Conversations on the value of play in early childhood and early grades education have recently resurfaced, along with growing concern over the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on all areas of child development. In two independent but related workshops (one presented online, the other in person) for highly experienced, currently practicing Waldorf early childhood educators and grades 1-3 teachers, we will re-examine and begin recommitting to the essential role of play in education, helping to inspire you to create therapeutic environments that foster healthy play for children from early childhood up to third grade.
The pandemic’s impact on children extends far beyond education. It has created a children’s mental health crisis leading to high rates of anxiety and depression among young people. Through an examination of theory and collaborative conversations, this online workshop will explore how the pandemic impacted play in cultural practices while developing respectful family partnerships. Together we will:
- Examine myths about play
- Connect to contemporary research on play
- Explore a trauma-informed approach to play-based learning
Opportunities for community learning will include facilitator presentations, small group conversations, individual reflections, and artistic activities.
Lisa Miccio provides mentoring and professional development to early childhood educators, including as lead instructor of Sunbridge’s “Introduction to Waldorf Early Childhood Education” Summer Series course. In 2023 she founded The Berry Basket playgroups and family programs in Warwick, NY, where she serves as director and parent & child playgroup teacher. From 2022-23 Lisa served Acorn Waldorf School as the Neighboring Tree Project Specialist, overseeing a grant-funded AWS initiative that aimed to create community partnerships with local early childhood educators, schools, and centers. She taught kindergarten at The Waldorf School of Garden City, where she chaired the DEIJ committee, from 2017-2022, and for a dozen years prior was on the faculty of Green Meadow Waldorf School, where she taught in and served as a co-chair of the early childhood section, directed the early childhood admissions and family programs, and was a member of the Collegium, the Collegium Committee, and the Board of Trustees. Lisa’s teaching experience also includes teaching and mentoring in the Kathmandu (Nepal) Waldorf Kindergarten. A member of the Sunbridge Board since 2013, she holds a BA in English from the College of Charleston, an MS in Elementary Education from CW Post, Long Island University, and an MS in Waldorf Education from Sunbridge College. She is the mother of two Waldorf-educated sons.
Sondi Eugene is an early childhood teacher at the Waldorf School of Atlanta, where she has been on the faculty since 2000; she has also been a guest instructor in Sunbridge’s Early Childhood Teacher Education program. Raised in rural New Jersey, Sondi moved to Atlanta in 1994 and received her certificate in early childhood education from Sunbridge College 10 years later; she also graduated from the Lifeways Early Childhood and Human Development program and is certified as a Simplicity Parenting Group Leader. The parent of two children who went through Waldorf schools, Sondi enjoys traveling, camping, cooking, crafts, and singing.
For the in-person companion workshop, see also: The Dynamics of Play: Observing, Understanding & Relating Play to Educational Objectives and the Foundations of Academic Achievement, taking place at Sunbridge April 26-27. Registrants signing up for both workshops received a discounted price.
This workshop takes place in live Zoom sessions. Sessions will not be recorded.
Sessions (All times are US EASTERN)
Friday evening, February 23: 7:00pm-8:30pm ET
Saturday, February 24: 10:30am-12pm and 12:30-2:00pm ET
In order to receive a Certificate of Attendance, you must attend all three sessions.
$175 includes a $25 non-refundable registration fee
Take 15% off each registration for:
- Schools sending 2 or more participants, or
- Sunbridge teacher education program graduates, or
- Payments made in Canadian dollars.
Discounts may not be combined.
NOTE: If you register for this February 23-24 online workshop (list price: $175) as well as for the April 26-27 in-person companion workshop (list price: $340), there is a discounted two-workshop bundle price of $415, which includes non-refundable registration fees of $25 and $30. If selecting this bundled option, no other discounts apply.
Cost for current Sunbridge program students in good standing:
- February 23-24 online workshop only: Free, with just a $25 non-refundable registration fee
- April 26-27 in-person workshop only: $40 (includes a $30 non-refundable registration fee)
- Both workshops: $65 (includes a total of $55 non-refundable registration fees)
Qualification for discounts will be verified by Sunbridge staff.
Please contact Barbara Vitale, admissions and summer coordinator, at [email protected] or 845-425-0055 x20
We reserve the right to make faculty substitutions when necessary.
Sunbridge is a New York State Education Department Approved Sponsor of Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (NYSED CTLE), enabling teachers of any background to choose Sunbridge for their CLTE/CEU professional development credits. Check to see if your state honors our status.