Wednesday, January 18, 2006

It all began at The Birth Center

Weeks on end at the birthing class of the Bryn Mawr Birth Center, we got to know several couples also expecting soon, and also expecting to deliver with the assistance of midwives. The other most dynamic couple - she was a global buyer for a cool retailer and he an Ivy League Doctoral student in education - were a prominent fixture in the class. Time passed. Bellies bulged - I mean the soon-to-be-dads' sympathetic weight gains. Our son, due second, jumped the gun and in typical fashion claimed First-Born. Although at the six-month reunion theirs was the clearly leader in size.

Then we lost touch for three years, until a chance meeting at a Mt. Airy Schools Committee event, when we reconnected, but briefly. When we initiated our monthly meetings to explore educational options and Henry School, they were among the first families to attend. Their son attended Kindergarten and first grade at Henry, and their impact continues.

These days, father-Dr. Leif Gustavson is an Assistant Professor at Arcadia University, and responsible for Arcadia's involvement at Henry. For the past three years, Henry has benefited from Arcadia's Education students contributing as student teachers, volunteers, and project-students in our classrooms.

Our son participated in a creative project with Arcadia students last fall. He came home talking about the math and language challenges the Arcadia "teachers" presented, and how great these teachers were - although he did complain about not getting the treats he was missing in music class... When the project finished at the end of the fall semester, he brought home a journal filled with impressive illustrations and stories.

Arcadia's magazine,The Herald, highlights the Henry project in a recent issue.

In addition to Arcadia, our son has enjoyed student teachers from St. Joe's, and this year's Kindergarten has student teachers from the University of Pennsylvania.

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