The day started with rainy weather in the New York metropolitan area. But Zeus, the father of the gods in Greek mythology, let the sun shine forth as the day progressed for the annual Waldorf School Greek Olympics. On Thursday, May 23rd, the fifth graders hosted their own version of the Greek Olympics for their friends from the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan and the Brooklyn Waldorf School.
“The students culminated their study of ancient Greece with an ancient Olympic ceremony that combined music, poetry and dance with a pentathlon of events,” said Waldorf’s physical education teacher Ms. Bonnie Bolz. “The five field events included discus, javelin, running, wrestling and the long jump. The students prepared together with the emphasis on doing their personal best – balancing strength, grace, beauty and speed to help integrate all aspects of a healthy body, mind and soul.”
The activity augmented the study of Greek mythology, geography, and Greece’s many different cultures. The 50 fifth graders from the three schools mixed into four distinct Greek city states (Thebes, Sparta, Athens and Corinth) and offered music, poetry and dance in addition to athletic events. Recognition in these events was given for grace and form as well as for speed or distance.
Waldorf schools are private school based on philosopher Rudolf Steiner’s theories on child development. Every spring, fifth graders from Waldorf schools around the world celebrate their own version of the ancient Olympic Games.
Photos by Jeanenne La Bella and Robert Ingenito.