Detroit Waldorf School in Indian Village, the only remaining independent school in the city without a religious affiliation, has been a Detroit institution for decades, and helping to mold a generation of learners and giving promise in an urban center where the education crisis has become the poster child of urban decay. Since it began in 1966, the Detroit Waldorf School, part of the international Waldorf School movement which comprises over 1,000 schools in more than 60 countries, has remained a treasured educational jewel in the city.
The Waldorf education model integrates comprehensive, age-appropriate academics with rich artistic experiences and practical work designed to challenge the mind and fire the imagination.
But schools like Detroit Waldorf, which often get limited mention in the big conversations about education in the city, present a different reality than the one that is often trumpeted. It shows that despite the challenges the city and its educational system face, there are institutions that are still defining educational excellence and preparing young Detroiters for the future.
That is why Waldorf is preparing to host is biggest event of the year, the 2014 benefit auction "Cultivating Excellent Education in the Heart of Detroit," on Saturday, April 5, in its historic, Albert-Kahn designed building located at 2555 Burns St.
The school, which is housed in a stately historic structure built in 1913, is situated on four acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, provides a warm and inviting environment that nurtures growth, learning and creativity by focusing on each student's intellectual, physical and emotional development.
The annual fundraiser, a celebration of the power of education and its many rewards, offers a festive evening that includes a dinner, desserts, numerous silent auction items and a rousing live auction.
Auction attendees will have the opportunity to bid on such prizes as a trip-of-a-lifetime photo safari in South Africa's renowned Zulu Nyala game reserve, a getaway and golf package at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Detroit Red Wings "on the glass" hockey tickets, a downtown hotel and dinner package, unique cooking classes, and private gourmet dinner parties.
The 2014 auction, which is being supported by organizations like Autissimo Technologies, Lone Pine Wealth Management, Hantz Group, KACE Logistics, and Kapnick Insurance, will allow the school to continue to offer enrollment in pre-K through eighth grade.
For example, it's interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizes analytical, creative and critical thinking, and cultivates children's inherent curiosity and love of learning.
Detroit Waldorf provides tuition assistance to 50 percebt of the school's students, representing tuition forgiveness totaling $400,000+ annually.
The school's developmental approach to education nurtures the whole child - emotionally, physically and intellectually.
Learning is experiential and art and movement are integrated into every curriculum topic, from science, to math, to language arts.
One-hundred percent of trustees and 85 percent of school families contribute to the annual fund, participation that is above the national average for independent schools.
Every family contributes 30 volunteer hours annually, helping stretch the school's financial resources to directly benefit student learning.
For more information about Detroit Waldorf, visit www.detroitwaldorf.org.