Mountaineer Montessori School will unveil a new middle school initiative, “Planting the Seeds for the Future,” at a special MMS Parent Meeting on “#GivingTuesday,” Dec. 3. The campaign lays the groundwork for expanding the school’s curriculum through eighth grade beginning in August 2014. MMS currently serves students ages 3 through sixth grade.
#GivingTuesday™ (#GT) is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season, following Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support non-profit organizations. The second annual Giving Tuesday is Dec. 3.
“#GivingTuesday is the perfect opportunity to present our ‘Planting the Seeds for the Future” campaign to MMS families and the community, said MMS Head of School Dana Gilliland.
Dr. Maria Montessori’s vision for adolescent education called for integration of knowledge and experience and opportunities for genuine contribution to the community. “The result is intellectual independence, an awareness of human connections and the strengthening of moral character,” Gilliland explained.
Community service has been a bedrock of MMS bedrock since its founding in 1976.
“Starting in the primary (preschool) grades, students develop responsibility and contribute to the well-being of their classroom, environment and the larger world,” Gilliland said. In recent weeks, for example, students launched a food drive for Manna Meal, participated as weekly “reading buddies” to Piedmont Elementary kindergarten students, baked dog biscuits for the Kanawha Charleston Humane Association and created custom cards for residents of the Heartland of Charleston Nursing Home.
“The Mountaineer Montessori Middle School, which will emphasize academic rigor, service and entrepreneurship, will take service to a new level and develop students who are role models and true stewards of land, our community and each other,” she said.
“Through this campaign, we will engage business, community and educational leaders in this exciting program to build a new generation of leaders, innovators and thoughtful citizens who will shape the future of West Virginia,” added Harry Bell, president of the MMS Board of Directors.
The Mountaineer Montessori Middle School program will be previewed at 6 p.m. on #GivingTuesday, Dec. 3, at the school, with a special presentation by advisor Laurie Ewert-Krocker, the founding head teacher of the Hershey Farm School in Ohio, widely considered the premier Montessori adolescent program in the country. Ewert-Krocker, a key designer and global consultant for adolescent programs, and David Kahn, executive director of the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association, comprise the world-class consulting team guiding Mountaineer Montessori’s middle school expansion activities, including site selection, curriculum design and resource development.
About #GivingTuesday: Last year, more than 2,500 organizations from all 50 states participated in the first #GivingTuesday. The collective efforts of partners, donors and advocates helped fuel a marked increase in charitable giving on GivingTuesday. Blackbaud processed over more than $10 million in online donations on Nov. 27, 2012, a 53 percent increase when compared to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in 2011. DonorPerfect recorded a 46 percent increase in online donations and the average gift increased 25 percent. For more information, go to www.GivingTuesday.org
MMS Primary II students, under the guidance of lead teacher Fran West, had tails wagging at the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association when they baked homemade dog treats for the shelter’s furry residents. How good were they? We hear that one student admitted to a taste test to ensure they were up to snuff. Their efforts received a warm thumbs up on the shelter’s Facebook page as well.
MMS November 2013 Newsletter A sneak peek at our middle school kick off session, nurturing gratitude in young children and exploring our Colonial roots are just a few of the interesting features included in the latest issue of the MMS newsletter. Enjoy!
Our friends from WOWK-TV visited MMS on November 12 to interview students organizing our food drive for Manna Meal. We’re collecting canned goods and other food for the soup kitchen located at St. John’s Episcopla Church, which serves the hungry in dowtown Charleston. It’s part of our long-standing partnership with Manna Meal and four decades of service to our community. You can learn more about the food drive here: http://www.wowktv.com/story/23950860/mountaineer-montessori-students-collect-donations-for-manna-meal-in-charleston-wv#.UoOM-tH7VaF.facebook
MMS was honored to welcome former First Lady Gayle Manchin, the president of the WV Board of Education, and other state leaders to our school on November 6. Their tour came on the heels of the “Excellence in Education: It’s Everyone’s Business” Summit, which was presented by the Education Alliance at the Civic Center. During their visit, Mrs. Manchin and other state leaders, including Senator/Dr. Dan Foster, Charlie McElwee and Newt Thomas, learned how public schools are implementing Montessori to enhance academic performance and develop 21st century workforce skills, toured our classrooms and received an update on MMS future plans. MMS has been lighting the way for excellence and innovation in education since 1976, and welcomes the opportunity to contribute to improvements for all children in West Virginia.
MMS students say the darndest things. Enjoy the first issue of the MMSPO Newsletter, which includes lively updates on the parent group’s first meeting (some of us are still working on that binomial cube challenge!), reading recommendations and fun listing of some priceless quotes by MMS students. MMSPO October 2013
Help MMS create some magic at FestivALL Fall
Mountaineer Montessori School is offering free educational seasonal art activities for children during the Harvest Gift Boutique of Fine Art and Fine Crafts, to be held at the Charleston Woman’s Club, 1600 Virginia Street East, during FestivALL Fall. The art and gift show is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct.27.
MMS will offer creative make-and-take art projects for children as part of its ongoing community outreach and service initiatives. “We appreciate the opportunity to share our experience and resources with the children of our community,” said Dana Gilliland, Head of School. MMS offers a rich visual arts program led by artists Barrie Kaufman and Nancy Johnson, and classroom teachers, including David Pushkin, who taught college students as a professor of fine art at Columbia, American and Hofstra Universities for two decades.
MMS students give back to the community at FestivALL Fall 2012, held at the Capitol Market.
We need volunteers to help staff our activity area. Please call the office at your earliest convenience if you can help: 304/342-7870. Children are welcome. It’s a fun way to spend quality time with your children and interact with parents from throughout our area.
MMS, founded in 1976, provides a full academic and arts curriculum to nearly 100 students ages 3-12 in an authentic Montessori environment. For more information about MMS, call 304/342-7870 or go to mountaineermontessori.org; for more information about FestivALL Fall, go to festivallcharleston.com.
“The things that he sees are not just remembered. They become part of his soul.” Maria Montessori
As lead guide Suzanne Sanders reports, our MMS advanced elementary class had an amazing time at The Mountain Institute. Here’s her update on this year’s session: “Every fall, we go on an overnight field trip designed to incorporate components of our curriculum with team building activities and conservation concepts. Some of the new students have the jitters at first, but, in the end, everyone walks away with a strong sense of accomplishment and a closer connection with each other.
The first afternoon, the students went to the top of Spruce Knob to learn how mountain ranges are formed and they went on a hike, stopping along the way to test rock samples, in order to identify them. We learned there is a lot of limestone in the area and that there once was an ocean covering Spruce Knob!
Thankfully, all students came prepared for the weather, because both nights reached the low 40’s, upper 30’s and we camped in tents! The Mountain Institute decked us out with durable tents and warm mummy sleeping bags. We were able to snuggle into our cozy bags after singing around a campfire and eating s’mores.
On day two, we explored the caves and underground stream at Osceola. Some of us hiked all the way through the cave system, while the others explored the large rooms and wriggled through a “worm hole.” A picnic lunch in a meadow under a sunny sky rounded out this excursion.
In addition to all of the learning experiences, we got together to play fun, cooperative games. The students continue to play them at free time and any chance they can.
Every year, our students come back feeling a strengthened sense of belonging to our group and a renewed respect for each other and nature.
Thank you Jack Rogers, Randy Melton, Lena Glasser and George Phillips for driving us!”
Picture day is tomorrow (Thursday, October 17). Please remember to complete the LifeTouch form and send it with your student.