(Lander, WY) – Apple Valley School, an experiential education learning facility, celebrated the move to its new location with an official ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, September 9th.
The school, whose mission is to provide nature-based experiential education opportunities for children in the Lander community, relocated to its new spot on Eugene Street, which had previously been an empty asphalt lot.
School Director Maureen Fox stated that they were originally renting a space, but due to the growing needs of the school’s teaching style, an upgrade was necessary.
After purchasing the current building, which was finalized in mid May, they were able to utilize the new outdoor space to build their own chicken coop, and also plan to add gardens in the near future.
Fox hopes this environmental awareness curriculum will help cultivate the farm culture that is prevalent in the Lander community.
This style of teaching, known as Waldorf Education, was founded based on the philosophies of child development created by Rudolf Steiner, “emphasizes educating the whole human being,” and aims to “breed curiosity, cultivate imagination, and open doors to exploration.”
Fox, who used to work for NOLS, went to a Waldorf school herself, and wanted to impart this model of education to the Lander community after seeing a “desperate need for early education daycare in the area.”
Currently there are about 45-50 children enrolled in the school, ranging from 1.5 to 5 years of age, with some students attending just a fews days out of the week.
“This is a community celebration,” Fox stated, commenting on how many hands went into helping facilitate the move, including school board members: Rachael Richards, Julia Fairbank, Stacey Stebner, Fredde Reed, Kerry Noonan, and Anna Horn.
The school would also like to thank the following volunteers:
- LOR Foundation
- Lander Community Foundation
- Wyoming Kids First
- Wyoming Women’s Foundation
- Brett Foss of B&F Enterprises (fencing and railing)
- Gordon Terhune (painting chicken coop)
- Griff Sprout of Sprouts Greenhouse (cedar mulch)
- Holly Cassity of Sweetwater Gardens (plantings and soil)
- Jason Hulme of Rocky Mountain Pre-Mix (boulders and sand)
- Jeff Kimber of Precision Dirtworks (transformation of parking lot)
- Jen Yellow Boy and the Greenamyer family (logs for play yard boundaries)
- Jimmie Cassidy of Wind River Landscaping (sprinkler system)
- Kurt Stauffer of Rapid Fire Protection (fire alarm system)
- Kyler Lescher (concrete)
- Melissa Hempken of Melissahof Hatchery (chicken flock)
- Mike Turner (structural renovations)
- Mitch Leclair of Super Seeds (native grass seed)
- Pake Eckhardt of Eckhardt Roofing (roofing chicken coop)
- Ryan Bernard of Bernard Plumbing (plumbing)
- Scott Wahl of Wahl Electric (electrician)
- Tajene Lesoski of Homestyle Interiors (flooring)
- Tim Latimer of Block and Tackle Tree Service (wood chips)
- Todd Ferguson of Spindrift Contracting (carpentry)
- Trey Warren of Householder Properties (realtor)
- Wade Lippincott of Atlas Roofing (gutters)
- Wade White of Sweetwater Aire (venting)
To learn more about the Apple Valley School, click here.