Phoenix Children Bring Christmas Cheer to the Rosemont Community!

Rosemont kidsOn Thursday, students from Pre-K and K-1 class went to visit the Rosemont Retirement Home in Yelm. They sang Christmas carols to the residents and gave Christmas cards created by the children. They were warmly welcomed by the Rosemont residents who offered many hugs and thank you’s in exchange.

“Our current learning theme is Giving and Sharing,” says Miss Audrey, K-1 teacher. “We were looking for ways to make that concrete for the children, and to have them really give and spread the joy. We thought that sometimes the elderly don’t have many visitors, or access to young children. We know how that makes them happy. So, we thought that it would be both beneficial for the children, and make the Rosemont residents’ Christmas, a happy one.  You know, it’s one thing to give to parents, or a loved one, but to go to a stranger and to give them a hug, and give them a card ….to do something for a pure stranger, is a whole other act of love. This gave the children a hands-on, direct experience about giving.”

“When I saw the look of joy and delight on the people’s faces, I had tears in my eyes.” said Miss Sonya, C.R.E.A.T.E. specialist, and videographer. “I was very proud of our sweet, little Phoenix students and the meaningful contribution they were making to the community. It was a beautiful.”

The children were so excited to share their experience when they got back to school. Six year old Aldie said, “My favorite part was when we sang to the people and also we gave them little pictures.”

Dalton shared, “My favorite part is when, there were pictures of Santa and it was really fun giving them out. And singing. One of them, when I said Merry Christmas, they asked to give me a hug and I said, Yes!”

Iyla and Zofia both liked handing out the cards, and , “…saying to the people, Happy Christmas!! …they liked that! And I really liked  singing the songs.”

The experience was so deeply meaningful to teachers and children that this may become a yearly event. Everyone involved learned once again, that the gift is in the giving, not in the receiving. View photos here.

CLICK HERE for a short video of the performance.

Santa’s early Christmas gift!

Nazila and Jan_editChristmas arrived early in our administrator’s office when two beautiful people arrived overflowing with good cheer and goodies. They moved into the admin office and started organizing, creating and loving our front office into life. Wow! Check them out! Just peek in the front door and you can hear the office humming with excitement. These two new angels are Nazila Mirani, our new School Administrator and Jan D’Hooge our Bookkeeper and Database Coordinator.

Nazila was born in Iran and received her B.A. in English from Shiraz Azad University, in Shiraz, Iran. She is proficient and certificated in Human Resource Management, and graduated with honors from Seneca College, in Toronto, where she lived for 10 years. She has over 17 years of office administration experience. Nazila also administrated government funded youth and adult programs, serving over 1700 students and over 1200 adults yearly. She lives in Rainier with her husband, Kent Cissna, 1 dog and 3 cats.

Jan has 20 Years management experience in Finance and Business. She is currently studying for a degree in Mind-Body Transformational Psychology, with a special focus in Holistic Nutrition and Urban Farming.  She is the mother of Adam who is a student in Ms Melody’s room. Jan also has two older children; her daughter Alyssa who frequently assists in our Early Childhood rooms, and her older son Alex who lives in Chehalis. You will recognize Jan as one of our hard-working volunteers.

Jan and Nazila would like to say, “We are  honored and delighted to have this valuable opportunity to be part of the Phoenix Rising School and to serve our great community. Being around our children and seeing their cheerful faces is an absolute delight that words cannot express. Please feel free to stop by anytime during the school hours, or even after hours, for a chit chat.”

The Field of Dreams

DSC_0016On Saturday morning, a crew of committed parents and children drove in with trucks full of equipment and tools to create our new Field of Dreams.” This field is part of our outdoor classroom for our C.R.E.A.T.E. Program. We use it for Fieldwork® as well as for other focus techniques and games that we play. These are all a part of our training to learn the application of intentional focus and concentration in support of students’ academic leaning.

“The field of dreams is one of my favorite places on campus” says Miss Sonya, our C.R.E.A.T.E. Coordinator  “Students put on their blinders and spend a whole lesson focusing on their dream.” Miss Sonya explains, “When you are able to hold your focus, you are able to walk to your card. It is a magnificent hands-on demonstration of the power of thoughts and how they impact our environment and experiences in life.”

“The best part of this is that the only tool the children use is their own mind.  When they accomplish finding their card, they know that they have done this, and they take ownership. They know that this experience belongs to them. This is one way the children have to set their personal and academic goals and see them through to fruition. For all these reasons, it is very meaningful that the parents have helped build this special field on our campus.”

And what a day it was. These lovely people spent long, happy hours getting the massive job close to completion. The moms and children helped carry cement bags. The kids came up with the genius idea to “Roll” the bags to the holes… They laughed and rolled while creating the field…and the dad’s put up the posts and rails.  “All the post holes have been dug and the posts are cemented in.” says Nigel Wakely, “Now it will only take a moment for the cross boards to be attached.”  By Saturday night everyone was smiling and filled with pride. And “what a pizza party!” With good laughs and a sense of a job well done. View photos here.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside! 

DSC_0035After having delightfully warm temperatures all fall, Jack Frost has finally come calling. Children returned from the Veteran’s Day holiday to, “ICICLES!” The lovely rain chains ​on our campus ​had beautiful water diamonds glistening in the bright morning sun. Throughout that day children reviewed what would keep them warmer. “More layers.” said Pearl. “Snow Pants!” said Ashtyn. “Hats and Mittens!” echoed others.

All these and more manifested the next day. In addition to a good outer coat, warm layers are especially important as classrooms can be cool first thing in the morning. The season has definitely clicked into place. Can snow be far off in our future? View photos here.

The Wonderful World of Workshops

DSCN0784The day dawned bright and crisp, as mixed age students donned their sweatshirts and bike helmets, then straddled their BMX bikes. Round 3 of Friday workshops had begun. The morning session for our noble bikers was for children learning to ride on 2 wheels, or those who are newly without training wheels who want to practice their new skill. “We are practicing balance in many ways, including using the slack line.” said Outdoor Specialist, Ms. Genevieve. Little Miren proclaimed afterward, “I rode for a LONG time on just 2 wheels!”

In another part of the forest, students could be found hunting for bugs and stones in Ms. Sophie’s Bugs and Blossoms workshop. Ms. Sonya had a rapt audience as she laid out the plans for her Advanced Video Making course.
In Ms. Jeannie’s Wooden Toys and Games class, students were busily creating stilts. In the distance one could hear the sweet sound of French and English Christmas carols wafting from Ms Audrey’s room. “We are making holiday gifts using cross stitch and whip stitch.” said Ms. Megan. The children were singing along to the carols. Ms Audrey was kept ‘in stitches’ by the witty Ms Eileen Ryan, mother of Myles, who is volunteering her time and skills in this class.
The afternoon brought another session of many choices. “I’m really good at folding paper!” stated 7 year old Alec as he marched off to his Origami workshop, taught by Mr. Moses. Older students went to advanced BMX to prepare for a field trip to a Tacoma Bike Park. The banging and clanging of metal was heard from Mr. Neil’s talking robot workshop, and Ms Jeannie was busy crafting wooden gifts and stuffed toys. “I made my own Pokee Ball!” shouted Sam upon returning from this class.
In Ms. Melody’s room, children were crafting beautiful candle lanterns ….and, yes…. singing Christmas Carols. It’s never too early for some holiday cheer!
The Phoenix Rising School finds value in all types of learning. Our Friday workshops are a joyful way for the children to develop new skills and confidence while they follow their bliss. View Photos