We recently received some vintage School Around Us promotional materials from a former student and teacher! While a lot has changed since 1970 when SAU first “...grew from the informal discussions of a group of parents who felt the need for a small school which was flexible, ungraded, creative and free to put into practice the exciting ideas now developing or in use in education…”, it is refreshing to see how we have remained true to our mission and goals. A brochure advertising openings for the 1970-71 school year states, “We hope the School Around Us will be a place of sharing, of openness and honesty, of excitement and fun, of compassion and love, and deep involvement with people and the life around us."
One of our School Around Us graduates, Payce, is now a senior at The New School and will be making his directorial debut this weekend. Two other former SAU students, Tigerlily and Penelope are also starring in this show. Please come support the TNS Theater Program!
Friday, May 11 @7:30pm and Saturday, May 12 @1pm. Tickets can be reserved by calling 985-3745 or purchased at the door. $10 for adults & $5 for children under 12.
Play season is upon us, one of our favorite times of the year! School Around Us students and teachers are immersed in a theater unit for 6 weeks every spring. Children actively gain skills in literacy, collaboration, confidence, self-esteem, creative expression, time management, communication, commitment, and so much more!
Please visit sauproductions.brownpapertickets.com for more details and to make your reservation for the School Around Us Production of Mother Goose is Eaten by Werewolves.
We have three performances planned April 12-14. Our venue for the shows this year is at The New School located at 38 York Street Route 1 in Kennebunk.
Mother Goose is Eaten by Werewolves is written by Steph DeFerie and produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc.
Chris Sullivan comes to The School Around Us with 20 years of experience in education. He has enjoyed teaching several different grade levels from pre-school through college and currently serves as the Director of Costa Verde International School in Sayulita, Mexico- a multicultural, ecological school similar to SAU in educational philosophy and vision.
Chris connects with students meaningfully by implementing engaging and creative programs to best meet the needs of all learners. With a passion for hiking, cycling, kayaking and outdoor experiential learning, Chris is excited to join the School Around Us community this summer with his wife Meghan and two young sons, Ogden & Eller.
Please feel free to contact Chris directly to discuss and help shape our growing summer program. He is eager to learn how best to develop and enrich the program for your kids. His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Wednesday November 8 our community came together in solidarity with the homeless. A candlelight vigil was held to remember people without homes who have lost their lives this year and to send hopeful wishes and energy to those in our community who are struggling without enough food and shelter. Guests from the Preble Street Resource Center in Portland and the York County Shelter in Alfred spoke to the group of parents and students around the fire. Songs and stories were shared and the UN Declaration of Human Rights Article 25 was read to the group. “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care, necessary social services, the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.” Our group then sang “Dona Nobis Pacem” (Give Us Peace) and placed candles in the school sandbox where they burned through the night.
After the vigil our three teachers, and any willing and able students, chose to sleep outdoors to experience one night without shelter. As part of an annual nationwide SLEEP OUT movement, initiated by the National Coalition for the Homeless, our group set forth to gain understanding through solidarity with homeless people. By giving up one night of comfort and privilege they hoped to raise awareness and compassion for unsheltered people. Even though the temperatures were expected to be in the 20s and very uncomfortable, a group of 10 students from ages 7-14 and their three teachers braved the weather to have this experience. The group bundled up, laid out large pieces of cardboard as insulation, slipped into their sleeping bags and endured the night with amazing resilience! Waking up in the morning to find ice on the outside of their sleeping bags was completely surprising.
As students reflected the next day they were obviously impacted by the experience. One student remarked that even though he was prepared and had many layers of clothing, hats and gloves, a sleeping bag and warm things, he was still cold. He couldn’t imagine what it would be like to spend the night outdoors being less prepared. Students made stars from the cardboard pieces they slept on and used them to reflect in words and images about their experience. One person wrote “Everyone should have the right to have their basic needs met. Food, shelter, and healthcare should not be negotiable” Stars were hung from the ceiling of the school as a reminder of this impactful event.
As the rest of the students arrived Thursday morning they joined several giving back activities. Bubbling pots of soup were on the stove all day and later donated to the Preble Street Shelter. Fleece blankets were made as well as small house magnets to be sold to raise money for the homeless cause. Students also collected socks and gloves during this theme which were donated to both the Preble Street and York County Shelters.
Events such as this are powerful ways to raise awareness about homelessness and poverty and to bridge the gap between the haves and have nots. Our students have gained understanding, compassion, and empathy through the experience of learning about this topic. We hope the memory of this theme will stay with them as they grow into adulthood and become our future leaders and citizens.
Monday November 20 4:30-5:30 PM
Join us on Monday, November 20 from 4:30-5:30 and find out why the School Around Us is quickly becoming the Holistic school of choice for families from Portland to Limerick. Get a first hand look at our Marine Biology Unit (picked by our very own students) and their awesome creations! Ask questions about enrollment and our emergent curriculum.
Around the World for the Holidays: A study of culture and traditions.
Wednesdays: November 29 and December 6 & 13
During this holiday season we are offering three one day Homeschool Workshops. Each workshop will focus on a different culture and their unique celebrations during the winter season. Workshop days will center around that culture’s traditions, and the history of how that holiday came to be. We will be cooking, crafting, dancing, singing, and learning about their daily life around this time of year. We hope to touch upon a variety of countries on different continents and include some geography and general cultural study.
9:00 AM- 3:00 PM $35/day or $100 for all 3 days
One of our families favorite activities at School Around Us is volunteering as a whole school at the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity Maine! Our family looks forward to not only attending the fair, but we really have a blast volunteering the day before the fair opens helping with set up preparations for the thousands of folks to who attend the fair.
For more than 20 years School Around Us has been volunteering at the Common Ground Fair. This year was no exception, students K-8, parents, and teachers took part volunteering all over the fair grounds. Wearing our greenSAU t-shirts we could be found Raking the Berm ( a.k.a. the sliding hill ), helping set up the children’s area, working with recycling and composting setting up receptacles and signs, weeding, painting and flagging tent poles, and folding t-shirts for distribution to vendors and more!
After we finish working hard all afternoon we all gather to in the Common Kitchen to share a mealof uncommon goodness! The food is donated by Maine farms and families all over the state and provides fresh local meal to fair volunteers.
We settle down for the night in the volunteer tent, although some prefer to set up a tent in the volunteer camping woods. We talk and laugh while the kids play togethersliding on the berm or roaming around the grounds getting first look at what to expect when the fair actually opens.
We wake up Friday morning full of anticipation of what fun the day will bring at the fair! Good food, some great classes and educational offerings, farm animals and demonstrations. My daughter, Gina and her friends say one of their favorite things to do is checking out all the samples provided by vendors throughout the fair. Other favorite activities include, attending the border collie demonstration or spending time in the children’s area doing arts and crafts, face painting and more.
The day wouldn’t be complete with out our last gathering together as a community at the sun dial at noon in the heart of the fair grounds. We eat, laugh, and talk about all the fun things we have been up to that morning and separate for the day. This year however we had a special gathering on the berm to watch Josie’s dad, Josh play with his band( El Grande ) on the big stage.
Until Next year….
In 2017 we were generously donated a Yurt as an additional teaching space for our kids and the community. In order to get the Yurt up we need to raise $6,000. We are offer a $20 raffle from now until Monday, October 2, when the winner will be announced live on our Facebook Page. The winner of the raffle will receive a photo session (Commercial or Portrait- winner's choice) with Tess Johnson (value of over $400).
If you are not familiar with the concept of Yurt, you can read all about how amazing they are for learning here.
The benefits of outdoor learning are invaluable to children and a yurt can provide a beautiful circular space to stimulate creativity and enthusiasm. Our hope is that we will be able to utilize this space as a benefit to the greater community as well.
Purchase your ticket here:
August 19 : 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
August 23 : 5:00 PM-7:00 PM
Come and visit us at 281 Log Cabin Road in Arundel and find out what Holistic Education is all about. We will be available for tours and to answer any questions you may have!
We look forward to seeing you!