September 2021
From Susan Howard, WECAN Coordinator
Greetings from WECAN as we enter this new school year!

Our News Update contains a rich harvest of work that Waldorf early childhood colleagues have undertaken in recent months. We hope that you will be inspired by the articles in this issue, and we invite you to join us as we work together this year to deepen, enliven and renew our work on behalf of young children.

With all good wishes,

Susan Howard
Seed Thoughts for Michaelmas 2021
from the WECAN Early Childhood Research Group

There is a knighthood of our time
Whose members do not ride through the darkness
Of physical forests as of old,
But through the forests of darkened minds. 
They are armed with a spiritual armor,
An inner sun makes them radiant. 
Out of them shines healing —
Healing that flows from the knowledge of the 
Image of Mankind (or Humankind) as a spiritual being. 
They must create inner order, inner justice, 
Peace and conviction in the darkness of our time. 

-Karl König
In this verse, Karl König brings the medieval picture of the knight-protector into our modern times. What do we need to do in 2021 to further renew archetypal gestures of the season? Where do we look for and find courage? In what way are courage and vulnerability bound together? These are questions that we need to ask ourselves as we renew the festival life in our communities. In the words of a 28-year-old: “We need to be like warriors on the outside and little children on the inside!” Here are three seed-thought pieces from early childhood colleagues.
News from the WECAN Board
Louise deForest, Board Chair

In our Spring Board meeting, the WECAN Board expressed the intention of hiring a coordinator for our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access work and much of our summer activity has revolved around this process. In June, the Board appointed a Search Committee out of the Board, working closely with the IDEA Committee, and, in August, Board members had the opportunity to meet with several candidates. It was a hard choice because each one brought special and unique talents, gifts and experience to this work and we felt sure that we could have learned a great deal from each candidate. In August, the WECAN Board hired Lynn Turner and Leslie Wetzonis-Woolverton for one year as co-Coordinators of the WECAN IDEA Committee and we are very excited by this opportunity to grow, as an organization, and to collaborate together.

The WECAN IDEA Committee also brought to the Board a document entitled Living Questions, which was formulated out of the thoughts and impulses of the IDEA Committee members, condensed and organized into three categories:

1) the need for deep reflection and review of practices and ideas around the protection of early childhood;
2) the need to support teachers and communities to be fully able to practice resiliency, empathy and compassion;
3) renewal in the WECAN Board process related to equity, access and resources and creating space for resource sharing and ongoing learning among colleagues.

This document was prioritized and affirmed by the Board and our intention is to use this coming year to review our processes and structures in the light of the IDEA work with the hope that, in so doing, we will build a strong organizational structure to support our times and what is coming from the future.

The WECAN Board is sensitive to the fact that we are all moving into a new era and the long-awaited renewal of our education asks for forms and ways of working that we have not yet developed. With the awakening of consciousness, there are always practical implications. Our hope is to encourage the cultivation of an environment that allows the necessary changes the times and the families are calling for through open, collaborative processes.
Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access
Welcome to WECAN’s New Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Coordinators!

The WECAN Board is delighted to announce the hiring of Lynn Turner and Leslie Wetzonis-Woolverton as Co-Coordinators of our IDEA work! Both are trained, experienced Waldorf early childhood educators who have demonstrated their sense of purpose and passion for this work in many ways that you can read about in their letter below. 

We have great confidence that this exceptional team will be able to carry the IDEA work forward into the future with a clear understanding of our past and present efforts. 

Lynn Turner
Leslie Wetzonis-Woolverton
We all look forward to this challenging and essential work together! 

Masks and Vaccinations - Results from an Informal Survey
Susan Howard, WECAN Coordinator

As the new school year begins, we once again find ourselves confronted with new regulations and guidance regarding the pandemic. We have asked our members to share their experiences around vaccine and mask requirements and policies, to learn what kinds of resources and support from WECAN would be helpful. We sent out an informal poll through the WECAN Community Hub and received replies from about 75 Waldorf early childhood programs throughout North America. 

You can read a summary of the responses here.
From the Membership Office
Laura Mason, Membership Coordinator

After a long pause in membership processes, we are delighted to be working with membership applicants and renewals this fall. Supporting this work, as always, is a team of regional reps. Last year we had 22 reps volunteering to serve our programs. We are all deeply grateful for their work!

Please join us in welcoming two new regional representatives:

Gabriela Nuñez-Plata, founder, kindergarten teacher and teacher trainer at Ak Lu'um in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, will be joining Louise deForest as a co-representative for Mexico. And Aimee DeNey, founder, program director and teacher at Bird Song Children’s Garden in Olympia, WA since 2012, will become a new sub-regional rep for Washington State, as Dyanne Harshmann steps down to take up new tasks.
Gabriela Nuñez-Plata
Aimee DeNey
To see the full list of regional reps for the 2021-22 school year, please visit the Contact Us page of our website.
Read more about the regional reps and recent membership activity.
Teacher Education Update
Ruth Ker, Teacher Education Coordinator

In these unusual times there have been necessary adaptations made to the way WECAN’s Teacher Education Committee has done outreach and consulting. As I write this, I know my colleagues on the Teacher Education Committee would want to express gratitude for the past year’s opportunities to become more collaborative with our member institutes in North America. We have begun to know each other better and, in many cases, have helped one another to raise consciousness around many new social and health-related considerations. And we still have so many other ways that we can grow and learn together.

Toward a Kinder, More Compassionate Society -
Working Together Toward Change
Join us as we consider ways in which big concepts turn into small moments of truth for young children as they come into relationship with the world surrounding them.
Meggan Gill, Keelah Helwig and Joaquin Muñoz will facilitate conversations that encompass the essence of our work and deepen our understanding of place-based education and the trappings of cultural appropriation.
IASWECE Newsletter
Click here to read the latest Newsletter from IASWECE - International Association of Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education. Articles include the following, along with many more:
  • Strengthening Our Senses to Soothe and Reassure Our Pandemic-tattered Souls
  • The Dawn of Human Speech and Current Challenges
  • How do we restore community relations in schools after the Covid-19 pandemic?
  • Waldorf Education as Preparation for Successful Crisis Management
  • Nature as a Beneficial and Positive Force
New from WECAN Books
The Picture Language of Folktales
By Friedel Lenz

Fairy tales speak in a visual language—but what do these pictures speak of? In The Picture Language of Folktales, Friedel Lenz looks at fairy tales and their original images as part of the development of human consciousness. The characters of these stories are human beings living within two worlds—one which is physically visible and experienced through bodily senses and another that is not visible but nonetheless sensed. Friedel Lenz’s consideration of these twenty-five tales, originally collected and retold by the Brothers Grimm from 1812 to 1857, offers the possibility of limbering up our thinking and feeling to allow the pictures of these stories to speak.
WECAN extends deep gratitude to Clopper Almon for this translation.
Coming Soon $25
New from IASWECE!
Eurythmy in Kindergarten - A contemporary approach to speech and movement 

Eurythmy in Kindergarten is a beautifully illustrated answer to the question, “Why eurythmy in kindergarten?” This unique, artistic form of movement, with its deep connection to the formative power of speech, is especially important for young children’s speech development, which is increasingly under threat in our times.
This lovely booklet is written for kindergarten teachers, eurythmists, students in training programs, and parents. We will send a sample copy to each WECAN Member program and encourage you to order more for your colleagues and parents!

Order No $10 each or 5 for $30
Child of Nature
By Rikke Rosengren

Nature has a unique potential as a platform for children to grow and experiment. Child of Nature emphasizes children’s curiosity, their natural need for movement, and how to optimize the possibilities for children’s development outdoors. Parents, teachers, and caregivers will learn practical ways to give children the chance for adventurous play and sensory stimulation, and thus support a pedagogical foundation for education that is based on children’s healthy development. Beautifully illustrated with over 180 color photographs and drawings. 

Order Now $29
Five Golden Keys
By Helle Heckmann

Five Golden Keys celebrates families embracing life with the child under 7 years. Sleep, movement, mealtimes, rhythm, and care: with these five golden keys, Helle Heckmann offers a simple and practical approach that addresses the young child’s needs in the best possible way.
Helle, founder and director of Nøkken Kindergarten in Denmark, has worked with parents and children in over 50 countries.

Order Now $24
Truer than True
collected and edited by Holly Koteen Soulé

Truer Than True shares twenty-six wonderful tales from around the world for the home and classroom, and for all who love stories. Holly Koteen-Soulé collected these favorites of the Waldorf early childhood classroom and adapted them to enhance inclusiveness and understanding and to share beloved stories that can nourish families from many cultures.

"The fairy tale is unique . . . in its capacity to offer seeds of solace and social healing to the soul-in-becoming, and to be a wise and tender guide for us all, in both childhood and adulthood." - from the Introduction

Order Now $25
WECAN 2021 Early Childhood Resource Catalog

Copies of our current Catalog are complimentary, individually or in bundles of five.

Upcoming Events

THE EDUCATION OF THE ETHERIC BODY AS THE FOUNDATION FOR SOCIAL HEALTH" - Development Conference for Waldorf Teachers - November 5-6, 2021 Rudolf Steiner College Canada, Toronto CA with Dr. Carmen Hering D.O.
Helf virtually by zoom.

The healthy etheric body provides the ground upon which higher human capacities can develop. Modern western lifestyles are eroding the fundamental health of the human etheric body which is working upwards into the human constitution affecting our social capacities.
Waldorf teachers now need a deeper and more detailed understanding of the nature of the etheric body so they can work more deliberately to meet the changes that are taking place in the constitution of children today and find appropriate ways to reshape their lessons and schedule.
For information contact

GESTURES OF CARE - Northern California and Nevada Regional Conference for Waldorf Early Childhood Teachers - November 12 - 13, 2021
Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training, El Sobrante, CA
Held virtually over Zoom or in-person at Marin Waldorf School

Please join our regional gathering to reconnect to the heart of our work, to deepen the feeling for the essential gestures of our profession and to build collaborative connections as a remedy for this time of stress and anxiety. With keynote speakers Anjum Mir, Dagmar Eisele, Sage Otterson, and Ken Smith.
For event schedule and registration, please click here or contact Tiffany Lee at or by calling (415) 479-4400.

TOWARD A KINDER MORE COMPASSIONATE SOCIETY - Working Together Toward Change - February 11-13, 2022
WECAN Early Childhood Educators Conference
Keynote speakers Meggan Gill, Keelah Helwig and Joaquin Muñoz
The conference will take place online.
More information coming soon at
Join WECAN by becoming an Individual Member!

Membership benefits include:
  • A subscription to the Gateways Journal (includes the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 issues)
  • WECAN News Updates
  • A 10% discount on WECAN book sales
  • Discounts on registration fees at WECAN Conferences
  • Email messages that include announcements and the IASWECE Newsletter (the International Association of Waldorf/Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education).

Click here for more information
Make a Gift to WECAN!
Please consider making a contribution to our work! Gifts to WECAN are tax-deductible. Please give online or call our office at 845-352-1690 to make your gift by phone. Every gift helps to further our work together on behalf of the young child and is immensely appreciated.