July 21, 2019
Creative play is like a spring that bubbles up from deep within a child. – Joan Almon
This past Sunday, we lost a bright shining light and advocate for children when Joan Almon passed away. Here are a few words from Cynthia about this remarkable woman:
A powerful advocate for children
Joan Almon devoted more than 30 years to the education of young children, primarily within Waldorf/Steiner schools. She taught three- to six-year-olds in Maryland and then consulted with schools around the world, particularly in Africa and Asia. In 1999 she became the founding director of the U.S. Alliance for Childhood and went on to serve as director of programs. Here is a keynote speech she gave in 2013 at the 92Y Wonderplay Conference. It’s worth the time to watch it.
Playing it Up
Click here for a downloadable PDF file of Playing It Up, a wonderful publication from the Alliance for Childhood edited by Joan Almon. Learn how communities are making spaces for play, and be inspired to encourage and protect play for the children in your life.
First Steps in Natural Dyeing
In 2003, Joan Almon wrote a wonderful little book for people beginning to work with natural dyes. It is now available as a free downloadable PDF file on the Online Waldorf Library. Click here to download First Steps in Natural Dyeing.
Reading in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose
One of Joan’s true gifts was speaking to people from all backgrounds and pedagogies about the lack of evidence to support the increasing academic rigors of today’s conventional kindergarten classrooms. The Alliance for Childhood published a number of valuable, practical resources to bring awareness on this topic. Click here to download a free PDF that explains in terms everyone can understand why there is little to gain and much to lose from the current standard practice of teaching reading in kindergarten.