Social Entrepreneurship at Rainbow

Social Entrepreneurship at Rainbow

Rainbow’s Omega Middle School sixth grade class studies Social Entrepreneurship every year. In the spring the students come up with business ideas that reflect their passions, skills and support making the world a better place, whether at home or on the other side of the globe. By May they have a prototype ready to sell to family and friends on campus and based on feedback, will refine it and present at the West Asheville Farmer’s Market on May 30th.

Every Friday our Fundraising Manager and Nonprofit Development Consultant, Sara Stender, works with the sixth graders. She shares about the past week:

It has been so rewarding working with the 6th grade social entrepreneurship class this spring. This week we learned more about consciousness in business. We reflected on values – how to build businesses that represent what we believe in – and how to communicate them to our customers. Many of you saw how this is reflected in the student’s businesses that were set up on the deck last Friday. Thank you for supporting their work and for offering feedback during the final stages of research and development. The class will be selling at the West Asheville Tailgate Market on Tuesday, May 30th, from 3pm-5pm so please stop by and say hi! Some characteristics of a conscious company as defined by our sixth graders this week include:

  • Awake
  • Paying Attention
  • Offering Value
  • Trustworthy
  • Connected to the People
  • Certifications (Organic, Fair Trade)

We had a compelling conversation with Chipper Bro, who has been with Patagonia since they started in 1973! He explained the importance of transparent business practices and encouraged us to get involved with the company’s Traceable Down project. Chipper also helped us to remember that even big companies like Patagonia often start with one person and their passion. 43 years later the company is influencing other large global corporations to implement environmental and social practices that help shape a brighter future for all of us.

On Tuesday we took a field trip to The Hop ice cream factory where owner Greg and manager Gretchen really honed in on what it means to be community-driven, and how to know if a company is walking the talk. Greg shared that building relationships with their suppliers and customers is the most important thing – more than just a sale – and sourcing clean and local ingredients (even the unicorn poop!) to support the environment and the local economy. Thank you social entrepreneurs of all ages for being a beacon of hope!

A special thanks to Asheville Tourists owners and Rainbow parents, Brian and & Kali DeWine. Their gift of game tickets helped raise funds for the 6th graders to start building a Conscious Commerce Cart that will showcase social entrepreneurship for years to come!

#LoveTheHive
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May Day 2017

Come celebrate the return of the faeries with us this May Day from 10:30am to 12:00pm in the Outdoor Classroom on Haywood Road!

We will celebrate the magic of spring by dancing together, wrapping the May Pole, eating berries-n-cream, blowing bubblles, bursting with song, and reveling in our bright costumes. We invite you to come dressed up in fairy, magical, and animal inspired outfits. We can’t wait to see you sparkle! If you feel inspired to, we also welcome you to bring small gifts to place in the nooks of nature for the faeries and their houses.

Beltane, or May Day, lies directly opposite Halloween in the solar calendar. Both mark the point between the preceeding equinox and the following solstice. The holidays mirror each other as opportunities both to interact with magic beings, wether ghostly ancestors or trickster faeries, as well as to mark a major shift in our relationshiop to the sun, wether we’re moving towards the shadows or turning towards the warmth of light.

Thank you for coming to celebrate this bright, flowering, new beginning of springtime with us! This is one of our favorite holidays we celebrate and we cant wait to share it with you. Check out our pictures from years previous to get a sense of the festive magic involved ♥.

The Gift of a Shrine

The Gift of a Shrine

Quan Yin is a Buddhist deity of compassion. Her spiritual archetype, however, exists across many different religions and cultures. Mother Mary within Christianity and Sophia within Gnosticism, for example, represent similiar all-loving and all-merficul qualities. Many beautiful art pieces, theater skits, short stories and community projects were born out of Domain Day. This one, however, stands out as a unique integration of the creative and spiritual domains beautifying and uplifting our campus.

The Spiritual Domain Group designed and built this shrine with Quan Yin as its center piece. She had long stood by the water-feature in the outdoor classroom, before Rainbow teachers and Spiritual Domain Group leaders, Mark Hanf and Justin Pilla, spotted her and felt her to be the perfect point of inspiration from which to build a shrine. After having smudged the area with sage, the dozen students began by placing their own personal artifacts within the center of an imaginary circle. Students then took turns placing the large rocks in a measured and intentional formation to mark the boundary of the shrine. Max had been gathering these large obelisk- and sphere-shaped stones over the course of several visits to the same enchanted forrest creek. The mindfulness with which every piece of this altar was put together cast a spell of wonder over the young spiritualists. In between building the shrine, they picked up instruments from a blanket lined with shakers and hand drums to accompany the ceremony with music.

In its second year as an ‘annual Rainbow celebration’ Domain Day has received extremely positive feedback from students and teachers alike. Within a small multi-age group, students get to spend a whole day focusing on a domain they feel passionate about. They can choose between the physical, natural, social, emotional, creative, mental, and spiritual domains. This intentional time spent with teachers who have also been called to that particular domain gives students the opportunity to embody that domain more fully. And because each domain is connected, and linked to the greater whole, a student’s comfort in one domain inherently empowers their understanding of the others. In this domain group’s case, each student was able to embody the spiritual domain’s cornerstones of ritual, world religions, contemplation, and communion with the natural world, while simultaneously working through the challenges and gifts of the creative, social, and natural domains.

Thank you, Spiritual Domain Group, for leaving behind this radiant evidence of your connection to spirit. You have altered our space and given us a sanctuary at which to breath and center. We invite all who stop by our campus to visit Quan Yin, and if inspired, to leave her a token of gratitude.

‘Voices of the River’ Contest Winners

‘Voices of the River’ Contest Winners

Congratulations to Rainbow students Cady in second grade, and Isabella and Kafira in fifth grade! Earlier this year these young artists submitted poems and paintings to River Link‘s ‘Voices of the River Art and Poetry Contest’. And then just a few days ago, on Saturday morning, they were honored with their awards at RiverLink’s Earth Day Kids Festival! As first place winners, their art stood out to the local artists acting as judges for its design, composition, and originality. This year the PreK through 12th grade students who submitted their art were invited to make art in answer to the question, how are you connected to your watershed? Thank you so much to River Link for your support in connecting our love of the Earth with our passion of the arts.

This Monday, Grandparent’s & Elder’s Day!

This Monday, Grandparent’s & Elder’s Day!

We invite all of our Rainbow grandparents and special elders to a welcoming celebration and performance in the auditorium at 10:30am on Monday, April 24th.

We are so excited to welcome our grandparents and elders onto campus for this special day. During the school year we foster multi-age connections through all-school ceremonies and classroom-partnership projects. It is a special honor, however, to welcome into our world of children the elders who helped create them. RSVP by emailing Kate, our Office Manager, at info@rainbowlearning.org.

Thank you in advance for your time, visit, and generous presence. Your grandchildren have been preparing for your arrival all week and can’t wait to share the wonder of their learning with you.