Spotlight on Inclusion

“The Waldorf School is a place where no matter what your culture, religion, or lifestyle, it will be an open and loving place for your family. Waldorf is not just a school, but a second family to us where we can feel completely accepted and loved.” – Esterina Zottola, WSP Parent

Esterina and her family found the school after a long, grueling search for a school for their oldest child. “We really thought we would never find the perfect school. Once we enrolled our son and when he started attending, we realized WSP was the perfect match for our family and was also our refuge. When we are at school we experience complete acceptance and peace. In this sometimes crazy and uncertain world we live in, we know at WSP we have 100% support and caring.”

The family has been at the school for six years now and last year, a significant milestone for her daughter was warmly embraced by her teacher and classmates. Esterina recounts the story:

When my daughter began approaching the age of 9 and the time when she would start wearing the hijab, she was a bit wary. I received a message from her teacher to invite me to speak about this milestone in the Islamic religion. I came in to speak to her class about the hijab and about Islam in general. When there, I could see any of the reservations my daughter had suddenly disappear. She knew her classmates were informed and very accepting of the change that she was making in wearing the hijab. The question and answer session I had with her class brought me to tears as I saw her friends urgency to learn about our religion and about her upcoming transition to the hijab.

Recently Esterina’s husband, an independent business owner, had some serious health issues. Tensions surrounding being Muslim in the U.S. added to the stress felt by the family. Esterina comments, “Things have been especially difficult for me as a mother of Muslim children in a time where it is not openly accepted. My family and I constantly feel targeted when outside our home. The one thing I can count on is that when we are at WSP, we always have open acceptance and love. The school has become our sanctuary. My children love that WSP includes many diverse ethnicities and religions. They love that when they are at WSP they will learn about other cultures and belief systems.”

The Annual Fund is helping families like Esterina’s and many others. At the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh we embrace a culture of inclusion. The Annual Fund helps us in this aim. As Esterina says, “There are many families who could really be positively impacted by Waldorf Education, but for some circumstance cannot fully provide for the funds. Everyone falls on hard times and needs a little help sometimes. Without the Annual Fund I do not know where my family would be.” Donate to the Annual Fund to assist in this help.

This entry was posted in Giving and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.