Knitting a Community, One Crown at a Time
Nov 9 2017
Amy Bird holds and cultivates dozens of RSF relationships in the Waldorf school community. Her role is primarily financial, addressing a school’s capital needs, managing loan requests, and monitoring revenue and other milestones. That said, her relationship with Waldorf education is deeper than balance sheets. Amy is a former Waldorf educator and has two Waldorf-educated children.
Recently, Amy began hand-sewing crowns to give to Waldorf schools in RSF’s borrower portfolio. The crowns, made from felt, are illustrative of the Waldorf school experience. They encourage imaginative play, a practice that, according to Rudolf Steiner, serves as a rich foundation for the development of young minds.
Amy’s inspiration for the crowns originated with her son. “Is your crown on straight?” his Waldorf school teacher would ask in moments requiring self-reflection; the question encouraged her son to use his imagination and senses to develop his self-awareness and to understand how his actions influence others.
Each crown is custom-decorated with designs that capture a unique element of the recipient Waldorf school. Amy gets design ideas from visits to school campuses, typically focusing on eye-catching characteristics or symbols in the facilities or geography. Amy has completed nine crowns so far and, in time, plans to make more.
A Crowning Achievement
Below are photos of the crowns made by Amy to date, complete with short captions about each of the schools.
Desert Marigold School
At the heart of Desert Marigold in Phoenix, there is a 3-acre biodynamic garden. Thanks to the desert climate and the year-round dedication of staff, students, and volunteers, there’s always something blooming for the bees.
East Bay Waldorf School
One of many striking features of the East Bay Waldorf School campus is its magnificent stands of eucalyptus. Recently, ground maintenance required cutting down a few of these trees, which faculty salvaged. Naturally, the school’s imaginative students incorporated the trucks into their outdoor play.
Four Winds School
Explore the buildings and grounds of Four Winds School, and you’ll discover gifts of the heart at every turn, such as an intricate tiling steps displaying a mosaic in the corner of a classroom or native prairie plantings along the parking lot. Volunteer contributions are essential to daily operations, and the dedicated faculty is committed to charting a thriving future for this generous community.
Golden Bridges School
San Francisco, CA
Golden Bridges School is passionate about ecological responsibility, social justice, and conscious communities. At one memorable parent evening, the group created a beautiful mandala of flowers that honored the essential roles of everyone present.
Live Oak Waldorf School
Meadow Vista, CA
Legend has it that Live Oak Waldorf School hosted the very first Fifth Grade Pentathlon, now a treasured annual event at many Waldorf schools. Forty years later, Live Oak maintains its pioneering spirit. How? One example: the stack of pastel bee boxes on the hillside above the school is the first Demeter-certified apiary in the Americas.
Meadowbrook Waldorf School
West Kingston, RI
In 2016, Meadowbrook Waldorf School invited RSF’s John Bloom to present on the topic of reimagining money. Attendees were inspired not only by stimulating ideas and deep conversations but also by the beauty and peacefulness of this welcoming community.
Sebastopol Charter School
Sebastopol Charter School is a long-standing member of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education. Next year, it will move from its current downtown location to a 20-acre campus, complete with plenty of open space for play yards and gardens.
Tucson Waldorf School
In January 2017, Tucson Waldorf School hosted the quarterly gathering for the Board of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, along with its Leadership Council and Executive Team. The hospitality of its educators shone as bright as the desert sunsets visible from the school’s premises.
Waldorf School of Pittsburgh
The Waldorf School of Pittsburgh is growing. To create space for its burgeoning student body, the school is sustainably building classrooms that will serve as hands-on “learning labs” for middle school students, as well as a resource for the neighborhood.
A Handmade Source of Imagination
By giving these handmade crowns, Amy signals RSF’s commitment to creating long-lasting, generous, and interconnected relationships with the Waldorf community.
Jessie Elliot of the Golden Bridges School lauded that the gesture elevated her school’s relationship with RSF. “It’s invaluable that our [relationship manager] has a deep understanding and passion for the education we are providing,” she said. “It is just another indication that RSF acknowledges, supports, and appreciates the work that we do.”
The Waldorf School of Pittsburgh wasted no time in incorporating the crown into its kindergarten class’ lessons on imaginative play.
“Amy’s beautiful, hand-stitched crown with a seed image on it is worn by children in our kindergarten class to celebrate their birthday,” says Kirsten Christopherson-Clark of Waldorf School of Pittsburgh.
Uplifted by the warm reception of the crowns, we tip our collective hats to Amy for using her creativity and sewing skills to showcase the importance of generosity in relationships.