Mangrove Update - February 5th, 2017

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.  Happiness never decreases by being shared.


Upcoming Events

Grades Service / Camping Trip at Crowley Museum and Nature Center – Thursday and Friday, February 9th and 10th – no Community Lunch on Thursday, February 9th.

No School Thursday  and Friday February 16th and 17th – Parent – Teacher Conferences; No School Monday February 20th – President’s Day

Wednesday evening February 22nd – 6-7:30
Learning and Loving How Energy, Colors and Crystals Heal Our Children with Natalie Grace

Energy healing is available for everyone to access. There is no special background required. This type of healing comes from the universal energy that surrounds us and makes up everything we see and do not see. Energy healing can be directed for mental, physical, emotional and spiritual purposes.

Natalie will guide you on how to tap into the frequencies and living vibrations of color, energy and crystals to transform and direct them beneficially to aid your children. When directed with pure intention we are amazed and in awe of the power of love and benefits of modalities that are at our fingertips everyday and in every way. Accessing these sources and maintaining their presence initiate practices you can use in the comfort of your home, car or grandmas house, even a field trip, to guide little ones and our own beings into a smoother and more effortless journey.

This class will be part presentation, part question answer and part hands on while she guides you through these steps and then we will practice them together.
Upon completion you will have attained the techniques and knowledge to:

1) Find your happy place!
2) Gain an understanding and usage of color and crystals and their energy.
3) Learn about transmuting what we don’t want with pure intention
4) Learn grounding exercises
5) Experience a sense of all over calmness and serenity

Healing is a selfless beautiful act that is every persons right to access and apply.
Please come in comfortable clothing and bring plenty of water to drink.  Course cost is $20 per person and tickets are available in advance.

Saturday February 25th, Florida Heritage Festival 9 am – 5 pm – at Crowley Museum and Nature Center – We will be spinning jump ropes and enjoying all of the other amazing demos on display at the festival.  We would love help with set up, break down and chatting with prospective families and friends of the school.  Please email if you can help!

Save the Date – Friday March 3rdMessages from Loved Ones in Spirit – Presented by Natalie Grace and Karen Slember

Enjoy an “Evening of Reunion” with loved ones in Spirit, as two Evidential Mediums, Medium Natalie Grace and International Medium Karen Rose Slember team up to bring an evening of Evidential Mediumship.

These well experienced, talented and compassionate mediums will bring specific and accurate information about the person in Spirit, touching shared memories and a message of joy and love from the Spirit World to as many of their loved ones as possible in the audience.

This evening, filled with warmth, love, understanding and humor is certain to warm the hearts of those present with the knowledge that love never dies and that our loved ones are just a breath away.

Love is the strongest and most healing energy in the universe. Join this event for a loving and healing evening of Messages from Spirit.  This evening is a benefit for the Mangrove Sarasota School’s conflict education program for students.

Tickets are $25.00

Legal Disclaimer: When purchasing tickets you are acknowledging that attending this event does not guarantee you will receive a personal reading and or connection to a loved one. For legal reasons we must inform you that this demonstration is for entertainment purposes only, and is at no time a substitution for medical, financial, legal, or psychological services.

Friday, March 31st – Spring Festival – Kite Flying and Potluck –  During the month of March our students will be creating their own kites in school in preparation for the Spring KITE festival at Siesta Key Beach!  Join us from 9- 12:30 for kite flying, sand castle making and nature exploration!  A potluck will conclude the festival at 11:45-12:30.


Tax Credit Scholarship families – please drop off your renewal letters for 17-18 in the school office as soon as possible!

 Thank you’s:

This past month we have been so blessed by the service of so many families!  We appreciate these deeds, big and small, more than we could ever properly express.  Thank you so much to Aneta Lundquist, Natalie Maute, Chris Maute, Dee Gangi, Erin Cunningham, Jack Schmitt, Eric Lundquist,  Jasen Benoit, Yolanda Benoit, John Schroeder,  Keshara Alleyne, Rebeeca Rothstein, Alison Goldy, Geoff Pierce, Sheri Hartnell, John Munroe, Heather Green, Michelle Roy, and Laura DiMeglio!

From Our Classrooms:

Seahorse Pre-Kindergarten

Dear Seahorse Parents,

We have had a lovely time these past couple of weeks. We have been busy learning a new circle and new songs, we made play-doh, and painted winter pine cones.

Outdoor painting in the Seahorse class.

Some children have completed a  window star already, whereas others are patiently waiting their turn.

The children are busy with household tasks like cleaning the floors, sweeping, serving the meal, pouring the water and such. It is beautiful to see how much pride they take in these tasks and how important they are to them.  Please keep doing these tasks at home with your children as often as possible.

Upcoming events in the classroom include a  Valentine’s Day celebration for which you will receive more info via text.

With Much Love,

Ms. Birte

Starfish Kindergarten

Dear Parents,

The Kindergarten class has enjoyed many days in the woods with the Nursery class. We have played on the playground, made fishing poles to fish off the dock, taken nature walks in the woods and created many imaginary games along the way.

Our circle has been about robins and welcoming the day. We also played, “Bello who has the bone”, when we have been at the park. The children enjoyed finding new paths through the woods and would find berries, pine cones and seed pods. Some of the children made bird nests with berries. Being in nature has helped with our gross motor skills, enhanced our connection to nature and we have seen how our surroundings change over time. There is a bee hive high up in a tree that the children really enjoyed walking under.

Forest Fun!

Now we will be returning to the school full time and look forward to being in our lovely play garden more often.

We have shared a puppet play called “Mice on Ice”, from the Tiptoes series. The children really enjoyed it and after made up their own puppet plays.

Our newest circle is about a bear hunt and the children get to act out going through tall grass, mushroom field, wide river and a dark cave. I’m not scared!

The children each got to make up their own games that we all played, including hiding the orange.

We look forward to February and all it brings  – especially our Valentine’s tea party!

Best wishes,
Ms. Laura

1st Grade

Dear Parents,

The first graders have been busy learning the qualities of numbers 1-12. They have been listening to a story about two children that have to answer twelve questions to unlock a secret door (which has caused a lot of speculation in the classroom!).

They have also been working very hard writing the numbers in their main lesson books, as well learning how to draw with block and stick crayons.

Qualities of numbers “4”

Qualities of numbers – “7”

During circle time, they are using rhythm sticks to keep the beat in several new rhymes and songs, and  one day we took the sticks outside to try them!

In handwork we are working on making new knitting needles, and dyeing yarn for our next project. The first graders are very enthusiastic learners, and enjoy new experiences every day!


Ms McMillan

From Ms Jessica:

We have been exploring birds, snakes, as well as knowing the difference between live oak and laurel oak.
We have been playing Fish and Osprey , an educational game I made up after the fish was dropped by an Osprey at school . The kids love it and we have shared it with the other grades as well.

We have learned how to count to 12 in french, as well as the body parts , the colors , how to order at a restaurant , greetings and saying please and thank you and goodbye.
We have learned several songs to reinforce the vocabulary, and keep singing them during our time together.

We often light a candle to make wishes and prayers for our lives and others and our world. We will sing songs for the earth and healing and love.

For our story time, we have done yoga nidra in french , a story about a bear eating apples in the red woods, and another about the forest and all it’s animals.

We have been sharing stories and lessons on friendship and compassion , and how to serve our classmates and clean our classroom and how to care for others and our school.

We did a scavenger hunt a couple weeks ago and they knew where to find each plant!   They often walk with me during our free time and I teach them all kinds of things, they are very inspired and are such good listeners .

I love being with your children, they are so wonderful and it is an honor to be with them.

2/3rd Grade

Dear Parents,

Since our return from the holiday break, we have started our language arts block. This includes an exploration of creation stories from various cultures, including the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, the Hindu tradition, and several Native American traditions – all told from the story format. The children look forward to the progress of these stories, as they build upon each other.

Developmentally, children are ready to understand their and humanity’s beginning, and as such our block will look at early practices of food preparation, early clothing, farming, animal husbandry and dwellings. During Earth Skills, we have already made a fire, made soup and are currently making early foot wear. More hands-on skills to come!

Our 2/3rd grade has been busy!

We have also moved into cursive writing, which the children are deeply engaged and improving in.

With humanity becoming aware of and marking the passage of time, we are also learning how to tell time. Market places and use of money will be studied and so too we are working with money in our own classroom marketplace.

Building reading skills are also and will be at the forefront between now and the end of the year, with some students receiving one-on-one reading instruction from volunteers. Experienced readers in class are engaged in peer-to-peer reading pairs with other emerging readers.


Ms Yolanda and Ms Stefanie

4/5th Grade

Dear Parents,

This past month has been full and action packed! We were so honored to host two visiting students, Oskar and Arthur, from a Waldorf school in Germany, as well as welcome several new students and families into the class and community.

Since returning from break we have again been fully immersed in mathematics. Our main focus was decimals – practicing the four operations, as well as applying our knowledge with hands on activities with money and measurement. With math, attaching meaning and significance to their lives is essential. We also kept looking back on our previous work with fractions, and included a comparative analysis of each of the four operations with decimals and fractions. By doing so, the children can understand that decimals are merely a wonderfully convenient convention of fractions. As always with math, we don’t want to present anything blindly, we want the children to comprehend the “why”.  This allows them a deeper understanding and application of what we are doing.

We also completed our Circus Science block with a trip to the Sailor Circus to see the life-sized version of the chain reactions we created in class. The students were on the edge of their seats as they saw the physics in action. Mass, potential and kinetic energies were never so entertaining!

We were are also thrilled to participate in a day of team building and orienteering with Pathfinder Outdoor Education.  The purpose of the program is to develop leadership, increase self-confidence, and enhance communication through trust and team-building activities. The children worked together to identify and achieve common goals and in the process, gained new skills in problem-solving, resolving conflict, listening, observing, and working effectively in a group.

It was magnificent to witness this kind of social learning in real time. One activity included a “river” (about 30 feet of grass) to cross with each child given their own “raft”(mat), that they must remain on. They could not scoot or shuffle the “raft” forward. The caveat was that they must cross the “river” with one hand or foot on their raft at all times or the raging river would wash it away. The class quickly realized that they needed to work together and share their rafts in order to meet their challenge. Even more quickly they learned that they needed to communicate clearly and observe each other closely or they would all be right back at the start of the challenge again. This is just one example of the opportunities they had to be thinking of the group as a whole.


This captures the mood of the 4/5th grade so well – you can see one foot is still firmly planted in childhood.

The orienteering portion also had them working in teams to create a course for another team to complete with their new found skills with the compass. We definitely look forward to working with Pathfinder again in the future!

In an effort to foster cooperation in the classroom at this age it is prudent to engage the children in helping to establish what the rules need to be.  As such, we revisited the topic of rules in the classroom, as well as the consequences for breaking them, that we established last year, in our weekly class meeting.
This was productive in several ways – allowing all students to voice likes or dislikes, enabled the children to see how much they actually have in common – they all want the opportunity to learn in an attentive environment, to have their space respected, to be treated with kindness, etc.  Hearing each other say these things, helped them to realize that they all need to uphold the principles that they too find important.

It also sets the stage for our study of Ancient Greek civilization – this is the ideal I have been pointing them toward over the entire year so far – since their culture and customs had such an impact on our society. In the year 507 B.C., the Athenian leader Cleisthenes introduced a system of political reforms that he called demokratia, or “rule by the people.” This was one of ancient Greece’s most enduring contributions to the modern world, so this is also an opportunity to begin to explore the tenets of democracy, and how we participate in it.  This seems especially important these days – what it means to have a voice, and how to use it.  I look forward to delving deeper into this subject, and practicing these ideals in our class meetings.

Other items on the agenda included activity and subject matter requests. Last month, the students expressed an interest in more practical arts, so we added a weekly session of seasonal and/or curriculum related projects. Other additions per their requests was a Valentine’s Day celebration, and the Chinese New Year performance we shared at Community Lunch last week.

Each morning we begin class with a nature meditation, which sets the tone for the day, allows the students to connect with our natural surroundings, and supports a practice of “checking in” with our inner feelings and adjust as necessary such that negative emotions are not misdirected at others.

As the students approach these middle childhood years, their social life comes to the forefront. At this point, friendships become a very high priority, with seemingly “small” social incidents feeling monumental to them.   As they are also on a quest for individualism, their lives become infinitely complex, as they may suddenly feel very unsettled by differing opinions between friends.  It is an excellent time to talk about respecting other people’s opinions, even if we don’t agree with them.

They have a strong need for social guidance, as misunderstandings and  miscommunication happens often.  Lately I’m reminded by how profoundly important social education is, as I  find myself planting seeds that will hopefully bloom as they navigate the increasingly complicated issues as they enter their teen years or perhaps even adulthood.

In the coming month we go back in time to the earliest civilizations where we will walk back through the stages of human consciousness. Our first stop is Ancient India. Also in the pipeline is a service camping trip to Crowley Museum and Nature Center, and Pentathlon training as we prepare for our Florida Pentathlon with other Waldorf and inspired by Waldorf schools in the state in April.  We will also publish an issue of Mangrove Messenger, detailing our class happenings from the students’ perspective.  The kids are so excited for more and more challenges to come.

Always an adventure,

Ms. Erin

From Our Friends at Saltmeadow:

Commedia dell’art  – an afternoon performance for the community.

A new sport – rowing!




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