On September 29, on a beautiful fall evening, we honored the donors who made the construction of Founders Hall possible and celebrated the women and men who, by founding the Stony Point School, the Sabot School and Sabot at Stony Point, have changed the landscape of education in our community.
In 1966, the founders of the Stony Point School converted a beautiful estate into a vibrant campus. They used these grounds to inspire curiosity and imagination and to engage children â€“ not only in academic learning â€“ but in connection to the natural world.
When founding the Sabot School in 1972, a community of families came together to demonstrate a new way of thinking about children and learning. They reminded us that, for young children, â€śPlay is learning and learning is play.â€ť Sabotâ€™s first leaders â€“ and all of the subsequent teachers â€“ created an environment in which children experienced new levels of respect â€“ both for themselves and for their thinking and ideas.
Todayâ€™s Sabot at Stony Point founders have continued the work of both sets of predecessors. Their persistence, tenacity and drive enabled the school we have today to come together as a place where the inquisitive nature of children continues to thrive in a community of learners.
In the words of the President of Sabot at Stony Pointâ€™s Board of Directors:
â€śToday, children at Sabot at Stony Point are engaged in a community of thinkers. They are allowed to investigate, to question how our planet works, to research, to create, to explore, to trial, to tinker, and to collaborate with their peers as every day brings a new quest and new discovery. Sabot at Stony Pointâ€™s 28-acre campus provides these children the perfect environment to do meaningful and authentic work. And at the end of this educational process, students donâ€™t walk away from this school with just a body of knowledge. They walk away with a great big toolbox â€“ loaded with skill sets that prepare them as critical and innovative thinkers who are ready to venture into this complex world with confidence. Students simply flourish in this place."
Each of the founders was gifted with a framed image (pictured below), created by artist Cheri Wolff, that illustrates the bridge between our past and our future. In the middle of the picture is an iron gate and ivy, which represents the Stony Point school. At the bottom of the picture is a small farm house and green fields â€“ the original Sabot School on Sabot Hill Farm. In the center of the image is a burning flame held up by a â€śsankofa,â€ť an African symbol for the importance of learning from the past. The burning flame represents our belief that "Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel." Inscribed in the picture are Margaret Mead's inspiring words:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
We thank all of our founders for having taken the first steps for all of us who have and who will follow.