Seasonal Celebrations & Other Festivals

Festivals play another important role in our curriculum and community. They mark and celebrate the changing of the seasons and the cycles within our natural world.  Planning and preparing festivals together to share and enjoy special moments and milestones strengthens connections and builds community. Merriam Webster defines reverence as: honor or respect felt or shown. How better to show that honor and respect for our families, community and the world around us than by being truly present in these special moments. we provide the most meaningful authentic image of reverence for our children to imitate. The planning of seasonal celebrations & other festivals is done under the guidance of the lead teacher. The following festivals are celebrated at Seeds of Joy Village:

Magical Halloween - Enchanted Fall Festival Oct. 30th @ 5 p.m. at Seeds of Joy Village 

This festival takes place in the evening at Wilderness Park. The families of Seeds of Joy Village create a walking show of magical people throughout the park - a mermaid, a gnome, the fall fairy. Each magical character gives away some small gift - seashells, a special poem, an apple. This event is meant to be special and whimsical, not scary. 

Lantern Walk Nov. 13th @ 5pm at Seeds of Joy VIllage 

On lantern walk night the children bring the beautiful lanterns they have made in class as a symbolize for their own individual light. They gather with their parents in front of the park’s gate and then take a walk through the park together, proudly carrying their lit lanterns and singing songs as the teachers lead the way. We recognize ‘the light’ of one another and experience wonderful moments of caring and sharing.

Thanksgiving 

This night the families of Seeds of Joy Village - preschool and parent-toddler - join together as a community to rejoice in the fall festivities. The night is potluck style and the room is specially decorated for this beautiful evening together.

Advent/ Winter Spiral Dec. 13th @ 6 pm at Seeds of Joy Village 

As the sun retreats and the winter days grow colder our community comes together to walk the winter spiral. The room is darkened to symbolize that nature undergoes the darkest time of the year. Everybody sits quietly on their chairs and watches the teacher light the center candle while beautiful live music is being played in the background. First each child walks down the spiral path and lights his/her candle from the main candle in the center of the spiral. This walk towards the center light represents the balance between the darkness we all feel during the depth of winter and the expectancy of the return of the light in spring. Once the candle is lit, the child walks back out of the spiral and chooses a safe place to set down the light along the way, then sits down in his/her seat again. With every candle that is lit, the room glows a little brighter until the entire space is lit up. The parents walk the spirals after the children are done. Very small children will walk together with one parent. This is a very festive event and parents, children and teachers come dressed in nice clothes. After all candles are safely extinguished, we all enjoy a variety of homemade cookies and hot drinks before we clean up together and go home.

Please, no loose hair or flowy skirts which might catch fire.

To prepare for this event parents participate by gathering free needle branches from the various Christmas tree lots and small tree trunks which are then dropped off in the school’s  garden. One parent volunteer will cut the small tree trunks, carves a hole in its center and returns them to the teacher who will then turn them into festive arrangements.

Easter

This special event allows us to welcome spring and enjoy the time around us. The children spend time beforehand making special crafts and get to take home small gifts.

May Faire/ Basket Social May 16th 10 am at Wilderness Park 

Once winter gives way to spring and the flowers begin to bloom, our Seeds of Joy Village family celebrates its May Faire/ Basket Social which takes place in the Redondo Beach Wilderness Park.

This is the school’s biggest fundraising event and everyone’s help is needed to make it a success. Each parent puts together a unique basket or will asks local businesses to donate a service, a basket or anything else. We have a list of businesses that have donated wonderful items in the past. Each parent will call at least three names on the list or approach a new business to share a service or product they like. In turn the businesses get exposure to our community, can use this as a tax write-off and are identified by an attached business card. All baskets and services are nicely displayed and auctioned off the day of the basket social and the earnings are used to purchase whatever the school might need.

A maypole is set up in the park and the children dance around the maypole after they create festive wreaths from fresh flowers (which one or two parents will pick up from the flower market in downtown Los Angeles for free or collect from Whole Foods or other flower shops) and braided garlands.

Parents prepare a dish or barbeque and bake healthy cookies for our community potluck. Parents will also set up about six simple games for the children. The lead teacher will provide guidance and oversight together with the parents that have been part of Seeds of Joy, Inc. for a while.

Please refer to the school calendar for all dates and times. Other celebrations like Michaelmas, St. Nicholas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are celebrated in the classroom with the children only.

Cross-Cultural Celebrations

At Seeds of Joy Village many families from different countries and cultural backgrounds come together. If your family celebrates a special festival that you would like to share with our community, please discuss it with the lead teacher at least a month prior to the festival date. Learning about different cultures at an early age and fostering cross-cultural understanding is an important part of the curriculum. In the past the children have celebrated many wonderful events in the classroom such as the Japanese Childrens’ Festival and we look forward to including many more.

Birthdays

Birthdays are very special celebrations at Seeds of Joy, Inc. and the children look forward to them. The lead teacher will try to schedule your child’s birthday as close to his/her actual birthday as possible. She will contact you via email or text to determine the exact date of your child’s birthday celebration in class. Parents bring their child’s favorite fruit (in season) along with whipped coconut cream and a homemade birthday cake based on our school’s recipe which the teacher will provide. Anyone who plays an important role in your child’s life is invited to attend the birthday celebration.

To preserve the reverence for the celebration and allow all to ‘live in the moment’, we ask that no recording devices be used during the event. You may take a few group shots at the end of the celebration. Our birthday celebrations start at 10:40 a.m. and last about two hours. Please be on time, knock and wait outside until you are asked to come in. Quietly take your seat. After the celebration your child can either stay in school or go home with you.

Seeds of Joy Incorporated does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, mental or physical disability, political belief or affiliation, veteran status, sexual orientation and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under state or federal law in any aspect of the access to, admission, or treatment of students in its programs and activities, or in employment and application for employment. Furthermore, School and Community policy includes prohibitions of harassment of students and employees, i.e., racial harassment, sexual harassment, and retaliation for filing complaints of discrimination.



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