Magical Moments of Asheville

Magical Moments of Asheville

Rainbow Community School has teamed up with The Vanishing Wheelchair to bring magic to Asheville on April 28 and 29!

Magic is all around us. At Rainbow magic is kept alive everyday through daily centerings, ceremonies, story-telling, and the spectacular wonder of learning. Rainbow teachers use many names for magic. Sometimes magic is the love shared between classmates, sometimes magic is watching the transformation of your citizen-science tree on campus, and sometimes magic is the patterns made by prime numbers on your math sheet.

The weekend after next we have the opportunity to learn from the people who have honed the craft of stage and street magic. The magic of illusion is one of the oldest performing arts in human history. We have been gathering around magicians, entranced by the hint of the supernatural, for hundreds of years. We invite you step back into the world of make-believe, while supporting Rainbow and The Vanishing Wheelchair in the process. Buy your tickets today for this weekend extravaganza of not only magic shows, but magic workshops too!

“Magical Moments of Asheville” is a two day magic festival beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday with The Vanishing Wheelchair’s “Magic, Mirth & Meaning” show and continuing all day Saturday with workshops on magic and juggling, a talk from Appalachian Fairy Folk School, a Kids Magic Show at 3 p.m., and a closing show at 8 p.m. highlighting a variety of Asheville performers.

Show tickets ($10 for adults, $5 for kids) can be purchased in the RCS office, at Magic Central magic shop at 175 Weaverville Highway, or online at http://www.vanishingwheelchair.org/the-rainbow-community-school-is-raising-money-by-magic/.

All events will be held at the Rainbow Community Center, 60 State Street. This event is a fundraiser for RCS and The Vanishing Wheelchair. Rainbow is a preschool through 8th grade alternative school located in the heart of West Asheville determined to share the Rainbow Seven Domains holistic education approach with teachers and students around the world. The Vanishing Wheelchair, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit public charity dedicated to helping people with disabilities find their passion and meaning through the arts.

***FESTIVAL SCHEDULE***

Friday, April 28, 2017:
7 – 8:30 p.m. “Magic, Mirth and Meaning”:
$10 Adult, $5 Child
A family-friendly show with a meaning presented by members of The Vanishing Wheelchair, Inc., featuring magic, juggling, story telling, and singing. www.VanishingWheelchair.org

Saturday, April 29, 2017:
10 – 10: 45 a.m. Principles of Magic Workshop:
$10 Adult, $5 Child
Wendal Wandell helps you become a magician by learning tricks from the seven basic principles of magic (limit: 20 people). www.MagicWandell.com

11 – 11: 45 a.m. Juggling Gestures Workshop:
$10 Adult, $5 Child
Wendal Wandell demonstrates juggling techniques for the beginner with fun interactive practice (limit: 30 people). www.MagicWandell.com

1 – 1: 45 p.m. Appalachian Faeire Folk School:
$10 Adult, $5 Child
Storyteller Vixi Jil weaves together original and ancient faerie tales, enchanted walkabouts and personal accounts to help guide folks into explorations of discovery in the etheric realms (limit: 30 people).
www.VixiJil.com

3 – 4:00 p.m. WNC Magic Club Kid’s Show:
$10 Adult, $5 Child
A magic show presented by members of the Western North Carolina Magic Club for kids of all ages! www.WNCMagic.com

5 – 5: 45 a.m. Balloon Twisting Workshop:
$20 General, $5 Share
Marcie the Balloon Fairy teaches the basics of balloon twisting creations. Workshop includes professional kit Qualatex balloons, pump, and instructional DVD. Families wishing to share a kit just pay $20 for the kit and $5 each additional person for the workshop (limit: 30 people). www.Facebook.com/MarcieTheBalloonFairy

8 – 9:30 p.m. Magical Moments of Asheville Show:
$10 Adult, $5 Child
The Grand Finale, family-friendly show, featuring local talents of the Carolinas including comedian and magic shop owner Ricky D. Boone, magician and theatrical entertainer Wendal Wandell, cardician and magician Bobbini, the amazing magic of Wayne Anderson, story teller Vixi Jil, Forty Fingers and a Missing Tooth with jugglers Keith Campbell and Walter Beals, and famed WLOS’s Tales from the Red Rocker, Storylady Gwenda LedBetter.

www.VanishingWheelchair.org

A Look at Racism in Asheville Over the Last 25 Years

A Look at Racism in Asheville Over the Last 25 Years

Next Thursday we have the honor of hosting Building Bridges of Asheville in partnership with the YWCA of Asheville for a panel discussion on how the paradigm of both racial oppression and racial equity has shifted over the last 25 years. Come listen to Building Bridges members, including RCS Equity Director, Danae Jones Aicher, share their stories of persistent resistance and courageous change making!

This event is free and open to the public. It will take place from 6pm to 8pm in the Rainbow Community Center at 62 State Street, Asheville NC 28806. More information about childcare is coming soon. For more information visit the How Racism Has Changed Over 25 Years Facebook Event or email danae.aicher@rainbowlearning.org.

Tickets for the Tourists Game!

Tickets for the Tourists Game!

The 6th Grade Gnomes are on a mission. A mission to sell 300 tickets to the Asheville Tourists vs Greensboro Grasshoppers game on April 30th! As a Rainbow community member you can buy a $9 ticket for family-fun time all while supporting the 6th graders efforts in expanding, stabilizing, and uplifting their annual social entrepreneurship project.

Purchase Tickets

A First Grader’s Morning in Spring

A First Grader’s Morning in Spring

School for the First Grade Jellyfish began as usual this morning with stations of building blocks, coloring sets, puzzles, and games neatly contained on each of the four-person tables. Bowie and Judah were busy building extraordinary creatures that turned effortlessly into whirring machines, a forrest of trees, and then finally into the flying contraptions pictured below with their amazing ability to land upside down and hang from the “ceiling”. Next came a special centering. Every first grader grabbed their sturdy sketch book and a pencil on their way out the door, as they prepared to spend some quite moments centering with their tree. Children drew the images that came to them in the silence as well as creative representations of the trees they’ve been tracking throughout the changing seasons. As soon as she had sat down at the base of her tree, Jett sprung back up and ran to her teacher. “My tree is flowering, Ms.Itiyopiya! Look!” she said. After ten minutes of relaxed mindful presence with their trees, the First Grade Jellies gathered around the candle Ms.Itiyopiya had lit in honor of nature and waited ceremoniously for their teacher to blow out the candle, signaling the end of centering and the beginning of a bright new spring day.

Author Andy Griffiths Visits Rainbow

Author Andy Griffiths Visits Rainbow

Australian children’s book author and comedy writer, Andy Griffiths, took Rainbow first through fifth graders by storm this morning. His childlike imagination coupled with his hilarious kid-oriented sense of humor brought the Rainbow auditorium to thunderous laughter. Throughout his presentation about his journey as a writer, comedian, and story-teller, Andy never missed an opportunity to engage our students’ imaginations. In preparation for his visit, Rainbow students drew upon their creativity to design the treehouse of their dreams, taking inspiration from Andy’s wildly popular Treehouse series. One of the treehouses in his series has “a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool, a tank full of man-eating sharks, an underground laboratory, a vegetable vaporizer, and a marshmallow machine that shoots marshmallows into your mouths when it detects that you are hungry”. It is with this delightful absurdity, that Andy Griffiths and illustrator Terry Denton, have captured the attention of young readers around the world. Our young readers were smitten and eagerly lined up to get their books and bookmarks signed. If you’re looking for more Treehouse books we suggest you buy them from our local children’s bookstore, Spellbound Children’s Bookshop, who helped organize Andy’s visit to Rainbow. Thank you to Andy and his team for making this morning exceptionally hilarious, enlivening, and inspiring for us and our students.

Birthday Celebrations: Honoring Our Journey Around the Sun

Birthday Celebrations: Honoring Our Journey Around the Sun

When planning daily centerings Rainbow Community School (RCS) teachers strive to align the lessons, practices or activities with one of RCS’s spiritual, social and/or emotional learning goals. One of the longest standing spiritual learning goals (see below) recognizes celebration, tradition and ritual as sacred acts- acts that offer our students links to other cultures, ancestors and the past while laying a foundation for their future.

Class and Community Celebration and Ritual: Shared celebrations, ceremonies and rites of passage that empower students to be a part of an integral community

These shared celebrations, ceremonies and rites of passage are held as sacred and in some cases magical. They are symbolic and are infused with great care and reverence. Some specific milestones include Move Up Day, The Rose Ceremony, Mysteries Council, Graduation, school wide monthly gatherings that align with seasonal celebrations and Birthday Celebrations.

Recently I was invited into the 1st grade classroom to participate in a centering honoring a birthday. Our students experience at least once collective centering each school day, but for one very special centering each year, it becomes extremely personalized- The Birthday Celebration. As we know, a birthday is such a special and exciting event in a young person’s life, this special day holds a different, personal meaning than do other holidays or celebrations. Birthdays are celebrated for various reasons, from honoring or reflecting on personal growth, to acknowledging new opportunity, to encouraging fellowship. We may associate cake, ice cream, presents, parties with them but at Rainbow this personal milestone is meant to invoke a sense of the sacred- The child is cerebrated as a uniquely spiritual being.

Rachel, the lead teacher opened the centering circle by lighting the candle for “Judah and his new trip around the sun.” She first asked the kids to bring awarenss to their bodies by “finding a space that was grounding for them.” She then help to guide them in three deep breaths by ringing a chime between each breath. As the kids engaged in these typical centering rituals, the energy of the room settled into a more mindful state. 

Rachel continued,…”We have all been part of Judah’s life for many days…many of us met Judah the first day of this school year, others have known Judah for many years now. We are also blessed to have two people in the circle that have known him for his entire life and we welcome Judah’s parents. Regardless of how long we have known him, we have all come to love and appreciate him and would like to honor him with appreciations.”

At this point Rachel asked the kids to warm their hands by rubbing them together and then invited them to cover their eyes so that they can fully picture Judah’s face and invite a sincere appreciation to the front of their minds. As the appreciation circle began, she reminded them that “when we speak from the heart, we point our hearts at the person we are speaking to.” The appreciations, as well as smiles and even happy tears began to flood into the room. Judah’s parents were also invited to tell Judah’s birth story and to share pictures and memories through the years. 

Rachel has, for years, been carrying on a 1st grade tradition of a birthday bead necklace. At his time, she asked the children to choose a bead from the basket and to think about a wish they have for Judah as he embarks on this next journey around the sun and let the bead represent a wish they have for him during this next trip. Each student strung his/her bead onto the necklace and named the wish. As a closure, Rachel reminded Judah that he was loved by his 1st grade family and if there were every a time that he needed to be reminded of the love that surrounded him to wear the necklace so that his heart could be filled.