London is the home of two Sunrise Schools: Tottenham Primary School & Nursery as well as the Newington Nursery. Visit their new website and learn more about their activities. <www.sunrise.org.uk>
Update on Romania Schools Bucuresti Noi and Mihai Bravu By Didi Ananda Devapriya
This summer we ended up doing extensive renovations – including installing new wooden laminate flooring in three classrooms, and new carpeting in our gymnastics rooms, as well as repainting, getting new curtains, painting cloud murals in our sleeping rooms and repainting all of our tables and chairs. The floor project was particularly challenging. When we ripped up the old flooring in preparation for the installation – we discovered that underneath was, to my great surprise, only earth!! So the project suddenly multiplied in intensity when we discovered we had to dig up 10 cm of earth in 50 sq meters and then pour concrete, and then install the flooring. Luckily – a wonderful team of 5 teenagers volunteered from our two children’s home and worked hard to help us finish everything in time! Here pictured to the right is the end result in the new “Ladybugs” classroom. In our gymnastics room, next to the climbing structure used for physiotherapy and play – one of our new mothers painted murals of ladybugs climbing up a tree alongside the structure. She also made penguin murals in the Penguin room.
Adi, our superwoman, worked very hard all summer and finally realized our dream to replace our old fence with a higher metal fence that would prevent neighbourhood kids from climbing into the yard and vandalizing the school. She also repainted the exterior a lovely sky blue, repaired windows, repainted the classrooms, added tiling in the bath and kitchen and did lots of cleaning and general maintenance. Razvan and Cornel – two of our boys from the Domnesti children’s home – came and painted a lovely mural of a castle on the courtyard wall, and made a new sign for the school.
Before the schools opened – all of the teachers gathered in the Bucuresti Noi school for a 3 day seminar on Neohumanist education. Two of the teachers, Devakii and Larisa that had attended the “Neohumanist Education Global Summit” in Sweden this summer shared their experiences with the others, and we also had seminars on self-development, communication, persona dolls, theatre, and more.
ANOTHER MURAL PROJECT UNDERWAY
I am also working on a mural. My inspiration was to make a magical elven forest, as we changed the name of the classroom this year from “Dolphins” to “Elves”. Madhavii, our teacher, chose elves for the idea of being in harmony and caring for the earth. At first I was imagining big trees the size of the wall and several elves surrounded by luminous magical star like entities… but then I realized that it would make the room seem smaller and perhaps would be too dark. So I decided instead to create a sense of space that would draw the children into another magical world – with mountains and waterfalls and forest…and then a mysterious unicorn leading two horses through a misty forest guiding the way with his glowing horn, an elven girl gathering wildflowers in the meadow – another elf having just released a white dove from hands that are glowing with the magical healing power of love…and a fairy castle on the mountaintop that glows through the clouds…Perhaps also an elf sitting deep in the forest and contemplating the landscape – and surrounded by small luminous entities…And a boat gliding through the still glassy surface of the mountain lake. At this point, the basic landscape has been completed, and now the magical creatures are slowly beginning to populate it each time I am able to dedicate a few more hours to painting… Some of the detail work is pictured here. By next edition I hope to be able to send a picture of the entire mural completed.