The purpose of the Froebel Foundation
USA is to preserve
the history of the Froebel kindergarten and to promote the
of Friedrich Froebel
to the world at large.
We want to hear
from others who are
working toward the same goal, so that
we communicate the
message to the widest audience possible.
Please call, fax or email us at the
O-78 Leonard St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Volume 2 - Issue 1
A Visit to Bad Blankenburg
In early August, the Froebel Foundation USA sent a camera crew to London and Germany to begin filming for several new
documentary film projects. The main purpose for the filming was to prepare for the feature length documentary project the Foundation will undertake this June. The trip was a great success and we met many knowledgeable Froebelians throughout our stay.
After reviewing the 5 hours of material we shot, the decision was made to create a special VHS tape (later available on DVD) of the German sites. For some Froebel scholars the video will offer the opportunity to see the various sites without leaving home. Others will be able to better plan their future trip once they have determined what is there to be seen.
The East German countryside is a wonderful place to visit in August. The Korea-Froebel company send nearly 100 of their staff every year between June and August. We are considering whether to create our own tour for North Americans interested in a guided tour of Froebel sites in Germany. If you are interested, please contact the Foundation by mail or email.
Korea-Froebel Staff Visits Toronto
Despite the disruptions caused by the tragedies of the 9/11 attacks, we were able to welcome our visitors from Korea-Froebel on Sept. 19th. The chairman, Mr. Chung, his senior staff; (Mrs. Lee, Mr. Kwon, Mrs. Bhang) and two of their Froebelian-trained teachers (Betty Lee and Ms. Eum) visited with Scott Bultman at the Froebel School in Mississauga, Ontario.
The group was not able to get flights into America as planned, so Scott and Peter Bultman flew to Toronto to make introductions between Barbara Corbett (and her staff) and the delegation from Korea. It was truly an honor to witness their meeting, although there was great disappointment that the group could not visit Grand Rapids as originally planned.
It was a historic event and a great moment as each group realized that the true spirit of Froebel was alive and well on the other side of the world. Both Mr. Chung and Dr. Corbett have achieved great success while keeping true to Froebel.
As there are many possibly ways to utilize the Froebel materials according to his method, there was a great deal of interest in the slight variation between the Korean and Canadian activities. A teacher exchange program was discussed, with Betty Lee set to study with Dr. Corbett in 2002.
pictured L-R: Peter Bultman, Mr. Kwon, Barbara Corbett, Scott Bultman, Mr. Chung, Mrs. Lee, Finella Scholtz, Betty Lee, Mrs. Bhang (in front of Dr. Corbett) and Miss Eum (also in front)
Foundation to Purchase Land for Froebel School
The Froebel Foundation USA has selected 18.5 acres just outside Grand Rapids for a new Froebel school. This will be the first true Froebel kindergarten in the US in over 60 years. The school will open in the summer of 2003 to
students from birth to age seven. As the children progress into later grades, we hope to expand the program to include
children to age 14.
The property contains over six acres of protected wetlands and is uniquely suited to environmental studies. Eighteen acres will allow plenty of room for both student gardens and a communal school garden.
The project has received international attention and will involve efforts by a wide range of experts, including
architect Mark Dudek and Susan Herrington, professor of
landscape architecture at Univ. of BC in Vancouver . Mr. Dudek is also a professor of architecture at the University
of Sheffield and is the worldıs authority on childrenıs
architecture. Dr. Herrington is a Froebel expert who has designed many high-profile outdoor play environments around the United States.
The school itself will be a state-of-the-art "eco-building," with natural daylight and fresh air ventilation. We are
fortunate to be working with the best minds in the field
of sustainable building and green architecture.
Most exciting of all, the school will offer teacher training as well as provide a new home for the research archive. Courses will be offered for college credit and two week summer sessions will offered.
Stay tuned to the website for more information.
Bradford Hansen-Smith Visits Froebel Archive
Bradford Hansen-Smith, sculptor and author of The Geometry of Wholemovement, visited the Froebel Foundation in November. Brad tours the country every month giving workshops and lectures on the use of geometric paperfolding to teach mathematics. On his way to give a lecture in Toronto he spent two days in Grand Rapids learning more about Froebel. Brad's knowledge of geometry was impressive and his gentle style of teaching seemed more than a little Froebelian.
Plans were made to create several videos of his workshops in
conjunction with the Froebel Foundation.
Look for these videos in late summer of 2002.
Look for New Video in 2002
Work has begun on a new video of Froebelıs Germany. Shot on digital video during August 2001, the video will offer a guided tour of the
various sites in Froebel's life.
FROEBEL MUSEUM EXHIBIT A SUCCESS
The Frank Lloyd Wright Light Screens exhibit (in conjunction with an installation
of Froebel materials) at The Grand Rapids Art Museum broke all previous attendance and sales records. Many educators and parents expressed interest in Froebelıs methods.
A wonderful companion documentary was made featuring interviews with various Wright experts and a few comments from Froebel Foundation USA director, Scott Bultman.
While the Froebel exhibit remains through 2002, the Frank Lloyd Wright light screens collection will be travelling around North America for the next two years. Email us for more information about specific Froebel events.
New Interns Hired
The Froebel Foundation USA is pleased to have several new faces at the archive. Keeley Heath, Valerie Ertman, and Matt Plichta are all putting their efforts toward the Froebel cause.
Foundation projects include a feature-length documentary, scanning and OCRing rare text, and creating databases of people involved in the original kindergarten movement. Both Keely and Valerie have made a big impact on the organization and output of the foundation. Valerieıs command of the German language is extremely helpful.
Matt Plichta is project supervisor and is personally responsible for the website and
newsletter. Matt is also editing the footage he shot in Bad Blankenburg last August.
Contributions Are Deductible
The Froebel Foundation USA is now officially classified as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. As such, all contributions to our cause are fully tax-deductible. We hope that you will continue to support our work through your efforts and tax-deductible donations.
Your contributions support our preservation of kindergarten history and will help us build a center for Froebelian education. History is repeating itself with a resurgence of interest in Froebelıs educational methods. We have learned from the mistakes of the first kindergarten movement but we need your financial support to train more teachers.
Many New Items at www.froebelgifts.com
Here is a partial list of new
products & books available:
Zome Tools Bubble Kit
Zome Tools Pioneer Kit
Zome Green Lines v1.0
27.95 & 39.95
Geofix Platonic Solids
Geofix Pyramids & Prisms
Geofix Archimedean Set
Kindergarten Architecture by Mark Dudek
A Child's Work by Joachim Liebschner
CD-Rom Now Available
At last, the Froebel Gifts CD-ROM is ready for sale. The many delays were the result of debugging the various parts of the CD for both Mac and PC users. Part of this delay was the result our desire to include "everything but the kitchen sink."
Another part of the delay was due to the use of outside
programmers. As we have several other CD-ROM projects underway, we are using internal programming staff. We believe that the result has been worth the wait and thank you all for your patience.