Since it’s the beginning of the holidays, it’s a great time to reflect. Gratitude is not only an idea; it’s an enriching practice that can be the light in a dim space. So I’ve asked our kids what they think about gratitude as it relates to life and Orchard School. Here’s what they said:

“Gratitude means feeling thankful and it doesn’t always have to be love, like I’m grateful that I didn’t fall out of that tree,” said Maxine, second grade.


"It means showing thanks. We have a Gratitude Bucket at school. It's not for compliments. Gratitude is really SHOWING thanks, not just saying it. Really making it count. Like, telling why, and making a person feel appreciated," said Nia, fifth grade. 

 “Unicycles!!! Climbing trees. Playing in the mud and not getting in trouble. And the other students,” said Tomas, sixth grade.

“Just to be here. It’s not like a normal school,” said Ryin, fifth grade.

”I love it here and the teachers are amazing,” said Ella, fifth grade.


“We get to run around barefoot and the teachers are really really nice. We have circus performances every year. And the friends here,” said Aubrie, sixth grade.

I’m seriously wowed and warmed by these. I’m grateful that these are the people that are inheriting our earth. And I’m thrilled that they are in a place that they love. Now go into this cold season with gratitude to light your way. 

If your gratitude flashlight needs some new batteries, I have happily shared some of mine in these photos. Some things that I am grateful for around our campus right now — frolicking, friendship, foliage, fun and fall.




Growing roots at Orchard

Welcome to the grand opening, first ever, ribbon cutting, inaugural parent observation corner. I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m really excited though. I’m open to suggestions, themes, questions, comments, and I’ll work on accepting criticism. This is our family’s second year here at Orchard. Our child was lucky enough to begin his scholastic life in the kinder hut. The first time we visited the campus I felt a surge of hope. Our child who normally clung desperately to my body in any new situation, looked around, only one hand up my shirt, and began to take steps away from me. I could see excitement entering his tiny body through his feet as he crossed the bridge and saw the campus unfolding in front of us. Today he is so comfortable and confident I have to remind him to give ol’ mom a kiss goodbye before he runs off giddy to begin his day. 

Something that I have noticed time and time again from the kids at Orchard is the care that they take for one another. I’ve seen kids hug a classmate in moments of sadness. I’ve seen kids jump into action to get help for a friend with a scrape. I’ve watched as kids celebrate each other’s successes and triumphs. Gratitude is expressed between friends and it’s exhilarating as a parent and a person in this community to see the type of small humans they are becoming.