After 19 Years, Anchorage’s Only Independent Waldorf School Changes its Name

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Name Change Honored with First-of-its-Kind Native Blessing Ceremony Friday, 8th Grade Class Sculpture, Demonstrating the Many Facets of the Waldorf Education, to be Unveiled

WHAT: The Aurora Waldorf School (http://www.waldorfak.org) is changing its name of 19 years and will announce the new name at its end-of-the-year picnic, during which an Eklutna Tribal Elder and two members the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers will bless the school. The Aurora Waldorf School is the first non-Native organization to request and receive a blessing from the Eklutna Tribe. The Waldorf curriculum will be on full display as the eighth-grade class unveils a sculpture it created with the guidance of artist-in-residence Leo Vait, an internationally acclaimed sculptor and wood crafter.

WHO: An elder of the Eklutna Tribe; two members of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers (including Grandmother Rita Pitka Blumenstein of Alaska); Sleeping Lady Singers drum circle (first appearance in a non-Native ceremony); artist Leo Vait, school founders, alumni, faculty, currently enrolled students and their parents. Media interviews by phone can be arranged prior to the event, or on-site.

WHERE: The Aurora Waldorf School is located at 3250 Baxter Rd., Anchorage, AK, 99504.

WHEN: The Aurora Waldorf School’s end-of-the-year picnic will take place on Friday, May 20 between 6 and 8 p.m., with the blessing and name change ceremony starting promptly at 6 p.m.

WHY: At the Aurora Waldorf School, teachers carefully balance academic, artistic and practical activities to stimulate the imagination and prepare students for life. What sets the Waldorf curriculum apart is not necessarily what is taught, but how it is taught. Instead of passively receiving information students are involved in a dynamic process of exploration, both of the world and of themselves. The eighth-grade art project will demonstrate the fully integrated curriculum of the Waldorf Education. Through this process the students learned all aspects of taking a large sculptural project from start to finish and covered multiple subject areas like geometry and engineering. Each student had a unique assignment that contributed to the whole. The work is a gift from the eighth-grade class to the school.

The blessing is being requested of the Eklutna tribe because the school is located on Eklutna tribal lands and the administration would like to have permission from these original people to conduct business on their traditional lands. To ask permission and blessing from them is a bridge to their tribe, culture and the values that they hold dear.

CONTACT: For more information, contact Courtney Hastings at Raffetto Herman Strategic Communications, PR agency for Aurora Waldorf School, at chastings(at)rhstrategic(dot)com or 202-585-0210; or John Raffetto at john(at)rhstrategic(dot)com or 206-245-8855.

About the Aurora Waldorf School
The Aurora Waldorf School was founded in 1992 and is part of a rapidly growing international community of schools that share a commitment to education integrating academics, art, and music with hands-on learning, supporting the development of the whole child. Visit http://www.waldorfak.org for more information.

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Courtney Hastings
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