with many businesses temporarily closed to the public, these funds mean more than ever. It means these organizations can continue to operate, people can keep their jobs, and the most vulnerable in our society have the services they need.

These acts of kindness also give people hope. Hope that they will rise again and be able to provide for the community now and in the future. We would like to thank not only our donors but ALL donors; you are the proof that together we can all grow and thrive!

To our supporters we would like to offer a deep, heartfelt thank you! We are small and creating a very different kind of education; your donation directly supports our mission of nurturing children through nature, service, and meaningful curriculum. Through this mission, our students become connected to themselves, each other, and their community. They learn who they are and gain a deep appreciation for their own unique gifts and contributions. To us, this is essential. If our students have love for themselves and security in who they are, they can face any obstacles in the future. Thanks to you, we can continue to support our teachers, families and community.

With love and gratitude,

Erin.

Thank you!!!

Uncertain times have the potential to bring many new challenges and issues, as well as innovative solutions and ingenuity! Our Mangrove Garden Collective was born from a need to empower families to grow their own food, find hope in precarious circumstances, and bring our community together in spirit when we need to keep our distance. We hope you will join in this movement. Together, we grow.

In our Early Childhood, we use puppetry as our main storytelling tool.  This can be finger puppets, marionettes, or small dolls moving about to  give life to the story the teacher is telling. As children see in pictures, this draws the child in, allowing them to fully engage their imagination and creativity.  Teachers choose stories that can supprt the child’s inner development and the puppets moving about slowly and purposefully can have a healing and calming effect on the child, thus these are designed to nourish both their minds and hearts. This puppet play was created as a gift for young children in our community and beyond. We hope you enjoy it – happy spring!

In difficult times such as these it is not easy to feel the goodness in life. In an external crisis, our urge is often to listen and see the news and to share our feelings with other adults. As a consequence, it is easy for the children around us to be exposed to things that they cannot understand, to become fearful about situations they will never see and cannot change, even if we think that the media or adult conversations are not attended to by the children. Even pre-verbal children can sense the distress in our inner being.

But nothing brings stamina for life and daily well to our children more directly and strongly than surrounding them and immersing them into an atmosphere of goodness and joy. For us as adults, the message they seek from us is this :” I am happy to be alive, I am interested in the world around me and I want to find a place for myself within it.” Children are born with an openness to meet what their lives will bring.

For the child just beginning life, there is one single mantra that needs to guide those early steps and years: the world is good. No other belief will carry him forward through the tumbles and stumbles, through the mysteries of his encounters with confidence and eagerness. Without this overarching rainbow of trust in life around and above them, children shrink back into themselves, lose the shine in their eyes, forgo the impulse to experiment, to see things as the adults around them never have.

The world is good- and therefore I enter into it, explore it, wonder, stop and look, touch, encounter, meet what comes to me with interest and growing confidence.

FEAR paralyzes children – it reverses children’s natural gesture of trust, openness, and interest in the world. To develop in any way, children need to be able to enter easily into life around them. They need to feel welcome, and above all, safe.

There are times when circumstances beyond our control create uncertainty or worse for our families. At the same time, however, our children are just beginning their lives. We owe to them their birthright: the world is good and I am grateful and happy to be in it.It is a safe place for me to grow in. And later, much later, I will be able to take on its pain and burdens. But give me time, peace, and space in which to discover the goodness in life for myself. Protect me from the challenges of adulthood until I am ready.

How can we do this for them?

We can protect them from information that they can not comprehend or digest, and give them the strength building elements of rhythm, form in daily life, predictability, that reassure them of the goodness and security of each day. Young children are not able to interpret the large world and it’s sphere of difficulties. They cannot digest it and then it goes inside of them to then be expressed in ways of anxiety. nervousness, fear, withdrawal, sleepness nights, or aggressive behaviors.

How do we as adults find our own paths to believing in the goodness of the world?

Take a walk, find your way into nature, hold deep in memory the most recent good thing we have encountered. Begin and end your day with gratitude for the good in our lives – however challenging this may feel at moments. Find reminders like the wonder and miracles of the  universe. Look up at the stars in heaven; find a poem and put it on your refrigerator; pick a small bouquet of wildflowers or recall a human relationship that has helped you along your way.

And see it, step by tiny step, you can rediscover, in difficult times, that the world is truly good!!

By the amazing Susan Weber of Sophia’s Hearth Family Center. Reposted with permission of Sophia’s Hearth. https://www.sophiashearthteachers.org/

What an incredible weekend of fellowship – working side by side we collectively brought such a profound message about the our school’s mission:

Honoring imagination as the heart of childhood, and something we deeply nurture in our students – of all ages.  Through this faire we can see not only the incredible commitment our teachers make to this principle through their artistic endeavors, but the fruits of the seeds planted in early childhood, in our older students who so impressively and skillfully create experiences for their younger peers.

Bringing awareness to the profound importance of our connections to our surroundings.  We hold this value so closely, therefore every aspect of the planning kept this in mind, and bringing in other organizations and businesses that share this with us was essential.  We are so grateful to have folks like the Longboat Turtle Watch and Mote Marine Aquarium to support our Faire and bring awareness of their particular passions, and to have the event transformed into a zero waste event by Sunshine Community Compost was such a thrill! The student Recycled Art Gallery was another element added this year, transforming 3 months of garbage into intricate and detailed art pieces.

We are incredibly grateful to the multitude of support and well wishes we received!  First, to our sponsors:

The Davis Family, Dragonfly Wellness, Veronica Fish and Oyster, The Shoemaker Family, The Blanton Family, TW Advertising, The Underhill Family, The Landers – Niedenfuer  Family, 221 BC Kombucha, India Artisans, and the Holton Family!

We are so grateful for your generosity and support as we envisioned bringing the biggest Mermaid Faire yet, to the community! A special thank you to 221 BC Kombucha for brewing a signature flavor for the event – Mermaid’s Tears – in honor of our most magical guests, who hold such love and care of our waterways.

We would also like to thank our donors: The Davis Family, Heather Underhill, The Mandell Family, The Lundquist Family, Korri Sheppard, The Furlano Family, Sawyer Leins, Lindsey Landers, The Coppola Family, Judith Lescano, Amanda Skuba,  Kerri Loafman, Laura and Jay Schoenfelder, Island Deodorant, The Toback family, and Peggy Jones.  We also had several anonoymous gifts.  For the first time every activity was sponsored and our wish list was completely fulfilled! Your generosity is so incredibly appreciated!

Our volunteers were truly inspiring, taking on many tasks – this was everything from putting flyers out, mermaid hair styling, organizing, completing a shift (or two!), and even construction work!  A huge amount of care and time is required in order to pull this off and you all were incredible! Thank you so, so much – Amanda Marolda, The Lumley Family, Angelo Chiroli, Stephanie Lallo, Alissa Mandell, Brandy and Ben Gray, Megan Streitz and Family, Nancy Benitez, Miriam Cornell, Darcy Nelson, Josh Banks,  Judith Lescano, Martha Heid, Bryan Heid, Amanda Skuba, Leanne Goveia, Kia Duenas, Heather Underhill, Sarah Holton, Chris and Natalie Maute, Owen Maute, Akio Otomo, Christy Stanford, Keshara Alleyne, Tibi B,  Kerri Loafman, Madison Loafman, Jessica Odom, Tiffany Hillary, Jamie Kirchbaum, Nathan Kirchbaum, Tiffany Rains, Alicia Worthington, Lisiane Fidalgo, Cari Coggins, Laura and Addie Baumberger-Schoenfelder, Eric Lundquist, Cal Lundquist, Jay Kent and Crew,  Jennifer Suter, Bryan Suter, Kai Green, Chuck Green, Kevin Klein, Rita Radi, and Amanda DeMauro.  Of course behind all of these volunteers are also other support people – spouses, partners, friends who took on childcare so our volunteers  could make the time to do this! 

Special thank you to our students who, with their immense creativity, brought our faire to a whole new level!  The Recycled Art Gallery was compiled by the 5/6th grade, with artists spanning from nursery age and up!  The 5/6th grade also helped make our Faire flow smoothly completing many tasks the day before, and created our Faire map! Thank you to Mr Jon for guiding them so skillfully!

The Sunken Polynesian Ship Yard was completed by the 7/8th grade, designed to be an attraction for older students and adults, and they truly delivered, dreaming up even the smallest details to help create an authentic and memorable experience. They spent many hours transforming the room, and then hosting guests throughout the Faire!

To our teachers for the extra commitment and energy needed to fully bring the faire to fruition, thank you, thank you, thank you – Shivani, Birte, Laura, Shawn, Kalin, Geoff, Jon and Heather!

Last, but definitely not least, our dear mermaids, this year a record 16(!) were called to the Mangroves! Enchanting, charming and endearing, our mermaids bring a message of care, love and enthusiasm for human kind and our mama earth.  The mermaid sisterhood that has formed to visit us each year is a collective of feminine energy that brings magic, wisdom, and grace to our community.  Mama mermaids gently welcome children into the wonder of their world, under the sea, while their younger seashell sisters delight in awe of human kind, offering children the chance to shine.  Unseen mermen complete (incredibly) sturdy infrastructure upon which imaginations could be woven.  Together they are a genuine ecosystem of love, support, and connection that is felt so deeply by the children who visit them, bringing beauty to all they touch.   To our mermaids, you are the heart of this event, and we are eternally grateful for the extraordinary light you shine!

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