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352 West m in st er Ave. Ven ice 90291 (310) 314-9976 laclair ef on t ain e.or g



p 16 B ees B u zz p 20 T al l T o m at o es p 21 Gr an d p ar en t s C l u b p 22 Fab u l o u s Fav as p 30 A r t El ev at es p 32 B o o k s! p 3 C al en d ar p 4 C el eb r at e Ju n e B i r t h d ay s p 6 El ev at e w i t h Po et r y p 12 Fêt e d e l a Fam i l l e p 14 Pap i er M âch é p 24 I t T ak es a V i l l age 2


p 34 Z a'at ar p 35 A r ch i t ect u r e p 36 Ro se p 37 B o i r o n p 38 Gr ad u at i o n N o t i ce p 4 0 Su p p o r t o u r Com m u n i ty

CA L EN D A R JUI N 2017

Sat , 6 / 3 T h u, 6/ 8 Fr i , 6 / 16 T h u , 6 / 22 Fr i , 6 / 30

Pi an o Reci t al , 5- 7p m A K C am p u s B i r t h d ay C el eb r at i o n s C C 12:30 p m , A K 1p m A K Gr ad u at i o n C er em o n y 5p m (4 :4 0 p m d o o r s) C C Gr ad u at i o n C er em o n y 10 :30 am (10 am d o o r s) L A ST D AY O F SC H O O L 3

Elvis Harley Kai Lavender Maxwell Pearl Remy Riva Valerik Zenara 4



Wewill celebrateJunebirthdays onThursday,June8that 12:30 ontheCamper Campusand1pm at Abbot Kinney. Pleasegoeasy ontheicingandsugar .... and remember,nonuts! 5

IMAGINATIONSSOARIN POETRYCLASS ?My mother read poems to me when I was quite small, and I remember the poems were consoling, mystifying and even scary at times, and they tapped into something I knew was a part of me, but I didn?t fully understand.? Molly Bendall 6



winning poet, Molly Bendall teaches at University of Southern California and, as the mother of an Ecole Claire Fontaine alum, also teaches our children poetry. We spoke with the author of five collections soon after she read from her latest, Watchful, at the L A T imes Festival of Books. We talked with Molly about childhood, imagination and poetry; her favorites and methods of teaching children. Asking about her memories of being a young child and earliest exposure to poetry, it is clear that the breeze that elevates her work has been with her all along. ?Ever since I was a child I thought poetry was compelling. T here was something so different about the way words were used in a poem and the way language sounds. I think for me these initial reactions are still what I love about poetry. continued next page


"I t uses language in a way that?s unlike anything else ? it doesn?t tell us what or how to do something, it doesn?t try to sell us something, it?s not even trying to convey information really. I t is language that is expressing and enacting something about ourselves...I t might be about how something looks, or how something feels, or how we feel about someone else. Also, I love the music and rhythms of language and the interesting ways it can sound and convey meaning that way. A



poem has permission to use language in odd and mysterious and evocative ways.? Molly speaks the way a poet reads, the richness of her voice moving along the narrative as she does when reading aloud with the children during class. Outside of reading poetry, much of the hour is spent in imagination; asking the children leading questions to find unexpected answers. continued next page


Recently overheard during an ECF class, she asked the children what a fairy would sit on if she needed a chair. "I do hope that I can encourage students (of any age) to have a personal connection with poems the way I did when I first heard them. With the children at ECF I not only read some poems to them, but I have them say some of the lines from the poems..." Molly's teaching techniques hinge on imagery. "I also ask them to imagine things and try to describe them, such as, what does the moon look like? Or where would you live if you were a butterfly? I f you could go on a journey, where would you go and how would you travel? I f you were an animal of some kind, what would you dream about? I f you were building a nest, what would you use to build it? I think using their imaginations is one of the goals and trying to get them to really listen to the sounds of words. I also think it?s important to be silly sometimes and imagine silly things. I often read a book to the kids called Stop that Pickle about a runaway pickle. Children love the impossibility and absurdity of books and poems like this. continued next page 9

"I think poetry helps children (and adults) develop more curiosity and openness about the world. ?My mother read poems to me when I was quite small, and I remember the poems were consoling, mystifying and even scary at times, and they tapped into something I knew was a part of me, but I didn?t fully understand." W hile the ECF class does not delve directly into the minutia of poetry, such as the loose iambic trimeter that informs one of Molly?s favorites: Emily Dickinson?s ?I ?m nobody, who are you??, the children are exposed to many of the influences that informed her early, and lifelong, love of the art. ?T he poems my mother read were from an anthology we had of mostly children?s verse poems by Christina Rossetti, Robert L ouis Stevenson, Emily Dickinson, Eugene Field, L angston Hughes, Edward L ear, and many others. T hese are older writers from earlier times, but the language is wonderful. I read some of these to the children at Ecole Claire Fontaine. "I also like to read some newer poems and poets to the children. Probably my own first favorite books were this anthology and a book called, W here Does the Butterfly Go W hen it Rains?? continued next page




T he rich list of favorites could, perhaps, go on forever as is does for an artist in love with their art. ?Pablo Neruda?s ?Ode to a Watch at Night,? Elizabeth Bishop?s ?T he Art of L osing,? and Hart Crane?s ?My Grandmother?s L ove L etters.? I have studied poetry for many years in school, college, graduate school, and I ?ve taught for thirty years? I ?m still discovering new things about poetry, and I ?m always thinking of new ways to teach it and new ways to write my own poems.?

Molly Bendall?s latest collection, ?Watchful? was published in October 2016 by Omnidawn. Poetry class at ECF is now held on Wednesday afternoons at 3:30pm on the Abbot Kinney Campus. fin 11

FĂŞte de la famille


Crystal necklaces, fava plants, love poems, paper flower cards, and sand & shell frames for holding hand prints... 13

Inabowl addglue(or flour/cornstarch) Stir inwater 1cupflour &1cwater or 1cupglue&1/2cwater Stir until theconsistency issimilar torunnyglue



T he children are making papier mâché. W hat they are using it for is a surprise, however there are several fantastic projects you can try at home with your children. Globes, piñatas, holders for crayons or markers... etc. Start by gathering your materials: you will need a balloon, newspapers and glue mixture Tear newspaper into strips, as much as you feel like tearing ? you can always tear as you go. Next, blow up your balloon so you will be ready! Prepare your glue mixture ? flour, cornstarch & school glue all work, however bugs like to chew on old flour? T his is a messy, time consuming project that is simple and fun. L etting it dry after a few layers before adding more is a good tactic to ensure that your shape will be solid and not just a glob that never dries. For a final layer you could try using a piece of plain paper so it will be easier to paint. To make a beautiful night light planet or globe, leave a bit of the balloon uncovered, poke little holes all around, let dry and put a battery-operated candle inside. 15

BeesBuzz(anddance&sing) I t i s an O n om at op oei a Becau se i t's th e Sou n d I M ake!



Bees are amazing creatures who must be treated gently and with respect. Although mixed messages abound, bees are not to be feared, but rather understood. T hey sing and dance, just like you do. T hey look after one another, and even fight sometimes, as people do.

Beinggentleis thekey tocohabitating withabee

Bees are clever communal creatures! W hen they do their waggle dance, they are signaling hive-mates specific directions to the sources of food. A honey bee only stings to protect itself or the hive from a perceived threat. W hen you are gentle with bees, they are gentle with you. Beekeepers gather honey, usually without being stung. Do not wave your arms at them or try to swat them away. I f you do not want a bee to walk along your arm, you may gently brushing her away, but no slapping because in addition to injuring this cute creature, chances are you will be stung. Some people are so calm with bees that they can pick them up with their hands. continued on next page 17

Bees are crucial to our environment and particularly in light of environmental degradation we must not destroy bees or their habitats. T hey pollinate our flowers, plants and trees, which scatter seeds in the wind to grow more and clean our air. Apples, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cherries, pears, plums, pumpkins and watermelons all need pollination to grow! Bees are not the only pollinators in nature, but they are the most skilled. T hey make honey, pollen, propolis and royal jelly, and even make beeswax, which is the building block of the honey comb. Beehives are home to the queen bee, the youngest bees and the stores of honey. T he queen lays the eggs while the worker bees pollinate flowers and plants, and protect the hive. Being gentle is key to cohabitating with a bee. T he wings of bees flapping in their collective rhythm change the waves of energy that surround them. ?A honey bee in flight beats its wings 230 times per SECOND and can reach a speed of around 20 miles per hour.? (* from Piotr Socha?s Bees: A Honeyed History, found in the ECF library.) Bees are part of an ancient species that has evolved as a highly organized society, and by living as a community they are able to protect themselves. T hey have continually adapted to environmental changes, however may have met their match with the chemicals of Monsanto. L et?s take care of our environment ? we need one another! fin 18

F or

those of us interested in linguistics, Robert E. Snodgrass? 1956 book Anatomy of the Honey Bee reads:

I s it honey bee or honeybee?

Regardless of dictionaries, we have in entomology a rule for insect common names that can be followed. I t says: I f the insect is what the name implies, write the two words separately; otherwise run them together. Thus we have such names as house fly, blow fly, and robber fly contrasted with dragonfly, caddicefly, and butterfly, because the latter are not flies, just as an aphislion is not a lion and a silverfish is not a fish. The honey bee is an insect and is preeminently a bee; ?honeybee? is equivalent to ?Johnsmith.? Here?s another: I n 2008?s Fruitless Fall Rowan Jacobsen writes: Copyeditors of the world beware. The spelling of insect names in this book follows the rules of the Entomological Society of America, not Merriam-Webster?s. W hen a species is a true example of a particular taxon, that taxon is written separately. Honey bees and bumble bees are true bees, and black flies are true flies. A yellowjacket, however, is not a true jacket. Entomologists, who have to read the names of bugs a lot more than the rest of us do, would appreciate it if we all followed these rules. 19

Our oldest tomato vine is still offering new growth, despite its poor roots being chomped on by grubs and its tiniest green buds plucked by our newest gardeners. However as they learn to be gentle, the children are thrilled to discover (and count!) 19 new cherry tomatoes. Soon they will have a salad of their favorites: lettuce, mint, parsley and ripe, red tomatoes. Tomatoes are fresh and full of vitamins. Even their leaves smell like the fresh fruit of the plant. One cup of cherry tomatoes has 1.3 grams of protein, 1.8 grams of fiber and 20 milligrams of vitamin C. T hat same cup also has 4.5 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids and 119 mg of Omega-6. Terrific tomatoes a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), T hiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Potassium and Manganese. Cherry tomatoes should be chopped at least in half and into smaller bits depending on size to prevent choking in young children. Known by the children at lunchtime as salsa or sauce tomate, they can also be made into a sauce that children can dine on to get a tasty dose of vitamins. 20

TheTallest Tomatoes

Grandparents Club Sign Up H ere Receive the News M agazine in your email & be invited for a special lunch! 21

FavaBeans: Fast Favorites


T he children at ECF participate in the process of growing their own food, going from seed to table with fava beans. Quick to sprout, these are wonderful for gaining a sense of accomplishment and confidence in their ability as gardeners. Fava seeds are large and smooth, with interesting grooves, appealing to children's developing tactile sense. After loosening rich, organic soil in a sunny spot, the children make small holes with their fingers. After putting in the seed, they gently cover it. Adding a little water is the final touch. T he sprouts begin growing tall in a matter of weeks. Preparing a harvest from the gardens of school then becomes a part of their lunch. Fava beans are so good for you: thiamin, vitamin K and B-6, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc, magnesium and protein. To replicate the potted surprises grown for Family Day, you do not need much: seed, soil, sunshine and water!


It TakesaVillage: TeamTeachingElevates T he

L ittle Campus, L e Petit Campus,

Camper Campus? we all know what garden oasis of affection, caring, laughter and love these names refer to. Caroline, Maira, Pierrette and Solange work as a team guiding the youngest Ecole Claire Fontaine students through the tremendous amount of learning they have to do from gaining basic skills and socializing, to art, language, music and discovery. T hrough it all, play and guidance are paramount. ?T hey may not know how to express their feelings directly, but they can express whatever it is by doing it or playing it,? Camper Campus Co-Director, Maira says on a sunny day in the garden.


?I t?s important to give children the opportunity to be children. At this age we teach them without controlling, but rather by using different words. For example when a child throws a car, we explain, ?T he car has four wheels to roll on the road. T he plane flies, the helicopter flies, the car rolls.?? Maira builds on the positive, offering guidance from building a road for the car to explaining to a child that their friend feels sad when something hurtful happens to them, just like they do. T he ECF philosophy of teaching elevates our newest charges, even while explaining the grounded way in which wheels work.


L ike all of the Camper Campus teachers, Pierrette works at many levels. She can be found beading, drawing, manipulating play dough, singing and storytelling with the children. ?T hey love to get to know the stories and what will happen next, but also we ask them leading questions so they can make up their own stories too.? T he classes are a rich source of opportunity for discovery and expression where students have the opportunity to exercise all of their senses. ?T hey learn through playing and using their senses such as touch. W hen they are manipulating play dough, it?s such a discovery with their hands and a way to express their emotions. T here is no right or wrong with play dough; rolling play dough brings us together around the table!,? Pierrette smiles, as she often does. ?You know I ?m always smiling when I ?m around the children. T hey are watching and 70 percent of their understanding comes from our body language? I ?m also singing a lot. I love to sing and when the children are singing in French, of course they are learning the language.? continued next page 25

T his amazing group of teachers sings, dances, creates art and food together, plays with the children and loves watching them play too. ?I t?s a window to their real lives. W hen they are playing, you can see what they really care about,? Pierrette notes. ?I t?s also so important to be consistent with them and to encourage them to do the things they are able to do, like putting on their own shoes. Gaining new skills allows them to feel successful and be happy.? As a former lawyer who practiced in her native L ebanon, Pierrette is able to move in and out of Arabic, English and French during a conversation. She teaches a playful Arabic class at the Abbot Kinney Campus in which the children learn to read their names, to count and to identify colors and objects. ?I t?s conversational; it?s relevant to them so they can connect with it and learn.? T heir love of children and of the French language is what binds this group of teachers, but their backgrounds are beautiful and varied. continued next page 26

Solange began as a preschool teacher in France. She connects with the children on their level and loves introducing them to new ideas and tastes. ?You can see it in their eyes when they discover something for the first time, a new flavor or fruit or vegetable they haven't tried or even seen before," she lights up when she describes the process. ?I discover with them too. T hey learn that it?s okay to try new things.?

Solange Centered in discovery and play, Solange is among the teachers who guide the children in creating art and jewelry, as parents sporting eclectic beaded bracelets can attest. ?I love to see how far their imaginations can go." She adds with a kind laugh, "T hey also love to learn about baking cakes!"

"I really love being with the children. T hey?re so funny. I like playing and being silly with them. I think I ?m like them too.? continued next page 27

On the mornings that campus is filled with the aroma of fresh bread, children come out to the garden with bits of flour on their cheeks, a sure sign that Caroline is inside sharing the table with a group involved in learning to bake bread. She is an artist and teacher from France who studied sculpture in I taly and is trained in the Waldorf education method. With Ecole Claire Fontaine for 17 years, Caroline particularly loves teaching the children sculpture at both campuses. ?We use real tools!? an older ECF student chirps over an amazing heart project involving talc stone. She paints, makes jewelry, and creates art with her students Caroline adds, ?I love being with the children. I t?s meditative; you don?t think about anything else. You give them everything.? continued next page 28

Caroline was ECF's first client 28 years ago - her son came two hours per day.


At the helm of Camper Campus is trilingual Maira, and her story is one that can sail ships. Beginning at Ecole Claire Fontaine as a housekeeper some 25 years ago, she spoke only Spanish. ?Next I became the cook? ? Maira explains. W hile in the kitchen, she began to pick up French. T he decision to study to become a teacher came as the children continued to approach her with their questions. ?I accepted them, and they accepted me as their teacher.? Her career took a major shift when she enrolled in English and Early Childhood Education classes. ?Madame Dumas noticed that I was studying and one day asked how many units I had. W hen I told her, she said, ?So we need to look for a new cook because you are going to be a teacher.?? And so it was, until she took on the co-directorship as well. "We are guiding future teachers, writers, doctors and lawyers... T his is a beautiful process and I am coming from my heart." Maira speaks adoringly of the team she works with and the children they teach. ?I love this age; they are so curious and willing to learn; discovering new things everyday. T hey are energizing to be with - I always know that I am going to discover something new too.? Fin

M aira


ECFat the Art Crawl

T he

children?s exhibit at the

Venice Art Crawl was a smashing success! Merci to all of you who ?crawled on over? to the Venice Public L ibrary where fantastic pieces of ECF student and teacher collaborations were on display.


Exploring paintbrush techniques, embroidery and stitching, the work used brown paper, heavy fabric and felt. Among those who joined the evening was a local cartoonist who did rapid portraits of the children in action after asking, ?W hat do you like to do?? Art elevates our community. I t brings us together and allows for self and collective expression.


Elevate to New Worlds with Books & Storytelling


W hat we are reading... Animals are D elicious: 3 Foldout Food Chain Books D ave L ad d & Step h an i e A n d er son H ow T hings Work by O k i d o Love I s? D i an e Ad am s, i l l u str ati on s by Cl ai r e Kean e T his I s H ow We D o I t M att L am oth e Undercover: One of T hese T hings is Almost Like the Others Basti en Con tr ai r e 33

Za'atar ! T his is an aromatic blend of herbs and spices that is simple for the children to make at home ? they do not make it at school in case someone has an allergy to sesame seeds! 2 tablespoons minced thyme (dried or fresh) 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds* 2 teaspoons ground sumac 1/ 2 teaspoon coarse salt (try grinding salt chunks) Simply stir and voila! A lovely way to eat this is by dipping a bit of pita in olive oil and then in the za?atar. You can also brush larger pieces of bread with olive oil, sprinkle on za?atar, and then broil.

* I f you would like to toast your own sesame seeds, it works to either toss in a pan on the stove top for about three minutes or bake in a 350 degree oven for five minutes until little golden brown.

I t doesn?t take much T ime to make Za?atar - the Arabic word for T hyme!

Bon appĂŠtit!

Delicious = zaaki!


B u i l d i n g Gr eece i n

A r ch i t ect u r e C l ass W h en st u d en t s see a f am i l i ar p at t er n w h er ev er t h ey m i gh t b e, "C 'est u n v i l l age gr ec!" 35

Rose T he flower of the month of June is a rose is a rose is a rose and for us, it invokes LOVE



At Ecole Claire Fontaine we use BOI RON homeopathic remedies for minor boo-boos. We will call parents to pick up their children for anything serious, but we do keep the following for use on the campuses: Dapis Gel for insect stings Arnica Gel for sore limbs Calendula Cream for cuts & scrapes Oscillococcinum for headaches Chestal for coughs Camilia for teething



T his is a once in a lifetime moment for the children, one they will carry in their hearts forever. Please note Graduation dates, times and procedures:

A b b o t K i n n ey C am p u s Fr i d ay, Ju n e 16 C er em o n y b egi n s at 5p m (d o o r s o p en at 4 :4 0 p m )

C am p er C am p u s T h u r sd ay, Ju n e 22 C er em o n y b egi n s at 10 :30 am (d o o r s o p en at 10 am ) Please join us in giving your children your full attention while they perform; they are artists at work.

* No cell phones, photographs or videos; professional photographers & videographers will document the magic. * Siblings are not allowed on stage and/ or wandering in the Garden. * Please step away with babies when they need to cry. * I f you cannot arrive on time, please use your key to enter and do not ring the bell during the ceremony. Potlucks to follow both ceremonies; please remember no nuts on either campus. T hank you for your attention, Joelle Dumas 38


Supportingour Community Jo i n EC F Fr en ch Ch oi r t each er A n aïs De La M o r an d ai s o f En ch an t e i n co o p er at i o n w i t h t h e Fr en ch C o n ser v at o r y f o r a b eau t i f u l

ev en i n g o f m u si c B el l e Q u i T i en t M a V i e, Sat u r d ay, Ju n e 10 t h at 5:30 p m . T i ck et s $12- 20 ar e o n sal e at El ect r i c L o d ge o r by C l i ck i n g H er e

Jo i n EC F Q i go n g T each er , M ar i e- Pau l f o r

Fal u n Go n g 9 f r ee cl asses Ju n e 20 - 28 6 :4 5- 9 p m Sp ace i s L i m i t ed ! C al l M ar i e- Pau l t o r eser v e y o u r sp o t 310 - 9 0 1- 9 4 4 0

K i d s A ct i v i t i es, El ect r i c C ar s & M u si c at t h e

Gr een Ven i ce Fest i v al Fr ee @ O ak w o o d Recr eat i o n C en t er , Sat u r d ay, Ju n e 10 t h f r o m n o o n - 5p m 40


Jo l ei gh 's gr an d m o t h er ow n s t h e

Gr an d V i ew M ar k et

C o m e f o r al l d ay b r eak f ast & w i f i 11210 Ven i ce B o u l ev ar d

Ven i ce Pu b l i c L i b r ar y

su m m er r ead i n g ch al l en ge B egi n s i n Ju n e! Regi st er o n l i n e l ap l .o r g/ su m m er

T each i n g y o u n g p eo p l e h ow t o k eep t h ei r

b r ai nbysD rhCeal t h y h u d l er , Ph D

D i r ect o r , N eu r o sci en ce f o r K i d s U n i v er si t y o f W ash i n gt o n o n l i n e ser i es: u w t v.o r g/ ser i es/ b r ai n w o r k s New Califor nia Cr aft

cr aft fair

June 9-11 @ ROW DT L A 777 Alameda Str eet 90021




ECF June 2017  

News Magazine for children's French language and art school in Venice, CA

ECF June 2017  

News Magazine for children's French language and art school in Venice, CA