Winter/Spring 2017 
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WECAN Office
Melissa Lyons
Phone: (845) 352-1690

WECAN Coordinator
Susan Howard
Phone: (413) 549-5930
WECAN Membership
Laura Mason
Phone: (425) 837-9192
WECAN Communications

WECAN Teacher Education
Holly Koteen-Soule
Phone: (206) 696-9311


(International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education)

Dear WECAN members and friends, 


We are pleased to share with you some updates on WECAN's activities in recent months. Also in this issue of our News Update, you will find a description of several new WECAN Books (we are pleased that we have a number of wonderful new titles available!), an electronic copy of our Annual Report for 2015-16, membership news (including a welcome to our first WECAN member kindergarten in Puerto Rico!) and a preview of upcoming events. 

You will also find news and a thank you letter for the fundraising support for Waldorf early childhood training and education in Turkey - if you have not had a chance to contribute and would like to do so now, we would be very grateful! 



 Sending warmest wishes on behalf of the Board and Staff,



 Susan Howard

 WECAN Coordinator

News from the WECAN Board 

The Board is very happy to announce the expansion of the board with another new member, Sarah Arnold. Sarah is a Sunbridge Early Childhood graduate who established Evergreen Garden Playschool in Harvard, Massachusetts, a WECAN member kindergarten. She is currently pursuing a doctorate at Boston University on literacy, with an emphasis of language development with young children. 

Additional to this developing area of expertise, Sarah also has experience in interfacing with the mainstream world with educational policy. The Board is grateful to have a member with experience and understanding in the realm of public policy. As questions of regulation toward alternative education are increasing, Sarah will help us formulate responses to meet the increasing drive toward standardization and regulation of independent education. Welcome, Sarah. 

The theme of the Board activity this last fall and winter has been OUTREACH. When Susan Howard met with representatives of other educational associations, such as Montessori and NAEYC, in October 2015, a door opened to other contacts for WECAN. Trust for Learning Foundation contacted WECAN to learn more about Waldorf early childhood education. This small foundation is striving to bring the benefits of private early childhood education to a much broader community of children, particularly those living in impoverished circumstances. We await to see where the initial conversations may lead. 

Another step of outreach was that two WECAN board members attended the Alliance for Public Waldorf School Conference last January at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA. In sending representatives, WECAN wished to acknowledge and connect with our colleagues teaching in public Waldorf settings. It was a wonderful experience to meet so many new colleagues who are working earnestly to bring Waldorf education to the wide community of children attending public schools. We look forward to seeing how WECAN can offer support to this important work in the public sector.

The 2016-2017 WECAN Board,  L to R: Magdalena Toran, Holly Koteen-Soule, Adrienne Doucette, Louise deForest, Sarah Arnold, Ruth Ker, Heather Church,  Nancy Blanning, and Susan Howard

The WECAN board will also reach out to Canadian colleagues in the Toronto area in May when the spring board meeting takes place there. This will be the third time in recent years that the board has traveled to different regions in North America to meet, acknowledge, and support colleagues there.

We are also exploring a closer collaboration with the Physicians Association for Anthroposophical Medicine (PAAM), the Medical Section, and the Bio-dynamic Association, towards public health outreach that could provide resources for families with babies and young children. 
         - Nancy Blanning, WECAN Board Chairperson

Click here for a list of WECAN Board members, regional representatives and staff members. 

WECAN Annual Report, 2015-2016

Our Annual Report for 2015-16 was sent to our organizational members last month. We include it here and invite you to read about the highlights of our activities last year.  Click  here   to read  the Annual Report.

Membership Updates

We currently have 184 member schools. Of those, 26 are currently engaged in a renewal process.
Congratulations to London Waldorf School in London, Ontario, Highland Hall Waldorf School in Northridge, California and Green Meadow Waldorf School in Spring Valley, New York for completing their Full Membership renewals and to Ak Lu'um Waldorf School in Playa del Carmen in Mexico and Bayou Village School in Houston, Texas for completing their Developing Membership renewals this year.
We also have a brand new Developing Member School, Escuela Micael, in San Antonio, Puerto Rico. Congratulations and welcome to WECAN, Escuela Micael. We are delighted to have you!

An early childhood class at new WECAN-member school, Escuela Micael, in Puerto Rico.
Regional Representatives
Many thanks goes to Anne-Marie Fryer, who recently stepped down as Regional Representative in the Great Lakes region. Anne-Marie has been representing the region for well over a decade, nearly as long as Organizational Membership in WECAN has been a possibility for schools. As a Regional Representative in the early days of the role, she helped shepherd many schools through their first membership processes and continued to work with them on their renewals throughout the years. Thank you so much Anne-Marie for your years of service!
Our new reps for the region are Jane Danner-Sustar and Martha Flores - both from Tamarack Waldorf School in Milwaukee. Jane can be reached at jane.danner-sustar@tamarackwaldorf.org and Martha can be  reached at Martha.Flores@tamarackwaldorf.org. Please join me in welcoming Martha and Jane to their new role!
Collaboration Between AWSNA and WECAN
AWSNA and WECAN have been working toward increased collaboration for the sake of our members. Your school should have recently received a letter from myself and Melanie Reiser, AWSNA Executive Director of Membership, outlining some of that collaboration. I am particularly excited about our new Full Member renewal process for schools that are in an accreditation process with AWSNA. Those of you that are interested can find a description of the new process  here . Those schools for whom this process will be an option in the coming year will hear from me soon regarding how this will apply to you specifically. Please feel free to follow up with me at membership@waldorfearlychildhood.org if you have any questions.
In order to support the combined WECAN Full Member renewal and AWSNA Accreditation process, more AWSNA accreditation teams will require early childhood team members. Our current pool of possible team members is relatively small and we would like to expand the list and share this responsibility among more of our members. EC Educators and their programs ultimately benefit from this support, as team members often find visits to schools very inspiring.  If you would like to hear more about the possibility of serving as a WECAN site visitor or on an accreditation team, or if you know of someone who might make a great team member, please contact me at membership@waldorfearlychildhood.org.

New Directory
The joint AWSNA/WECAN directory is available in a new online format on the AWSNA website in the Member Portal on the Membership and Association Information page, under Membership Documents. Two different versions of the list are available at the following links:
Current school personnel from both AWSNA and WECAN organizations may request access to the AWSNA Member portal at:  https://waldorfeducation.org/members/request-access.  

        - Laura Mason,  Membership Coordinator
Teacher Education News

Several years ago WECAN created a Self-Study and Review process for its Institute members, including some Guidelines for EC Teacher Education Programs. TEN (Teacher Education Network) is now doing the same for the AWSNA Institute members. Since most Waldorf teacher education Institutes offer both early childhood and grades training, it makes a lot of sense to align our processes and the timing of the peer visits. This effort will be the main focus for the work of the WECAN Teacher Education Committee in coming months. 

We are looking forward to meeting with teacher trainers at the WECAN Leadership Retreat in August, sharing the draft of the revised process, and getting input from our colleagues in the Institutes.   

    - Holly Koteen-Soule, WECAN Teacher Education Coordinator

Support for Turkey

Waldorf early childhood education is establishing tender roots in turbulent times in Turkey, the cultural and geographic border and meeting ground between Europe and the Middle East. Small Waldorf-inspired kindergartens have opened in recent years in Istanbul, Bodrum, Antalya and Eskisehir. The first Waldorf School opened last fall in Antalya, where the IASWECE-sponsored Waldorf training courses are located. 

Under the current political/cultural circumstances in Turkey, it take great courage to found or participate in a Waldorf kindergarten or training course. The enthusiasm and commitment of Turkish Waldorf parents, teachers and trainers is inspiring. They have turned to the international Waldorf early childhood movement to ask for $6000 in support for the development of training courses and mentoring and to bring together colleagues to strengthen their work. 

We are very pleased that participants at the February WECAN conferences in Spring Valley, NY, and on Whidbey Island, WA, donated more than $3600 toward this goal.  If you have not yet had an opportunity to offer support, you can write a check to WECAN, marked "Turkey" and we will add your contribution to the fund which we will send in June. 

Attached is a thank you letter from IASWECE, the project's sponsor, and from Tarhan Onur, the founder of Waldorf early childhood education in Turkey and leader of the training course. Read the letter here.

For more information on the International Association, IASWECE, and its activities, click  here. 

News from WECAN Book s

The following new books are available now - click here to visit our online store.

Lets Dance and Sing!
by Freya Jaffke, translated by Nina Kuettel

A collection of lively pentatonic games, verses, and dances. This companion to Freya Jaffke's Play with Us, also available from WECAN, is suitable for home to nursery to kindergarten. 

Waldorf Early Childhood Education: An Introductory Reader
Edited by Shannon Honigblum  

A new collection of foundational articles for early childhood educators and families. Included are classic accounts from master teachers as well as contemporary educators' observation.

The Seven Life Processes: Undertanding and Supporting Them in the Home, kindergarten and School
By Philipp Geliz and Almuth Strehlow, translated by Nina Kuettel

Healthy organ growth and functioning affect how the child plays and learns. Seven life processes quietly hum beneath all this activity. Understanding these gives insight and inspiration for how to encourage wholeness and healthy growth.

Movement Journieys and Circle Adventures Volume 2
By Nancy Blanning and Laurie Clark

A collection of all new material, plus a reprint of useful essays on the twelve senses and sensory development, building upon the foundation established in Volume One. 

Guidelines for Love as the Source of Education: The Life Work of Helmut von K├╝gelgen
Edited by Susan Howard

Helmut von Ku╠łgelgen (1916-1998) was a champion of the Waldorf early childhood movement and a steadfast supporter of its growth in North America and throughout the world. In celebration of the centenary of his birth, we present this collection of articles, lectures, and essays to carry with us into the future, always keeping in mind his central theme: Love is the source of education. 

Upcoming Regional Gatherings and Conferences


March 18, Denver Waldorf School
"How can we help the next generation know what is moral and what is good?"
Presented by Dr. Adam Blanning with Nancy Blanning and Laurie Clark
Registration due by March 16.  For further details  click here.

Southeast Atlantic:

April 7 and 8, Waldorf School of Baltimore, Baltimore MD
I gniting the Social Impulse of Waldorf Education
Keynote speaker Laurie Clark from Denver, CO

Rudolf Steiner founded the first Waldorf School to promote cultural understanding and to bring about a renewal of society after the calamity of the first World War. Steiner's insightful efforts through Anthroposophy have brought a living awareness of the most profound understanding of education and the ideal of true community.
In these uncertain times in which we are living in, promoting and engaging in the exploration of what unites us in our humanity, rather than what divides us, is a worthy endeavor towards healthy social life.

What can we do to deepen our own inner work to meet these challenging times? How can we, as Early Childhood teachers, re-enliven the offerings that we bring to the children who are entrusted to us? Young children imitate what lives within the teacher. In the earnest effort to strengthen our moral courage through the revolutionary spirit of goodwill, we are called to become evermore wakeful to the responsibility of our task.

For further details   click here.

Saturday April 22, Waldorf School of Philadelphia, Philadelphia PA
A Day of Puppetry: Conversation, Sharing and Workshops. Workshops will include "Puppetry in the Round" and "Have Story Apron Will Travel."

Please join us for a day of sharing and creating! This gathering is workshop-based and all workshops have a supply fee and there is no additional fee for the gathering. Lunch purchase is optional; you are welcome to bring your own. Please bring a little something sweet or savory to share during our refreshment break. 

The background reading for our morning discussion is "The Pedagogical Value of Marionette and Table Puppet Shows for the Small Child" by Bronja Zahlingen, found in A Lifetime of Joy (WECAN publications). 

Do you share puppetry with parents ? What is your experience of solo and group puppetry? What aspects of puppetry inspire you and what aspects are a challenge for you? What type of rhythm do you have of storytelling with and without puppets? These are just a few of the topics we can discuss. 

Certificates of participation will be available at the end of the day. 
For further details Click here


March 24 and 25, Monadnock Waldorf School, Keene NH
We will be combining our WECAN gathering with the AWSNA conference that will take place during the weekend of March 24.The Early Childhood portion of the conference will take place on Saturday. In the spirit of bringing WECAN and AWSNA together, we encourage you to participate in the entire conference as the theme will be renewing ourselves, sustainability and working through challenges. 
The AWSNA conference fee is $95 if you register before March 1; after that it is $125.00. Click here for more details.

If you would like to attend only the WECAN gathering, please contact surubinoff@gmail.com to register by March 15th. The gathering costs $25. Checks or money can be brought the day of this event. Checks can be made out to: GBRSS (Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School).
Please contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you.

Looking Ahead: 
October Conference on Sleep

For further information contact WECAN regional representative Diane David at: dianejohndavid@sbcglobal.net

Early Childhood Educators Conference in Spring Valley
February 9 - 11, 2018 
Save the Date!

After this year's winter storm, the Conference organizers considered alternative dates for next year's conference. However, after consulting with colleagues and local institutions, we have come around again to this early February weekend, when many are looking for mid-winter inspiration. Please mark your calendars and we will be in touch soon about the conference theme and speaker! 

And finally, in preparation for 2019 -
Waldorf 100 - A New Film 

The International Waldorf100 Planning Committee has just shared this new Waldorf100 video with us. It celebrates 100 years of Waldorf Education around the world. We invite you to share it broadly! More details coming soon!