The Shaqed Foundation's first initiative was the establishment of Gan Shaqed in 1989 and over the years three additional anthroposophic kindergartens have been established in the region. The kindergartens are run by dedicated and loving staff who work with an array of rhythms, seasons and cycles: day, week, month, year. This rhythmic approach provides strength and inspiration for the creative processes and extensive activities in the kindergartens. In addition to free play with toys and dolls handmade from natural materials to enrich the child’s world of imagination and creative ability, the children also use special paints and crayons made from natural materials. Moreover, the children participate in the preparation of food and the baking of the bread. They share responsibility for the organization and tidying of the kindergarten, and the gardening of the outdoor areas. The daily routine of the kindergarten includes a range of artistic sessions: song, movement, storytelling, puppet shows and a weekly nature walk in the beautiful Israeli country side. Great excitement and activity accompany the preparation for Kabbalat Shabbat (receiving the Sabbath) and the Jewish Festivals. The Shaqed Foundation also supports the bilingual and multicultural kindergarten initiative that operates in an anthroposophic spirit in the neighboring village, Shfaram.
The Shaqed Elementary School was founded in 1993 as a seed project through the combined efforts of parents, pedagogic staff and Shaqed Foundation members. The aim was to create an educational framework cultivated by an anthroposophic approach to learning. With the support of the local council, the school opened its first class, and today houses eight grades. From September 2006, following an increase in the number of families and the change in status of the school to an inter-regional state school, the school underwent an expansion of two classrooms for each grade. As a result, the school is presently in a process of accelerated growth. In response to a request made by the local council, school staff welcomed and adopted the objective of establishing a special needs class, Shkedia. Similarly, the Shaqed Foundation is supporting the Waldorf initiative in Shfaram and in the arab village of Hilf.
High School Initiative
In September 2009 the innovative high school initiative was launched. Setting a new precedent, a 9th grade class, teaching according to anthroposophy educational approach, was opened in the integrated environment of a nearby conventional high school. This highly successful initiative has grown out of the desire and drive to create a Waldorf educational framework for the youth graduating from the Shaqed Elementary School and other schools in the region. All involved in this pioneering project feel privileged to be part of this special educational-community. High quality teachers and caring staff stand as personal examples to the students, arousing their curiosity to learn and experiment with a wide range of subject matter while promoting life skills, self awareness, creativity and self actualization. This initiative is actively creating an educational, social and cultural community that radiates over the community of Tivon and its surroundings.