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Rebuilding Our School

$191,884 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 883 people in 3 months
Created July 30, 2018
Meadowbrook Rising
on behalf of Stephen Thompson
On Sunday, July 29th, lightning struck our beloved Meadowbrook Waldorf School and started a devastating fire. Despite the efforts of more than 250 fire fighters, the building that was home to students in the nursery through grade 8 and many alumni from years past is now a total loss.

On September 4th, we welcomed the students back for another year of school work. Thanks to the ingenuity of our parent volunteers, and the flexibility of our teachers, we have turned our rented accommodation into a home away from home where the kindergarten and nursery children can bake bread and play outdoors in all kinds of weather. The older students are immersed in their studies of local geography and the Roman Empire, the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution. We are immensely grateful for the thousands of donations, from gently used desks and chalkboards to library books and crayons, that  enabled us to start school on time. 


Now, our community has shifted its focus to rebuilding the school. While we have achieved our initial goal of $150,000, we now know that we need $1.75 million to complete this rebuilding project. The lease on our temporary space is for one year and, although we have an option to extend for  a further year, our time line must be aggressive if we are to be successful.  If all goes well, construction will begin in early 2019 and we will be able to welcome the children home in January, 2020.

31752880_1532992227595938_r.jpegAbove, pre-school teacher Su Rubinoff , office manager Jacquelyn Coker, and rising grade 8 teacher Kristina Boving -  making sandwiches for the incredible emergency responders.

This is a huge undertaking for our small school and we need your help. Our families rolled up their sleeves and cleared away the remains of the destroyed building and now they are ready to swing hammers and paint walls - just as they did for the building we lost. Current and alumni parents are volunteering their time and professional expertise to help design the new building and to guide the construction process. We are working with local businesses including building contractors, and we continue looking for opportunities to be good community partners. We are  aware that how we work is as important for the children as the building we create, and that putting our values into action to accomplish our goals is part of our students' education.

31752880_1532992476823953_r.jpeg
 We hope that you will join us on this journey so that we can continue our mission of preparing children to become resourceful, enterprising, creative and independent thinkers. Please help us rebuild our school for the young people who will shape the future of the world we share.  Thank You! 

From Meadowbrook Waldorf School , serving all of Rhode Island and SE Connecticut.

MWS is a 501(3)c non-profit organization and your gift may be tax deductible. To request a tax receipt letter, please submit the donor name and mailing address via the link on the Meadowbrook Waldorf School website home page.
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Today we returned to the site of the fire for our annual celebration of Michaelmas, an ancient festival that marks autumn and the coming of the long dark nights of winter. The students present a pageant that tells of St Michael taming the fiery dragon that threatens to destroy the village and its farmland. Michael cannot accomplish this deed alone but must rely on the courage and ingenuity of the community to help him. The dragon is immortal so it cannot be entirely defeated. It continues to have influence, just as ours did today thanks to some rather wriggly sixth grade occupants, but there is always the hope that its power can be harnessed and used for good. It was a beautiful Fall day in Rhode Island, and we were delighted to be home for a few hours.

Earlier this week, faculty and staff met at the site to discuss ideas for the new building. The seeds for this project were planted several years ago and it is ironic that, just two days before the fire, the school had decided how best to move to ahead with adding much needed extra space and important structural improvements for the Early Childhood classrooms. MWS has adequate insurance to replace only what was lost and we now know that we will need to raise an additional $1.75 M to complete the new building.

The Rebuild project is being guided by a committee of current and alumni parents with construction and engineering expertise. We are about to engage a design-build firm to work with the MWS architects and we are pursuing an aggressive timeline that will see us swinging hammers early in 2019. If all goes well, we will bring the children home and reopen our school in January, 2020.

We are immensely grateful for all of the support we received to help us recover from the immediate crisis of the fire. With the help of this wonderful community we will surely continue to overcome the challenges that come to meet us through the rebuilding process. There may not be much to see as we turn inwards to focus on educating the children and refining the architectural plans but, as with seeds waiting to sprout beneath the frosty ground, much is happening. We look forward to sharing more news with you in the future. Meanwhile, here is a video of how we built and moved into the building we lost. Thank you for being part of this new journey with us.

MWS is a 501(3)c organization and your gift may be tax deductible. If you would like a tax receipt letter, please use the link on the MWS website to send the donor name and mailing address. Thank You!
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We had a very busy week as we continued to acclimate to our temporary space. The children are glad to be back in class with their friends and teachers. It is wonderful to have the unfamiliar hallways filled with the familiar sounds of their chatter and laughter.

We are finding ways to incorporate Meadowbrook values and traditions into life at the South Road School. The Opening Day ceremonies were held outdoors, with each child called by name before the classes were led inside by their teachers. Although we don't have a room for a library, we have a wealth of donated books and each classroom has been stocked with a collection of its own. The first grade children are already enjoying theirs with their eighth grade Reading Buddies.

Now we are preparing for the next phase of the recovery. We are thankful that the school was well insured and that we will be able to rebuild. And we are deeply grateful for all of the donations we continue to receive. With your help, we will rebuild the school with added space and improved amenities that we hope to share details of soon.

Thank you for again for your gifts, you are helping us to move forward quickly. We hope to welcome the children home in January of 2020!
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Five weeks and one day since the fire. Tomorrow we welcome the children back to school in a beautiful temporary space - we cannot wait to see their smiling faces! Here is the nursery, and the grades one and four classrooms, ready to greet them.

We are so grateful for your gifts and what they have made possible for the children. We would love to send a Thank You to everyone who has given so, if you do not believe we have your mailing address, please submit it via the link on the Meadowbrook Waldorf School website.

We hope to have more photos to share with you later this week.
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The past 24 hours have brought fantastic news! We are thrilled to have surpassed out initial GoFundMe goal, and we have signed a one year lease for a former public school building that will provide a temporary home our students.

Even as lease negotiations progressed, MWS parents, teachers and staff powered ahead with preparing the building for the first day of school - now less than 2 weeks away! Much of the building has already been painted and cleaned. Teachers have begun to prepare their classrooms and donations of furniture will be installed this week. Local news station, ABC6 posted video of the space today: http://www.abc6.com/story/38941718/meadowbrook-waldorf-finds-temporary-home-at-south-road-school-after-fire

We could not be more grateful for your generosity! As MWS leadership continues to work with the insurance adjusters to determine how much of the rebuilding effort will be covered, your gifts are helping us make a start today. We are buying high quality equipment now that will be used this year and will continue to serve future generations of children in our new building. Your gifts also provide seed money for the upcoming fundraising campaign to completely rebuild the school - Thank You!

MWS is a 501(3)c organization and your gift is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. To request a tax receipt, use the link on the MWS website to submit your donor name and a mailing address.
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$191,884 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 883 people in 3 months
Created July 30, 2018
Meadowbrook Rising
on behalf of Stephen Thompson
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