Today we’d like to introduce you to Rebecca Van Der Like.
Hi Rebecca, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
Seedlings Kindertribe is a manifestation of a lifelong dream and calling of mine. I have always wanted to create a place where children can run wild and free, exploring the natural world with eyes of wonder. I will never forget the feeling I got the very first time I stepped into a Waldorf school – something just naturally clicked – it’s as if my whole being sang, “Finally! Now, this is what we’ve been waiting for – This is what the world needs!”
As a Waldorf preschool teacher, I began to notice what a difference it made to take children outside. I would watch in awe as they calmly found their center in the wild of a forest, a riverbank, or a backyard. I saw the truth in the saying that everything a child needs in kindergarten can be found in nature. I planted the seed to one day find a home for my family that could also be an outdoor preschool wonderland.
Shortly after finding our home sweet home, I crossed paths with Miss Ash, who helped me create our space from scratch. From finding scraps on the side of the road to treasure hunting in thrift stores, we began to build a school in an acre and a half backyard. I am very thankful to my husband, Saul, and our family, friends, and neighbors – All of the community support that has gone into the creation of Seedlings makes our space sparkle with an extra special kind of magic.
The world needs more open spaces for families and children to thrive in heart-centered outdoor learning environments. I am so honored to bring this offering to our community through Seedlings Kindertribe, and can’t wait to see it grow.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Like every journey, there have been ups and downs, and some bumps in the road. Most recently, we had very high winds come through the front range, tearing apart our outdoor classroom space. I am taking this obstacle as a learning experience, and seeing it as an opportunity to plan and design a new, more sustainable space. We are looking into building a geodesic dome as an outdoor classroom space someday, along with adding more gardens, trees, and designated play areas.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a childhood magic preservationist, also known as a teacher, or a guide. I am here to hold space for children to be children, and to watch them explore the world freely with sparkling eyes. I am proud of myself for finding my way on a winding path that led me to my lifelong dream. I am grateful to provide a unique opportunity for children to grow with the warmth of Waldorf and the wonder of nature.
Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
Above all, I have gotten very lucky to have found my soul mate, who has always helped support my dreams and encouraged me to never give up. I feel very fortunate to have the support of my family, friends, and especially our wonderful community in Fort Collins. I strive to take all the love I have been given, and shine it outwards for all the children and families who cross my path to bask in. I hope to continue creating a wonderful world for our future generations to come.
- Website: www.seedlingskindertribe.org
- Instagram: @seedlings.kindertribe
- Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/100083223856074/
Erika Ashauer and FreeBird Photography