Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rainbow Spirit Academy

Hello, everyone!

I am embarking upon a grand journey with some very close friends and some unbelievably wonderful children.

We are opening a Waldorf-inspired private school in Lorena, TX! I know this probably sounds pretty crazy to most of you, and it still sounds crazy to part of me--but I know it is the right thing to do. We have a lot of interest from students, parents, and potential teachers. We have a location, and we have a lot of volunteers who have offered to help this vision become a reality. This is all great--but it's not enough.

As I mentioned, we have a WONDERFUL location where we're about to start renovations to turn the building into a really wonderful schoolhouse. Ideally, the building will house four classrooms including an arts & crafts studio and a science lab; a library; a main meeting/assembly room; a small office and administrative space; a kitchen and a lunchroom; at least two restrooms; a large outdoor garden space with a chicken coop (Hey! That's already there!) to teach gardening and livestock skills; and a large outdoor playspace. We plan to be handicap accessible.

The House that will become Rainbow Spirit Academy (photo by Brooke Hampton)
The School will be open for classes following our curriculum (in development, heavily based on Oak Meadow and similar Waldorf-inspired curricula) four days a week, Monday through Thursday from roughly 10am to 3pm. In the afternoon, we will be open for extra-curricular classes and activities. The current plan is to open for afternoon classes only in Spring 2016, continue on to summer sessions and a week-long solstice camp for Summer 2016, and have our grand opening in Fall of 2016 where we would be open full-time for M-Th classes and afternoon sessions.

The Rainbow Spirit Academy is meant to be the perfect happy medium between public/private school and homeschool. RSA is for children who want to learn with other children, but want a serious hand in their own education. RSA is for those who love learning but hate the systematic approach that most schools are forced to take these days. RSA is for the teachers who wish they could change the face of education and help students actually get EXCITED about their subjects, but have found that there just isn't enough wiggle room when "the system" has laid out so many musts and can'ts. RSA is for the parents who want to give their children the best and freest education they can, but still want a little time to themselves. RSA is for the families who want the flexibility of homeschooling, the expertise of private school teachers, and the peer socialization offered by public school. RSA is the best of all worlds.

The core curriculum will include studies in English Language Arts, History/Social Studies, Science, Math, and a vast expanse of options for Outdoor, Physical, and Creative pursuits. This vast expanse of options will be determined by what the children want to learn. We've asked them, and their learning wish lists are beautiful and inspiring: they want to learn how to build houses, grow mushrooms, and read stories; they want to learn about world religions, the stars, and why leaves are green. These children are eager to learn--as are most children! How many times have you heard a child say, "I love learning, but I hate school?" RSA is here to remedy that.

Rainbow Spirit Academy is going to be a wonderful, magical, fantastic place for children and adults to come together and learn from each other--and we know we can teach each other wonderful things with just ourselves and the world around us, but we believe that the education of the member of RSA will be greatly enhanced by the introduction of additional resources. It's free to tell someone how to grow a garden, but it's not free to grow a garden. It's been said, "Tell me and I forget; Show me and I may remember; Involve me and I learn." We want to involve these kids, and for that we need your help.

I would LOVE to be able to do this for free, or totally out of pocket, and not have to ask for help--but that is not a reality. This is not something we can do alone, and we need your help. If you can give a hundred dollars that's beyond awesome, but if you can only give one dollar? That's great too! If you can't give any dollars at all, but you can share this blog post or the fundraiser on social media, the students and I would HUGELY appreciate that. 

Maybe you can't donate financially, but you have a bunch of excess art supplies or house paint or a microscope or some used books lying around that would have a better home in RSA's classrooms or library, please contact me at lovelywednesdaymusic (at) gmail (dot) com and we can work out direct supplies donations! We appreciate any kind of help you can give--it means the world to us.

Thank you so much for any donations you can give, and for any awareness you can raise. The World needs this right now.

Wishing you all the best that the world has to offer,
Erica Heath (Lovely Wednesday)