August 2015 SFF Newsletter

Director’s Report

“Early childhood centers can  . . . become places that respond to the longings for community, meaningful relationships, a sense of belonging, and an exuberant experience of learning about the world. . . . [They] can give the children and adults involved an experience of empowerment, of democracy in action, so that they will have the will and know-how to make this a priority in our country.”

– Margie Carter & Deb Curtis


My reading this summer during vacation was Leading Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs – A Guide for Change by Louise Derman-Sparks, Debbie LeeKeenan, & John Nimmo.  In 1989, NAEYC published Anti-Bias Curriculum:  Tools for Empowering Young Children.  Immediately, we at School for Friends embraced the principles and began work.  I consider Louise to be one of my mentors.  I was even somewhat involved in the new edition that came out in 2010 – Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves (quoted in the book and with a picture of a SfF child on the cover!).  During the school year (2015-16), starting with our staff development week, we will be working on being more articulate about anti-bias work.  In brief:  Anti-Bias education is an approach that includes addressing issues of personal and social identity, social-emotional relationships with people different from oneself, prejudice, discrimination, critical thinking, and taking action for fairness with children.  It also includes an emphasis on adult anti-bias growth and understanding of the systemic dynamics of oppression.  Culturally relevant care and education are included in this concept.  As they used to say, stay tuned. – Jim


GOOD-BYE, MARGARET – After many long years of teaching at School for Friends,
Margaret Edwards will be moving on – to become a graduate student at UDC.  She hopes to pursue a different but related career.  She began teaching parttime at SfF in 1999, when she was an undergraduate in early childhood education at UDC. She continued to work both parttime and fulltime at SfF until she graduated and then moved “permanently” to fulltime.  In June of 2012 at the Teacher Appreciation picnic, we celebrated her 10th anniversary of fulltime work at School for Friends.  What a long association and what a number of children whom she has taught!  We wish her the best, and her pleasant spirit will be greatly missed.


Osa Appleforsberg – Powell PS
Corey Brown – Longfields PS
Satya Chandy – Oyster Adams PS
Trajan Chen – Sheridan
Teo Diener – East Silver Spring Elementary PS
Campbell Ellis – Sheridan
Liam Gallu – Oyster PS
Dmitri Goebes – Mundo Verde PCS
Ella Goldman – LAMB PCS
Sebastian Graves – School Within School PS at Goding
Jackson Griffith – YuYing PCS
Aidan Harris – Sidwell Friends
Ava Hill – Brookland Playschool
Nadia Hughes – Shepherd PS
Kadence Lenz – Rock Creek Forest Elementary PS
Rintaro Mizumoto – Ross PS
Vera Ness – Hyde-Addison PS
Kai Newman – Sheridan
Amara Onyike – Beauvoir
Aella Peng – Creative Minds
Adam Pflugbeil – Janney PS
Will Snook – J. O. Wilson PS
Sully Sullivan – Inspired Teaching PCS
Teddy Wallsten – Hyde-Addison PS
Emma Ward-Worrell – Sheridan
Norman Yeakey – Bruce Monroe PS at Park View

QUAKER TRADITION OF USING FIRST NAMES – As you may know, Friends (Quakers) have a long tradition of not using honorific titles – such as Dr. Mr. Mrs. Miss etc. In times past (17th & 18th centuries), these titles were marks of social class or division and Quakers were making a social equity statement by refusing to use them.

A tradition that is used is to address the person by their given name – such as “Good morning, Jim.” – respectful, and still in keeping with the tradition of not using titles. We feel that within the context of our school it is not disrespectful for a child to address a teacher without a title and by their first name.  You might say that our families come from a lot of different cultures, and this use of first names is part of the Quaker culture that we exist in here at the school.


VOLUNTEER – We added a new former-student volunteer in the Green Room – Charmaine Mapp.  She is the daughter of Marcia Mapp, the Church’s Administrator.

GOOD-BYE – To Campbell Ellis and his family.  I understand Campbell will be spending the month of August with his grandmother in NYC.  We will miss the daily contact with Campbell’s family and look forward to Tori’s starting in the next year or so.


Quaker House Newsletter

As the school year comes to an end, we have been reflecting on our shared experiences in the QH-classroom during the past year. The children talked about activities and games they enjoyed, books and drama they loved, and friendships they have made. Many of the children talked about their individual growth as they looked back to the beginning of the school year. Just like their body grew over the past months so did their abilities, understanding of themselves and others.
The children could relate really well to analogy of the hermit crab, which outgrew his shell in Eric Carle’s book “The Hermit Crab”, and went to look for a larger shell to live in.
After talking a lot about their journey and transition to their new shell (school), the children turned their attention to the new hermit crabs (Rainbow Room and Green Room children), who will be moving into the “QH-shell”. Here is some of the very mindful and heartfelt advice they had for them:

Trajan: If the teachers say stop you have to stop. And if you want to say something you have to put a quiet hand up. You can play with the Legos and in the loft, because you play a lot and it’s really super fun. They can have, – they have to try to stop what they are doing. At MOS it’s good to be quiet.”

Teo: Don’t bite anybody, don’t hurt others. It’s not safe. You get a consequence if you hurt others. If someone gets hurt, give them ice. You can get the feel better box. Everybody can help to make your friends feel better.”

Kai: When you are pulling a toy from somebody else, you need to be thinking, – is that the right idea. Use your thoughts to make good decisions. You can ask people if they are feeling okay. Still if you didn’t do anything, you can still check on them, and make them feel better and get ice for them. If someone is doing something that is not okay, you can tell a teacher or tell them stop, and take good care of them.”

Corey: Somebody – make this room look beautiful. Clean up the room to make it look more beautiful. Make everything washed. Clean the classroom. Hang up a lot of beautiful pictures, in the loft make it a cave or something new to look beautiful.”

Liam: “If it’s on mouse on the “soundometer”, and everybody is on lion, – they have to stop when the teacher turns the light out. Do STAR – stop- take a deep breath and relax.

Emma: At QH we are kind and make a card for people who don’t feel well. Bring soup for lunch to get used to QH when you miss your old classroom. Play with Legos when you are sad, and make something cool like ships. Play with your friends and your buddies. Be nice, no biting, no hitting, no scratching.”

Amara: “I like the loft and the playhouse. It’s so fun to play. Let the teachers take care of you, and at the end of the day your parents are always going to pick you up. If you don’t hit people or if you don’t pick the leaves on the baby trees outside, you can be a good friend. Share and you can’t be greedy.  It means that if you give a person a little bit, and take most of it what they have, that’s greedy. At nap time you have to be quiet, because your friends are sleeping. And you have to be quiet at circle time for MOS. Take a deep breath and stay quiet. Have a quiet hand when you have an answer.”

Dmitri: “Um, when its lunch time and you’re on the playground when they sing “Friends, friends 1, 2, 3”you have to come in, otherwise you get a consequence. Go to the sandbox bench.
After lunch you make a choice, and after that when they call clean up time you put your hands on your head and clean up. You can’t just walk away. You have to clean up better. You almost cleaned up, but you might have to help. You might not know where things go so follow the instructions and signs.
The art area is very cool and Lego. The teachers are very friendly here. There is Sabina, there is Julie, there is Magy, and there is Elsy. If you have a problem go to the teachers; they can help you.
When it is nap time you shouldn’t stay up, because when you wake up you might be grouchy, because you didn’t get enough sleep. Ask the teachers to rub your back. Have good dreams and close your eyes.”

Kadence: “I learned to do something, a lot of things and will use it at the new school. If someone is someone’s best friend, and does something mean, you can go over to them and ask them if they want to play. They don’t feel bad anymore. I am practicing that.”

Nadia: “Always follow the rules. Listen to learn the rules, and tell them to remember. Don’t fight, don’t hit, and do not use guns. That’s why it’s called School for Friends because nobody is not friends. If you are a friend help your friend if it’s hurt. You can make up a game as long as you don’t play too rough. If you want a person to stop doing that, you can say I am going to play a game that has no violence.”

Satya: “Laugh at Quaker House.”

Rintaro: “Play with the Legos, because there are cool parts that I don’t have in my house. Play in the playground with your friends. Don’t put toys in your mouth. If someone hurts you or you need something, talk to the teachers.

We wish all of the QH-families all the best for the transition to a new school, and a great first school year in Elementary school.  Your children will be dearly missed and we hope you stay in touch and visit us from time to time.

Julie, Magy, and Sabina


Rainbow Room Newsletter

As the school year comes to a close, the Rainbow Room teachers reflect on our amazing experience together with the children. The Rainbow Room teachers want to thank the parents for entrusting your children in our care.  We are extremely grateful that the opportunity was given to us to be part of their early learning experience.  We also appreciated the support that was given to us throughout this year.  During the year we have fond memories that we will always remember about the 2014-2015 class.

David: Keeper of order, the chef of play house

Jessie: Her ballerina moves as she goes up and down the hallway, worldly wisdom

Emilia: Knowledge of factual information and expansive vocabulary, spicy personality

Adam: Classroom organizer, problem solver

August: Enthusiasm for school, empathy for others

Micah: Always willing to help a friend or teacher, infectious smile

Lavinia: Caring nature, layering fashion style

Isador: Builder of small manipulatives, thoughtful conversations

Sebastian: Elaborate construction in block area, animated storyteller

Elly: Teacher in training, dancing queen

Teddy: Never running out of questions to ask or answers to his own questions

Norman: Happy disposition, lover of anything train related

We wish all of the Rainbow Families the best of luck as the children transition to Quaker House or Pre-K!!!

Rainbow Room Team


Green Room Newsletter

We had a wonderful year in the Green Room.  We will miss:

Sully’s conversations about trains, vacuums and other gadgets and his skill in rhyming words.

Will’s boisterous laughter, his love for dramatic play and scary stories about monsters.

Henry’s jovial spirit and his conversations with peers and teachers about the different issues of life.

Vera’s gentle spirit, her love for books and the delicious cookies she helps her dad to make.

Kai’s friendly greetings and his love for worms and other insects.

Mila’s warm welcome she gives everyone who enters the Green Room and her conversations about the issues of life.

Caelum’s boundless energy, and his love for basketball, things with wheels and rockets.

Clare for being a great teacher helper and her dances.

Jackson for his love of books, his conversations with peers and teachers and leading his friends in dramatic play episodes.

Sebastian’s love of books, his counseling on manners, and his stories about Michigan.

Ella’s love of books, puzzles and making unique works of art.

Cyrus for his boisterous laughter, his dances, and his willingness to play the kitty game with his friends.

Thank you for a great year!

The Green Room Teachers:  Jackie, Margaret and Angel


Blue Room Newsletter

Wow how time flies! With the school year coming to an end, we would like to thank all of the wonderful parents for your support over this amazing year. Reflecting on those first few months of school, it is amazing to see how much our Blue Room has grown! It has been an absolute pleasure watching and helping our class become creative, friendly, inquisitive, and talkative three year olds. We have befriended all of them along the way, and with that we would like to share a few special memories we will always cherish about each child:

George – His curiosity and never ending source of energy. He is always eager to contribute with a story, thoughtful question, or observation.

Noura – Her caring nature. Always looking to hug a friend in need, care for a baby doll in playhouse or greet younger siblings that visited our classroom.

Olivito – His calm demeanor, silly faces, and loving attachment to his friends and teachers.

Mateo – His contagious smile and cuddly nature. His love for books, animal, airplanes, trucks and anything that goes!

Oliver V. – His love for the zoo, books, making necklaces, and truck day. We’re certain he went home everyday with a portion of the sandbox in his pockets, shoes, etc.

Andrew – He’s our super helper. Always jumping at the chance to help a teacher with an activity, gather materials from the storage room or set up snack.

Alaina – Her love for all girly accessories. Purses, necklaces, headbands, dressing up in playhouse clothes, you name it – she loves it!

Aella – Her super silly and fun attitude. Her random attacks of affection and part time job of teaching us Mandarin.

Felix – Little Dimiti is a walking map of the DC Zoo. Every day is an opportunity to learn about a mongoose, naked mole rat, or orangutan walking on the o-line.

Aria – Her love for cooking in playhouse, having picnics in in block area … and unique ability to fall asleep at the lunch table mid bite.

Osa – Her friendly and easy going attitude towards everyone she meets. Her free spirit and vibrant outfits.

Ava – Her outgoing and talkative personality. She’s always there to ask a question, greet a friend, and share a story about something that happened at home.

For those staying at SfF, we can’t wait to see you after the break, and for those moving on to different schools, we wish you all the best!  Please come back and visit! Thank you for a great year and we can’t wait to see what is in store for all of our Blue Room friends!