A Deep, Meaningful Partnership with Waldorf School

Apr 14 2021
Kellen Sarver

Throughout our 50 year history, Raphael House and the Waldorf School have established a deep, meaningful partnership. It began when founding members of our organization sent their kids to the school in the 1980s. Our staff at the time then underwent training in Waldorf School philosophies, realizing that these principles could be implemented at Raphael House. 

Many of Raphael House’s values were already aligned with Waldorf, such as valuing consistency, and creating a safe, encouraging environment for the children and families in our Residential Shelter. 

After training in Waldorf principles, our staff made it a priority to integrate art, music, and crafts into our programs. Waldorf’s method of teaching watercolor in which the brush is dipped in water and dragged across the paper in slow, even strokes was particularly calming and peaceful for the children in our Programs. Raphael House staff also embraced Waldorf techniques like sponge painted walls, calm speaking, and tactile activities. All of these methods helped the children in our programs flourish. Waldorf School also inspired the design of our Toddler Room!

The Waldorf School didn’t just inspire our Children’s Programs, it also inspired our leadership staff and volunteers. Laurie, a former volunteer in our Children’s Program, shared that she sent her children to a Waldorf school when she realized our program was modeled after their philosophy. “Both of my children loved their education and have become thoughtful and creative women as a result.” 

Fr. David Lowell, who served as Executive Director of Raphael House for 19 years, also sent his children to Waldorf School. He described the Waldorf method as “giving your child the world in a safe way, so that children feel confident.” 

This theme of safety and calm has continued throughout the years at Raphael House, and today, Waldorf School continues to partner with Raphael House through donation drives for needed items and other volunteer opportunities.

Check out some of these photos of our rich partnership with the San Francisco Waldorf School! 

If your school or organization is interested in getting involved with Raphael House, contact volunteer manager Kellen at ksarver@raphaelhouse.org.

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