"Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone; whereby in them you may be a blessing, and make the witness of God in them to bless you."-George Fox
Welcome to 1st
A look back at the highlights of December (2013)...
Dear Friends,December was a time to learn about the many celebrations of light around the world at this time of the year. We learned more about our Quaker "inner light", too.
The students enjoyed exploring some of the ancient (and modern) customs that surround the cultures and religions of the world. This month we discussed the different holiday celebrations and traditions of our class, and special guests visited and shared some with us. Through many exciting experiences, the children will start to become more aware of both the differences and similarities of those around them.
In December we also emphasized the joy of homemade gifts and giving to others. We went on a holiday field trip to Brandywine River Museum, with family, and enjoyed the festive displays. Kindergarten went too, and we shared a bus together! We also rehearsed special songs and our speaking parts for the Winter Holiday concert!
Our "Book Buddy" reading program continues, thank you for all the joyful reading time you spend with your children and for your support and enthusiasm!
During this season of peace, Tr. Tom has challenged the students to think about what they can do to make peace with others. As Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) said "....the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself... Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility."
Here are some of the thoughts of the class on how they can be peacemakers...Abby – "Being good and nice to people..."Alex – "Helping someone like at Bellingham..."Chaise – "Talk to someone!"Eliot – "Make places that people like to go less expensive..."Matthew – "Donate money to others..."Owen – "Give to your neighbors (in secret)!"Ross - "If someone is sick you can help them..."Salvi – "Give gifts to others..."Trey - "Help other people when they need help..."
About Quaker Values:Our school was founded on the fundamental Quaker belief that there is an "inner light" in every child. The values that Friends embrace (Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Service and Stewardship) infuse the curriculum throughout the school. We incorporate the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship into our entire year. Children are nurtured in body, mind and spirit by experiences that speak to their physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and creative development.
SimplicityFriends endeavor to exercise moderation where material possessions and use of the Earth's resources are concerned. We keep celebrations simple and look for the little "joys" in daily life. We reuse materials and recycle items like paper scraps in our candle crafts!PeaceWe work to model, teach and use non-violent conflict resolutions in our daily interactions.IntegrityFriends are expected to be truthful in all things.CommunityRespect for every individual compels Friends to foster open, mutually caring and enriching relationships, and come together to give aid and service to others. The students will experience several different levels of community throughout the school, beginning with the community of their own class, the Lower School (Morning Assembly, meeting with different classes at recess, and during LS events), and as a member of the larger school community (All-School Gatherings, Extended Care experiences, various school events)EqualityFriends believe that all people are created equal, regardless of race, gender, faith, age or class. We model and teach fairness and taking turns, and use an anti-bias inspired approach.ServiceQuakers practice their faith through active engagement to affect positive change in the world. First grade will participate in several school-wide themes and community service projects throughout the year.
A special focus on Service:Lower School is engaged in numerous activities during the school year that encourage active exploration of our community and beyond. At this time of year we create cards and decorate envelopes for the "Goshen Giving" holiday service drive. Upcoming in January is our Martin Luther King Jr. "Day of Service".
GFS students are being prepared for a lifetime of joyful learning and service to others.
Looking ahead, we will be exploring stories about snowy weather, learning about healthy foods and habits, and lands and communities.
Reminders: Please keep in mind that we go outside daily, so your child will need to wear a warm jacket to school. Boots are needed for deeper snow and snow pants (and/or a change of pants) are needed for snow play. Rain gear will be needed again eventually! It is very helpful to write your child's name or initials on any pieces of clothing.
Upcoming Dates to Remember:No School Dec. 20th-Jan. 3rd (Winter Holiday break)No School Jan. 13thAll-School Gathering Jan. 16thMartin Luther King Jr. "Day of Service" Jan. 20th (No Classes)Community Cares Feb. 10thValentine's Day Deluxe Feb. 13thNo School Feb. 14th & 17thNo School Feb. 21stConcert at Frederick Douglass Christian School Feb. 28thGFS Coffeehouse Mar. 9thAll-School Gathering Mar. 12th
In friendship,Tr. Michele
"As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." (Nelson Mandela)
1st grade settling in for the bus rideto Brandywine River Museum
We place value on being a community of students, staff, and families.