For the past 8 years my family has had the very great privilege of being able to send our children to a wonderful small private school called Living Wisdom. And by small, I mean that one year there were 4 kids in my older daughter’s class, although the average is probably about 12. As a former public school teacher, I know that small class size is critically important when it comes to student academic success, but there are other reasons that compel us to prioritize this expense above others every month. The school is founded on the principles outlined in the book, Education for Life by Donald J. Walters, who was a disciple of Paramhansa Yoganada. ( You might have seen the previews for the recently-released movie, Awake, about the life of Yoganada.) In essence, the educational philosophy is one of  balancing mind, body and spirit. My 6 year-old learns math and mediation, reading and yoga, art and the value of generosity, science and the ability to search within herself to find happiness.  I learn something new from my girls every day and I’m incredibly grateful to the teachers who pass their wisdom and joy along to them.

The Living Wisdom School in Portland is working toward expanding its facilities so it can accept more students. Additionally, the teachers have been writing academic papers about their work and traveling to educational conferences.  To support these efforts, the school has a big fundraising goal this year. I truly believe our country needs to take a more wholistic approach to education, and that policy-makers, teachers, administrators, and parents could all learn from the Living Wisdom model. Like many schools, Living Wisdom relies mainly on the generosity of family, friends and neighbors to support their fundraising efforts. My kids and I usually email the grand-parents and knock on the baby-sitter’s door. This year, however, I am reaching out to my online friends in hopes that you’ll show your support for balanced, compassionate, wholistic education by backing this teeny tiny school in Oregon.

Over the weekend I finished this quilt that I’m calling Peppermint Chandelier, using Lee Heinrich’s Chandelier Quilt pattern which she wrote for the Bernina blog, We All Sew. I immediately fell in love with the pattern, and its festive, holiday feel so I chose wintery, Christmasy colors and candy-cane binding. I even took Lee’s advice and used a cool scallop stitch for the quilting. The quilt will be part of the Living Wisdom raffle, which takes place November 14.

If you’d like to enter the raffle for this quilt, you can buy tickets here. In the text area, just enter #5, quilt.

Thank you!