By Laura Hill
SIX NATIONS – The Everlasting Tree School sits quietly nestled within a natural landscape on Seneca Road in Six Nations. The light grey and purple stucco building may seem unassuming from the outside, but inside there is a hum of positive energy that is infectious.
Started by a group of parents in 2010, the school aims to offer a holistic education grounded in Kanyen’keha (Mohawk Language), Rotinonhsonni (People of the Longhouse) culture, and Waldorf Education. Waldorf pedagogy was developed in 1919 by Rudolph Steiner, and strives to inspire lifelong learning in the whole child – head, heart and hands.
This combination of language, culture, and holistic education manifests beautifully in hallways lined with student artwork that reflects the seasons. Classrooms are outfitted with natural furnishings and play areas, with found objects like pinecones and pebbles making their way inside to incorporate nature into every aspect of teaching.
It’s no surprise then, that stewardship of the earth is a core value of the Everlasting Tree School. As a result, even fundraising activities at the school are planned with the earth in mind.
This month, the Everlasting Tree School will launch a community-wide electronics recycling fundraising drive, which they hope will help them fulfill curriculum and programming needs at the school.
The Two Row Times recently had the opportunity to discuss the details of the fundraiser with Amy Bomberry, an educator and co-founder of the school.
2RT: Can you give us an overview of the electronics fundraising drive?
Amy: Since we began, caring for our Mother Earth has been a central component of our program. We give thanks each and every day but we also set examples for our children and their families on what it means to care for the earth in 2015. We began with waste free lunches, and we have eliminated all unnecessary paper use.
Electronics has become a central part of daily human life but we don’t always consider what happens to those electronics once they are broken or unwanted. We have some old computers that were donated to us that are no longer of use so in looking for a way to recycle them we discovered a recycling program that will also help us fundraise.
It was a perfect fit for us because we can help and support Mother Earth by ensuring electronics in the community are not going in the landfill, and we are providing a service for our community members who may have a collection of broken, or unwanted electronics that they aren’t sure what to do with. We provide a collection site, and the bonus is that it’s also a fundraiser for us since we are given a percentage based on the weight of the overall collection.
It’s a small, but the important part for me is that we are teaching our children to be responsible and giving them an awareness that these electronics may be useful in our lives but they do great damage to our Earth if they wind up in the land fill. It teaches them to be mindful and responsible and it shows them a deeper meaning behind why we give thanks. This is so important right now with the pollution and the damage that’s being done to the earth. If we want our children to be keepers of the earth we need to show them what it means in 2015.
2RT: Where can people donate their items?
Amy: 775 Seneca Road. There will be a collection bin. Elders or residents who have no means of dropping off their items can call us at 519-445-1333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements for pick up.
2RT: What are the dates of the fundraising drive?
Amy: November 23 – 30, 2015.
2RT: If people don’t have electronics but want to make a financial donation, can they do so at the school? Do you accept other types of donations?
Amy: We gratefully accept donations which can be dropped off at the school, or contact us to make arrangements for pick up. We’ve been fortunate to receive cash donations, food donations for our nutrition program, and art supplies, books, and more that we are able to use in our daily programming.
For more information or to keep up with future events and fundraisers at the Everlasting Tree School, see www.facebook.com/everlastingtreeschool.