Late Winter News Update 2022


Dear colleagues and friends,

We would like to share some updates with you following our successful conference earlier this month!


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Nearly 800 Waldorf early childhood educators from throughout North America and around the world participated in our February online conference. This conference was a significant step in our working together toward change, toward the kinder, more compassionate society we all know is possible.

A whole-hearted thank you to everyone who contributed to this inspiring event and especially to the following:

  • Otsistohkwi:yo for sharing the Haudenosaunee thanksgiving address
  • Meggan Gill, Keelah Helwig and Joaquin Muñoz, for their stimulating, eloquent collaborative keynote sessions
  • Lynn Turner and Leslie Wetzonis-Woolverton for facilitating the Q&A and the closing session and post-conference Listening Space
  • Anjum Mir, Laura Mason and Magdalena Toran for joining Lynn and Leslie to sound the notes from the conference and look toward our future work together
  • Silk and String Puppeteers from Toronto and members of the Everlasting Tree Community for their puppetry performance of the legend of the Dancing Stars
  • Members of the Ak Lu’um Community School for the singing and marionette performance of the Huichol legend, The Blue Deer
  • Workshop presenters who shared their gifts and ongoing research and practice with conference participants
  • The incredible WECAN Conference Team, whose work behind the scenes made it possible for us all to come together in this unique way
  • Our Sponsors for their generous support of this work. A full list of sponsors and exhibitors can be found here.
  • Special thanks to our VIP Sponsors: Mercurius, Sunbridge Institute, and Waldorf Publications!


Register Now for Access until July 31st!

Many colleagues who missed the conference and have heard how valuable the keynotes, panels, Q&A sessions, workshops, and artistic offerings were, are asking whether it is possible to view the recordings. The answer is YES! Whether you are wanting to view the recordings in order to participate in ongoing professional development work with colleagues at your school, or would simply like to experience what you missed, you can register now for access to the recordings, which will be available until July 31, 2022.

If you teach in a WECAN Full or Associate Member school or Registered Initiative, you will receive a special discount rate of $100 by using a code that will be sent to your school office and WECAN early childhood contact person this week. The registration fee for those who are not affiliated with WECAN will be $150 for access to the keynotes, singing and puppetry performances, panel discussions, Q&A session, Sounding the Notes, book recommendations from Nancy Blanning, and 12 workshops.

Look for a special announcement or write to conference@waldorfearlychildhood.org for details.

WECAN Conference Website


Thank you to all the conference participants who made contributions to our fundraiser this year! We are very excited to announce that we have raised $6800 so far from conference participants in support of the Everlasting Tree School on the territory of the Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario and the Lakota Waldorf School in Kyle, South Dakota. We are continuing our fundraising for those who register for access to the conference recordings. If you would like to participate, you can also send a check to WECAN, 285 Hungry Hollow Road, Spring Valley, NY, 10977 with "Conference Fundraiser" in the memo line.

Click here for more information on these two schools.


The Everlasting Tree School

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The Lakota Waldorf School


We are offering a series of open meetings as a follow-up to the WECAN conference, Toward a Kinder, More Compassionate Society: Working Together Toward Change. Join WECAN’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Committee members for conversations reflecting on conference themes and working toward practical applications in the classroom and in our communities. 


Post-Conference Listening Space

Saturday, March 19, 2022, 7:00am HST/10:00am PDT/11:00am MDT/12:00pm CDT/1:00pm EDT


Cultivating Positive Self-Identity in Early Childhood Programs

Tuesday, April 19, 2022, 1:30pm HST/4:30pm PDT/5:30pm MDT/6:30pm CDT/7:30pm EDT


Renewing Our Festival Life

Saturday May 21, 2022, 7:00am HST/10:00am PDT/11:00am MDT/12:00pm CDT/1:00pm EDT

Click here to join


Nancy Blanning, Gateways editor

FESTIVALS stand out as an essential element that announces to the world that Waldorf education is different and special. We love festivals with their predictable, rhythmic occurrence in our lives and the traditions we have come to expect. And we may NOT love aspects of them because of the traditions we have come to expect. Festival life, like everything else in our lives, is calling for observation, contemplation, review, discussion, and renewal.


This Spring 2022 Gateways opens up this conversation with many different reflections and viewpoints on how our festivals have been celebrated and questions regarding what the future is calling for. What inclusion, affirmation, and recognition is each individual child's soul longing for through our festivals? What is each child's being also longing for as spiritual affirmation of our common humanity? The very thoughtful authors of this issue invite us into this profound--and definitely not easy--conversation. Come join the party! We are all invited and welcomed though we may enter the room through different doorways. 

For fun and joy, there are two new circle imaginations to greet you as well. One was inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream." These are meant to be community builders and are very fun.

Three new books are given review. Lots of valuable information is in them as well.

We hope that Gateways will help us think together. The pages will be happy that you have opened them. Our mutual reading creates a community of readers open to considering all of these thoughts.


Click here to view our 2020-2021 Annual Report, with highlights of WECAN's activities last year and thanks to our donors and supporters.

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Our Ukrainian colleagues are reporting devastating attacks on their cities, schools and kindergartens are closed, children are suffering from trauma, and families are leaving their homes in fear for their life. The international Waldorf movement, including the International Association for Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education (IASWECE) and our colleagues in the European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education, stand in support of the families in Ukraine and are raising funds to offer support in the coming days. If you would like to make a donation, please click here.


The Hague Circle is the International Council for Steiner/Waldorf Education. Twice a year, its members, Waldorf teachers from all over the world, come together for a multi-day conference in one of the participating countries or at the Goetheanum in Dornach, to discuss aspects of the anthroposophical foundations of Waldorf education and to identify issues of common interest and concern. 

In November 2021, the Hague Circle invited a number of younger colleagues from around the world to a special meeting devoted to the current situation and future of the Waldorf movement. After this special meeting, a report was sent out, describing current challenges and weaknesses of the Waldorf movement and suggestions for how colleagues around the world. Click here to read the report. 

In February, the Hague Circle sent a second letter describing three topics for Waldorf school and kindergarten colleagues to take up in your faculty meeting study and discussions in the coming months. Click here to read the letter. You and your colleagues are invited to share your thoughts with them about the three topics. 


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Loving care for the child under three

By Helle Heckmann

Taking the child’s need as her point of departure, Helle Heckmann sets aside mainstream expectations. Twenty-first century pressures on families, imposing long working days on parents and much absence from the family and home, create the classic problem of our times: while creating economic safety and security for their families, how can we give the best we can to the children we love, while also satisfying personal needs as well as the demands of society? This book offers perspectives from several adults who care for young children in diverse ways.

$35 Order Now NEW!


The Picture Language of Folktales

By Friedel Lenz

Fairy tales speak in a visual language—but what do these pictures speak of? In The Picture Language of Folktales, Friedel Lenz looks at fairy tales and their original images as part of the development of human consciousness. The characters of these stories are human beings living within two worlds—one which is physically visible and experienced through bodily senses and another that is not visible but nonetheless sensed. Friedel Lenz’s consideration of these twenty-five tales, originally collected and retold by the Brothers Grimm from 1812 to 1857, offers the possibility of limbering up our thinking and feeling to allow the pictures of these stories to speak.

WECAN extends deep gratitude to Clopper Almon for this translation.

$25 Order Now NEW!

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Eurythmy in Kindergarten - A contemporary approach to speech and movement 

Eurythmy in Kindergarten is a beautifully illustrated answer to the question, “Why eurythmy in kindergarten?” This unique, artistic form of movement, with its deep connection to the formative power of speech, is especially important for young children’s speech development, which is increasingly under threat in our times.

This lovely booklet is written for kindergarten teachers, eurythmists, students in training programs, and parents. We will send a sample copy to each WECAN Member program and encourage you to order more for your colleagues and parents!

$10 each or 5 for $30 Order Now NEW!


Truer than True

collected and edited by Holly Koteen-Soulé

Truer Than True shares twenty-six wonderful tales from around the world for the home and classroom, and for all who love stories. Holly Koteen-Soulé collected these favorites of the Waldorf early childhood classroom and adapted them to enhance inclusiveness and understanding and to share beloved stories that can nourish families from many cultures.

"The fairy tale is unique . . . in its capacity to offer seeds of solace and social healing to the soul-in-becoming, and to be a wise and tender guide for us all, in both childhood and adulthood." - from the Introduction.

$25 Order Now


Click Here


A listing of summer early childhood training courses and professional development opportunities will be sent out later this month!


Your contribution will help us continue to support our members with additional resources, more ways to connect with colleagues, and inspiration for their ongoing professional development. Your support will also help us collaborate with other organizations to keep a light shining on the ever more critical and precious treasure of the first seven years and protect the young child’s joyful devotion to everyday life and unmitigated hope for the future. We are grateful for any contribution you are able to make!

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Membership benefits include:

  • A subscription to the Gateways Journal (includes the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 issues)
  • WECAN News Updates
  • A 10% discount on WECAN book sales
  • Discounts on registration fees at WECAN Conferences
  • Regular email messages that include reports on activities, conferences, and events within WECAN and IASWECE (the International Association of Waldorf/Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education).

Click here for more information

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