Polished to perfection, Life Time opens its “diamond” level club in Suburban Square this week.
The only things missing?
Not kidding. The “healthy way of life company” – now ensconced in the old Macy’s – wants to be your fitness center, your beauty salon, your restaurant, your spa, your babysitter – and now, your office.
Not just a “laptops-welcome/free-wifi” kind of office.
But a real one, totally tricked out.
Life Time Ardmore is the first of the company’s 133 clubs to offer Life Time Work: 12,000 square feet of “elaborate, ergonomic” workspaces (some private, some shared).
A quiet nook (above) and a state-of-the-art conference center (below) at LT Work.
And check out this LT Work outdoor terrace for schmoozing clients or catching rays:
LT Work members get full-club privileges. Really, they only need go home to hit the hay.
That’s Life Time – taking over the world, and every aspect of your life – one gorgeous club at a time.
So far, the Main Line’s biting – hard. The first round of LT Work memberships have already sold out, says company spokesgal Natalie Bushaw. But as LT gauges work habits and usage, they may add more.
And as for the health club, membership rolls are “very strong,” Bushaw says. (It’s company policy not to share hard numbers.)
The “resort” spans five stories, four floors and 60,000 sq. ft. of the old department store. Alas, no swimming pools or slides (like KOP) but members do get, among other things:
- Six specialized studios – for barre, Pilates, cycle, yoga – and 80 fitness classes a week, plus machines and trainers galore.
- LifeSpa for personal pampering: hair and nail salon services, skin care, massages and more.
- LifeCafe, a fast-casual healthy eatery with Meals to Go.
- Kids Academy for babes through tweens, where the little darlins get music, dance, yoga and more.
- An outdoor turfed area for alfresco gatherings.
So what will all this cost you? $179/month per person, $80 for each additional person, $50 per child under age 14. Plus, a “joining fee” of $200 – $300, which is sometimes discounted, according a recent email from a “membership consultant.” More than the Life Time in King of Prussia, which, at the “onyx” level, is a tick down and decidedly less intimate. Although it does offer more.
Still, don’t quote us on the prices; LT fees are always fluid. “Pricing usually goes up after the club opens,” Bushaw tells SAVVY. No long-term contracts are signed; it’s all month to month here.
Note to new members: That free “onboarding session with a trainer” is a also a chance for Life Time to sell you on small-group training and other fee-based programs. Just so you know.
Silver lining for LT Ardmore members paying “diamond” fees: They can visit any LT in the country. So will Main Line moms head west for the waterslides and swim lessons at the KOP club this summer? Count on it.
Life Time, 6 E. Montgomery Ave., Ardmore, 484-393-7100, opens Friday, April 27.
[wpanchor id=”ripplewood”]Ripplewood gastropub already making waves in Ardmore
It’s time to let her Ripp.
Ripplewood Whiskey and Craft is (finally) up and running next to Ardmore Music Hall.
More than running, it’s roaring – with sure-footed service, an accomplished kitchen and appreciative crowds.
Just a few days old, the joint was jumpin’ – and without the usual rookie hiccups – during our visit Sunday night.
The Ripp was reportedly named for a Grateful Dead song and a dive bar in Elkins Park.
But really, it’s Main Line all the way.
Owner/developer Peter Martin lives in Lower Merion; Chef Biff Gottehrer (Dandelion, El Vez, JG Domestic) grew up in Bala Cynwyd.
The concept: A two-story gastropub with bars on each floor, a cozy rear dining room with adjoining garden soon to be strung with lights and high-top tables.
Cocktails were killer: We lapped up our Bubble Up Bramble (bourbon & blackberry, $11) and creamy Avocado Margarita ($11).
Also worth a slurp: five whiskey flights ($14-$23) and four City Wides (glorified shots and beers, $5 – $11).
Ripplewood calls its fare “throw-back Americana.” Steak Tartare and Filet Stroganoff, anyone? All fairly priced and tasty, but health food, it’s not.
Worth their weight in gluten: Pretzeled Parker House Rolls with truffle butter ($7). Trust us.
We also ripped into the Brussel sprouts ($7), Pickle Plate ($9) and Clams Casino ($11).
At our mixed-age table, millennials explained City Wides to their parents, who, in turn, explained Clams Casino to them.
Everyone understood the burger ($13), which was topped with gouda, bologna and special sauce – because, well, why not?
One dish we hope is still evolving: The “Roast Pork” ($21), which was pork belly spiraled around pork loin and deep fried.
Feeling more virtuous? Try the tuna tartare, branzino or seared scallops.
For dessert, we went old school, opting for The Brookie: a warm brownie/chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream. Classic.
Ripplewood Whiskey and Craft, 29 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, 610-486-7477, opens at 11:30 a.m. with weekend brunch en route. Reserve on Open Table.
Main Liners switch up their lives at Kimmel Center in Philly
Four relatively unknown Main Line women headlined at the Kimmel Center last week.
No singing, only a little dancing.
And no acting.
Definitely, no acting. If the four had been acting, i.e. faking it, hundreds in the audience might have demanded their $129 back.
The quartet – Toni Filipone, Meridith Coyle, Cara Bradley and Crissy Pyfer – are the star “coaches” of “Get Real Main Line,” a reality TV show that’s already in the can and awaits an air date.
The Philly event, titled “The Switch,” was their new road show – a rousing mini-retreat that teaches folks to flick the switch toward more fulfilling futures.
Adding a jolt of star power: “Real Housewife of New York” Dorinda Medley, who happens to be pals with “Master coach” and Switch creator, Toni Filipone.
A three-hour multimedia extravaganza, The Switch is something else – in good way.
Interpretive dancers playing struggling “souls,” a runner-up from “The Voice” singing Lady Gaga, a healer rapping about his brush with death. (Note to Toto: We’re not in Wayne anymore.)
Emcee was Garrett Snider, philanthropic grandson of the late Flyers’ magnate, Ed Snider, and founder of the Childhood Resilience Foundation.
The day began in dramatic fashion: a black stage, each coach taking a turn in the spotlight, baring her soul while a dancing “soul” – dressed in white – embodies her journey.
Wayne mom and business/life coach Crissy Pyfer talked about how her mother’s death gave her her “why”: “My mom worked too hard for me not to be great.”
Cara Bradley, author/owner of Wayne’s Verge BodyMind, recalled how her lust for life was squelched by the need for others’ approval.
Berwyn-based caterer/restaurateur and nutrition coach Meridith Coyle of Aneu shared her struggles with weight and self-sabotage.
And later that morning, Housewife Dorinda Medley told the crowd how an “angry widow at 50” found empowerment as a Housewife. “Reality TV saved my life. It taught me to accept change.” She urged the crowd to “be open to your final chapter” and “know your worth.”
While the Kimmel stage wasn’t too big for anyone, the show’s star was clearly Coach Toni: ballsy, brash, funny, inspiring, proudly sporting a “MRS” t-shirt – she’s Meridith Coyle’s wife. (Oh, and she dances, too.)
“Know your outcome,” Filipone advised, going off script and pulling out a piece of paper on which she’d scribbled her own ambitions last spring: “I want to be able to speak to crowds of hundreds of people at a time,” she read. “… I want to be able to share with them and to be able to teach them how to control their minds … Within one year, I want to create an event, starting in Philly, that will entertain, create emotion and drive with dancing.”
Check. Check. And check again.
The Switch at the Kimmel Center was the first stop on what could become a national tour. Filipone says a few California dates are already lined up.
P.S. Seems Dorinda had so much fun in Philly, she’s talking about becoming a regular.
Credit card skimmers in Tredyffrin
Tredyffrin Police found two card skimmers on gas pumps at the Paoli 7-Eleven last week.
If you think you were a victim, contact Detective Dan McFadden, 610-408-3649 or [email protected]
A ‘Common Space’ for the common good
A new little storefront in Ardmore has big ambitions.
Open quietly for a few months, Common Space officially cuts a ribbon on its quarters on Rittenhouse Place this week.
Part coffee shop, part community center, Common Space offers wide-ranging programs for diverse audiences, e.g. yogis, young readers, the LGBT community, arts lovers, students, knitters, neighborhood groups, people with disabilities.
Created by a Friends School Haverford Learning Specialist Amy McCann, the center was deliberately sited in Ardmore. Why? It’s “a diverse community – age-wise and economically,” McCann tells SAVVY. (Although she’ll be the first to tell you that Ardmore – for good or ill – is gentrifying.)
For the most part, Common Space programs are free or donation-based, so there’s no “barrier to entry.”
A registered nonprofit, its 50K – 60K annual budget will be funded by coffee shop proceeds, community group rentals, gifts and fundraisers.
The point of Common Space: find common ground with your neighbors, meet them face to face, mix generations. “You don’t have to go big to build community,” McCann says. “You can start in the backyard of your own neighborhood, get people talking to each other.”
Works for us.
Common Space is at 25 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore, 610-572-2364, [email protected].
Philly news icon Lisa Thomas-Laury comes clean about her opioid addiction
Former Action News anchor Lisa Thomas-Laury put her pretty face on the ugliness of addiction.
The Haverford resident bravely shared her struggle in her new book and on local TV. And just last week, she did it again, at a Moyer Foundation event at the Union League.
Thomas-Laury’s message: If addiction could happen to me, it could happen to anyone.
She was prescribed opioids for horrible nerve pain from her long battle with the systemic blood disorder, POEMS, an illness so severe she had a bone marrow transplant at age 50.
“The doctor who saved my life said I’d have no problem with oxycontin,” said Thomas-Laury, 63, even though she’d told him her alcoholic father had died from liver disease.
No, her doctor thought she’d be fine because she was “in a certain socioeconomic bracket” and besides, Thomas-Laury’s own husband was a physician.
But substance-use disorder doesn’t discriminate. No such thing as being “too smart” to get addicted.
After years of misdiagnosis and misery, she was finally starting to feel better and focused on returning to Channel 6. But – big mistake – she’d stopped paying attention to the pills she was popping in increasing dosages. Then one day, she forgot to pack her oxycontin on a car trip. In the throws of withdrawal, she huddled under a blanket in the backseat and threatened to jump out of the car. “You don’t want to be in your own skin,” she said.
Within three weeks, Thomas-Laury checked into a rehab facility – she spent two weeks as an inpatient, two as an outpatient. “I was lucky – I kicked the addiction pretty easily,” she said.
Others, including her sons’ classmates at Episcopal Academy, weren’t. She said her sons lost three good friends in the last four years to drug overdose and suicide related to drugs.
Those losses, combined with the overdose death of the son of her former Action News colleague Anita Brikman last fall, convinced her to go public. “Tell your truth,” Thomas-Laury decided.
Lisa Thomas-Laury’s new book, On Camera and Off: When the News is Good and When It’s Not, is available at local bookstores.
Founded by child advocate Karen Phelps Moyer and former Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer, the Moyer Foundation supports children and families affected by grief and addiction through its free signature camps and services.
Duffy Real Estate: 40 and counting
A SAVVY shoutout to Duffy Real Estate, celebrating 40 years in business this month. Owner John Duffy first hung out a shingle in Narberth in 1978.
These days, the company’s practically a Main Line institution. With offices in Wayne and Narberth, it’s one of the few locally owned, not-franchised real estate firms left in these parts.
But Duffy’s no dinosaur.
The company tells us it’s grown and kept pace with technology and the times. Kind of cool, too, that if questions arise, buyers and sellers can talk directly to the big guy.
New mural on the Main Line
How cool is this new mural iin Wynnewood?
Visible from the Whole Foods parking lot, it graces the side of the Adoptions from the Heart (AFTH) building.
“It’s bold, it’s bright and it symbolizes blended families – the red thread that connects us all,” AFTH Assoc. Director Heidi Gonzalez tells SAVVY.
Muralists from Minnesota took five days to install it last week. The lead artist, Greta McLain of GoodSpace Murals, has also worked for Mural Arts Philadelphia. Here’s hoping she gets other gigs out on the Main Line.
[wpanchor id=”janewinchester”]Wayne mom leaves Lilly for Jane Winchester
Let’s say you’re Senior VP of Marketing for Lilly Pulitzer, hanging out at the brand’s iconic Pink Palace headquarters in KOP, living the life.
Then one day you take that job – and shove it. (But in a nice way.)
You’re nuts, right?
Not at all. Not if you have a Plan B.
Precisely what Wayne’s Jane Paradis, 45, had when she launched the company she was born to birth.
Paradis, 45, left Lilly last May, labored intensely for months, and in December, brought Jane Winchester into the world.
And, boy, is her new baby a keeper, arguably the hottest homegrown accessory label since Lisi Lerch.
The new venture uses all of Jane Winchester Burley Schoenborn Paradis’ considerable gifts:
- Hands-on artistry honed at Groton School and Rollins College.
- Manufacturing and PR skills acquired in early jobs at Adrienne Vittadini, Calvin Klein Cosmetics and Barney’s.
- Startup smarts from her pre-Lilly handbag line, Buzz by Jane Fox (once sold at The Lemon Tree in Wayne, Patricia Adams Gifts in Haverford, Barney’s, Bendel’s and Lilly stores).
- And, above all, the “business degree” informally acquired and gratefully received at Lilly’s corporate HQ in KOP.
Paradis took those gifts, created eight “Gypsy inspired/American made” coin pendants and wrapped them up in pink-and-green boxes. (You can take the girl out of Lilly but …)
Now, via her website and trunk shows, she’s selling them to women across the country.
And she did it all right here, in her knockout-gorgeous Wayne home, with a chorus of Main Line pals cheering her on and her family pitching in.
New husband Doug built the e-commerce site; her kids help package and sell at trunk shows, held so far in Palm Beach, Winter Park, Austin and Wayne.
For Paradis (pron. “paradise”), Jane Winchester is about the voice as much as the vision.
Fired up after attending the 2017 DC Women’s March, she was determined to “model strong, independent womanhood” to her family.
Plus, after years of nannies, working from home gives her more time with daughters Tiki Schoenborn, an 8th grader at Radnor Middle School, and Sabrina, a sophomore at Westtown School, and stepchildren Drew, 16, Naomi, 18, and Nicole, 20.
As for her jewelry, “it’s layered in special,” she says. Customers “shop the word,” choosing symbols of Forever, Free, Love, Lucky, Peace (designed in memory of her late dad), Joy, Strength and Protect (a favorite of moms), wrought in slightly oversized pendants made from recycled brass dipped in 14k gold ($325) or sterling silver ($295). Each comes with a gold coil choker and a leather cord.
Already sold out: two-sided quatrefoil (“Love”) gold earrings ($255). The larger size ($295) is still available. A ring was released this week. Splashy chandelier earrings are due to drop in May.
A savvy marketer, Paradis launched JW with a blog well before she had any jewelry in hand. Her first post: “I’ve left my dream job and people think I’m losing my mind.”
We’re pretty sure no one thinks that anymore.
Snag a piece online. You’ll be in good company. Paradis just sent a pendant to Reese Witherspoon as a token of gratitude for her work in women’s leadership.
Valley Forge Flowers in Wayne will host a Jane Winchester trunk show Thursday, May 31.
(Kate Miller, SAVVY Street Team member and a former Lilly exec herself, contributed to this article.)
Our annual Mother’s Day hint-hint guide: all local, all special
For historic home-ophiles, Thom Nickels’ fascinating new book, Philadelphia Mansions: Stories and Characters Behind the Walls. Among the gems featured: La Ronda, razed – amid much protest – in Bryn Mawr in 2009, and Loch Aerie, now being restored on Rte. 30 in Frazer. Nickels dedicated the book to two of his friends: community crusader/preservationist/photographer/blogger Carla Zambelli Mudry (Chester County Ramblings) and watercolorist Noel Miles. Order soft or hardcover from Main Point Books in Wayne.
For ladies who still don’t have a pair: Lisi Lerch earrings, a Main Line staple. Get mom her first pair or add to her collection. At local boutiques and online. Or splurge for a Jane Winchester pendant (see our story above).
For Shore birds: A copy of the new book, The Ocean City NJ Boardwalk: Two-and-a-half Miles of Summer. 218 photos, history and lore spread over 112 hardbound pages.
For beach bums, a custom monogrammed French basket tote from Hathaway Hutton, handpainted by Wayne mom Jennifer Risk ($149). She’ll paint on anything but her French basket totes are magnifique.
For moms who loved Lip Smackers: Organic, all-natural lip balms, $20, from local makeup artist Darci Henry.
And to hold that new makeup, an organic cotton zip pouch set, $48, from Lewis. Founders are Agnes Irwin alums – an illustrator and an interior architect. Lewis also sells high-end preppy gear for babies and toddlers.
For moms drawn to the ocean, “The Salt Water Cure,” a refreshing “circle print” by local artist Tina Crespo (from $22).
For would-be florists: a gift certificate to Alice’s Table, a new flower-arranging home party company. Shark Tank loved it; so will you. Local mom/florist Trish McDonough runs the only local branch. Treat mom and pals to an evening of flowers, fun and wine.
For the home entertainer, small-batch, hand-dyed linen dinner napkins from Tie-Up Textiles, made in suburban Philly. ($40 for a set of four).
For bag lovers, an Ambitious Elegance clutch by Madda&Co ($225). Italian-born Wynnewood mom Maddelena Palermo makes lovely leather clutches and totes in fun colors like blush and apple green.
For animal lovers, a farmhouse pillow from Eric and Christopher, screen-printed and sewn in Bucks County. Select E and C items are sold at Primitiques/HOMEology in Berwyn, PucciManuli in Ardmore and Beauty Art Gallery in Newtown Square.
Shoutout to SAVVY Street Team super shopper Aly McBride, who compiled most of our gift guide.
Root, root, root for the hometown girl on ‘The Voice’
Wherever it ends, it’s been one helluva ride for Great Valley grad Jackie Verna, 22, who sang her little heart out again Monday night on The Voice.
Seven years ago, Verna was t-boned by a car that ran a red light. Crashing with her: her dreams of cheerleading for Alabama because of severe physical injuries and memory loss. Verna was convinced she’d never perform again – “I was so scared at what people would be looking at,” she told a reporter.
But a wise aunt gave her a keyboard. Fast forward to the last few weeks as millions watch the West Chester resident sing for Team Levine on The Voice. So glad you proved yourself wrong, Jackie.
This and That
Mushmina is packing up its funky downtown Wayne boutique and moving online – and to a studio in Lambertville. Look for pop-up trunk shows around town.
Missed Martha Stewart at the Philadelphia Antiques Show last weekend? You’ve got another chance.
The gardening guru will talk flowers at Longwood Gardens Thursday, June 14 at 10 a.m. Your $75 ticket includes Martha’s lecture, a copy of her new book, Martha’s Flowers: A Practical Guide to Growing, Gathering and Enjoying, book signing and admission to Longwood. $45 without the signing.
Looking forward to meeting you SAVVY gals at the May 2 Ladies Night at Restore Cryosauna in Wayne. Pampering, wine, fun giveaways and discounts. Proceeds benefit Women’s Resource Center.
Women helping women? Count us in. Click here for tickets.
Celebrity stylist/red-carpet commentator George Brescia will be styling mere mortals at Louella boutique in Wayne May 2 and 3. Call 610-293-9800 for an appointment.
Daunted by downsizing? A team of pros will help you right size your life at The Barn at Valley Forge Flowers Thursday, May 3, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Choose mini-lectures by: Anna Sicalides of Your Organizing Consultants, Sage Realty, Freeman’s Auctioneers & Appraisers, Surrey Services for Seniors, and Addis Hill. Click here for tickets.
The Radnor High School Scholarship Fund’s Kitchen Tour is Sunday, April 29. Same day tickets are available at Wayne Art Center. Email [email protected] or call 610-331-4516 with questions.
[wpanchor id=”thepurebag”]A pure gift for the yogi in your life (sponsored story)
Just in time for Mother’s Day and graduation comes ThePureBag, a new line of anti-microbial yoga goodies invented by a Villanova MBA and tested in a Nova biochemistry lab.
A longtime healthcare exec, Lori Gildea first got the entrepreneurial bug when she got, well, a bug.
Not just any bug, but a scary sickness that sidelined her for months.
Her story’s a doozy.
A hard-charging career woman, Gildea had been neglecting herself. In the fall of 2016, she decided she needed a good, hard workout – some Me Time.
What she got – after a four-hour gym marathon – was something else entirely: arms that ballooned to three times their normal size, muscle-enzyme counts that soared to near kidney-failure levels, and pervasive weakness that went on for weeks, then months.
“I couldn’t wash my hair, I couldn’t change my clothes, I couldn’t bathe. I could barely walk,” Gildea tells SAVVY. “I was someone who’s on top of everything. This is not how I exist,” she remembers thinking.
After a few missed diagnoses, doctors traced her illness to germs she was exposed to during or after that long workout. They treated her with immunoglobulin infusions and she eventually recovered.
To rebuild her strength, Gildea’s physical therapists recommended yoga. But she was “terrified to go back,” afraid she’d pick up something again.
Her yoga studio “does a phenomenal job cleaning” and she’d always been careful to wash after workouts, but she was wary. Her yoga mat would sit in a bag on the floor – just a sneeze, a cough, or an athlete’s foot-print away from contamination.
She needed a bag that would “protect [my] stuff and keep it safe.”
There wasn’t one out there so she did her homework, then created it herself.
Her yoga bags are made from tough, marine-grade, healthcare quality fabric embedded with germ-fighting silver and stitched with anti-bacterial thread.
They’re hypo-everything: bacteria, fungi, mold, mildew. If it grows, it goes.
The bags are roomy, durable and manufactured in the good, old U.S.A.
Gildea’s also selling companion ZipPockets for cell phones, keys and essentials, and an anti-microbial Silver Lining Mat Wrap. (Because how many yogis religiously spray their mats?)
Her company’s beginning with yoga but “pure” diaper bags, briefcases, specialized sports bags and duffels are all on the drawing board.
Sold online, ThePureBag yoga bags are $98, $148 for reversible. ZipPockets and Silver Lining Mat Wraps are $28.
SPECIAL OFFER FOR SAVVY READERS: Use Code SAVVY for 15% off any purchase. Can be combined with current web promotion of a free ZipPocket or Mat Wrap with purchase of a reversible yoga mat bag. Click here to order.
[wpanchor id=”bekebeau”]Beke Beau can make your teen beautiful – outside and in (sponsored story)
If you know Beke Beau, you know this: her new summer makeup camp will be more than skin deep.
Because Beau – who’s spent 30 years beautifying brides, MOBs and celebrities – is the thinking person’s makeup artist.
Which means your teen will go home with more than a nice set of makeup brushes.
Sure, she’ll learn the outward stuff, like healthy skin care, flattering colors and effective application techniques. (And yeah, she gets to take home the brushes.)
But she’ll also get life lessons: how to face the world with confidence, how to avoid cosmetic company come-ons and tacky looks promoted by so-called “beauty influencers.” In short, how to be a better beauty consumer.
Always one to speak her mind, Beau calls the cosmetic industry “out of control – the sheer scope of the products, the chemicals and the wasteful packaging,”
Those “glittering, shiny kits” at Sephora – they’re deliberately packaged like “grab and go” candy “full of hope and promise.” It’s makeup as hobby; they might as well sell it at A.C. Moore or Michael’s, Beau says.
And if your daughter looks a little too, uh, Kardashian, chances are she’s fallen under the sway of an Instagram/You Tube beauty influencer, Beau says. Cosmetic companies pay them to push product. It’s the pile-it-on approach to pretty. And it’s ugly.
“I hope young people at my camp will internalize the impact of the cosmetics industry on the world they’re going to inherit and the bodies they live in,” Beke says. “Plus, we’ll have some fun.”
Camp runs Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The day will be divided into segments: Learning Lounge, Color Play, Makeup Labs and Tool Time. During an hour of “free makeup play” campers can capture their looks in the onsite photo booth.
It all happens in Beau’s spacious new Manayunk studio where she’s also just launched the Paint Makeup School for aspiring makeup artists.
Beau says the industry has “exploded” but there’s little quality control. “With social media, anyone can put up a website with a few photos on it and say ‘I’m a makeup artist.’”
Note to grownups: Beau also gives worthwhile three-hour seminars in makeup for “mature” women ($125). Next ones are June 10 and 12.
Paint School of Makeup Summer Camp for Teens (ages 13-17) will be held June 18-20, July 23-25 and Aug. 13-15 at Beke Beau Makeup Studio, 4100 Main St., Suite 401, Manayunk, 610-220-0042. [email protected]. Tuition $600/week. Only six campers per session. Register here.
[wpanchor id=”stdavidsepiscopaldayschool”]Ta dah! Introducing the Main Line’s newest school: St. David’s Episcopal Day School (sponsored story )
Play small ball? Not at St. David’s.
The Wayne church is launching its own school in the fall. And as usual, it’s thinking big – (although not about class sizes – they’ll be nice and small.)
Not to be confused with St. David’s Nursery School – which rented church space but operated independently for some 45 years, the new St. David’s Episcopal Day School (SDEDS) is intimately entwined with the church.
The school’s being remade with bigger, brighter spaces, all new furnishings, a new playground and a new nature center near the church’s arboretum.
An enlightened play palace – inside and out – that aims to engage the mind, arouse the spirit and nourish the body.
No drill-and-skill here; SDEDS will focus “process over product” and will “embrace creativity” instead of “following a model,” says Head of School Marissa Kiepert Truong, a Wayne mom who holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology from Temple, a master’s in psychology from Villanova, and has worked in early childhood enrichment, childcare, educational testing, parenting education and charter schools.
“The current research supports play-based, experiential learning,” she says.
And that’s just what kids will get at SDEDS: Show and tell, sure. But then dig in and do. (Doesn’t hurt that the church’s 39 acres provide a hands-on learning laboratory.)
To set itself apart from other schools, SDEDS is deliberately starting them young. Two years young. It’s Twos program is open to tykes aged 20 months to two and a half – potty training optional.
Another SDEDS cornerstone: character development.
The school was “formed to further the mission of the church,” says Truong. And what’s that mission? “To raise up leaders who change the world through living their faith.” (Like we said, they think big at St. David’s.)
Although it welcomes students of all faiths, SDEDS children will attend weekly “chapel” led by St. David’s ministers. Activities and lessons will incorporate seven Christian virtues: respect, diversity, individuality, kindness, citizenship, perseverance and integrity.
A more practical plus: SDEDS will have “safe and inclusive allergy policies,” Truong says. Her own children have multiple food allergies, so she understands parents’ concerns.
Also worth noting: Several teachers have advanced degrees, including a speech and language pathologist, a reading specialist and an experienced special-ed teacher.
SDEDS programs include:
- Preschool Speech and Language – for kids with diagnosed delays as young as 2.
- Two Year Old – with two-, three- and five-day options.
- Nursery School – for ages 2-and-a-half to 4.
- Transitional Kindergarten – for summer birthdays, kids who missed the cutoff, or anyone who needs extra time.
- Kindergarten – 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. an intentionally happy medium between Tredyffrin/Easttown’s half day and Radnor’s full day.
- Literacy Lab, library, technology, Spanish, service learning, Afternoon Adventure Clubs, before- and after-school care from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Also on tap: morning or afternoon enrichment options for public school kindergartners. SDEDS’ bus will loop to New Eagle and Devon Elementary (for starters).
The School welcomes its first kindergartners Sept. 5 and its preschoolers Sept. 11.
“The response has been overwhelming so far,” Truong says. So best get that application in ASAP.
And finally, a big fat SAVVY thank you…
….to this month’s advertisers and sponsors. We SO appreciate the thumbs up!
Hope you’ll show these local businesses some love: Hope Chest in Haverford, Philly and Wayne, ThePureBag, Philadelphia Antiques & Art Show, Friends Central School Summer Programs, Makeup artist Beke Beau/Paint Makeup School, Mojo Fitness, Camera Shop of Bryn Mawr, Day Spa by Zsusanna in Wayne, Restore Cryosauna in Wayne and Haverford, Campli Photography, Danley townhomes in Bryn Mawr, Austin Hepburn Installs Windows and Doors, St. David’s Episcopal Day School, Hunter Reed Fine Homes & Estates, Woodlynde School, Christie’s and Long & Foster Realtor Sue McNamara, Your Organizing Consultants, Mulholland-Perrachia Real Estate Team at Berkshire Hathaway.
Want to showcase your biz to SAVVY readers? Contact SAVVY Sales Director [email protected].