WV is no place for hate: Op-ed by Amal Faridi

Op-ed by Amal Faridi, an MMMS seventh-year student appearing in the June 2, 2019 edition of the Charleston Gazette-Mail. The piece is adapted from an essay, “The Day that Changed My Life,” created during a writer’s workshop with Colleen Anderson.

I always saw myself as different. Living in Logan, West Virginia, there wasn’t a very diverse population, so I was always the odd one out. I used to come home asking my mom why we talked the way we did or looked the way we did. I am a 13-year-old Muslim of Pakistani descent. My parents were born in Pakistan, but I was born in New Jersey.

Whenever we went on a trip, strangers stared at my mother’s hijab, or head scarf. I hated it. I didn’t understand what people saw different about us. I pretended I looked like everyone else. I would rather fit in than stand out.

One day, my mother showed me a video of two planes crashing into tall towers. “What is that?” I asked. I was old enough to tell that the planes hit the buildings, but not old enough to know that it was a terrorist attack. She explained to me about the 9/11 terrorist attack in 2001, more than four years before I was born. My eyes widened and my jaw dropped. I studied the screen. “What is the Pentagon?” I asked. This was all new to me. She sighed and explained that, too.

After that, I didn’t know what to think. It all made sense now. I had always thought that America was a white people country and we were foreigners. When I went to see the Statue of Liberty in 2012, my father read us the poem on the pedestal, and I was confused. America wasn’t a refugee country, it was a white country, right?

That night, my mom showed us the lights where the Twin Towers used to be. It was so sad. Because of some bad people, so many civilians died, and I will never see the two towers. Because of them, I have to be careful in what I say, how I act, how I portray Muslims. I feel like I am walking on eggshells, all because of something I wasn’t even alive to see.

A few months ago, I was doing my homework, watching TV, just minding my business, when my mother rushed in. She told me that there was a poster
at the West Virginia Capitol, and it was super offensive. She pulled up a picture on her phone titled, “Never forget — You said.” There was a picture of 9/11. The title was nished with a photo of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and a caption reading: “I am the proof you have forgotten.”

The next day, there was a meeting with all the legislators. Muslims and other people, including my family, went to show their support. I was glad to see people from my school attending, too. When we entered the room where the posters had been put up, I shivered as I wondered what it would have been like if I were in the room, or any Muslim woman, wearing her hijab. What would they have said to her?

Later, we met all the legislators. They were so nice, giving their condolences, and telling us there is no room for hate. One woman even cried about what had happened. The amazing thing was that she wasn’t even Muslim. The legislators came out and apologized, and I got to shake many of their hands.

When I went to school the next day, most of my classmates were so supportive. They asked me questions about Ilhan Omar and Islamophobia. We discussed what happened, and their support made me feel happy.

Good people aren’t the most expressive, but evil people are. People hardly ever talk about the good things in this world, but there are so many, and I think it is worth mentioning. After all, I learned that West Virginia is no place for hate.

Amal Faridi is a seventh-grader who attends Mountaineer Montessori Middle School.

Montessori Meet-Ups 2019

The 2019 Summer Montessori Meet-Ups line up has been set.

Meet-Ups are opportunities for MMS families and friends to connect and have fun over the summer. This is a great way for new families to meet others and for current students to say in touch with their friends in the weeks ahead.

While most events have a contact person listed, no RSVPs are needed unless noted…just show up and hang out with your Montessori friends…wear your “M” shirts and look for others wearing their MMS colors!

Please note that this calendar may be updated with additional activities or changes as events and/or weather dictate. Watch the website, your email, social media and the MMS blog for updates. 

Thank you to Hollie Hubbert for once again heading up our Meet-Ups events. If you have an idea for an additional activity, please contact her 304/389-3031 (cell).





Mountaineer Montessori Summer Meet-Ups 2019

Symphony Sunday

Sunday, June 2, around 5:30-10:00 p.m.

Contact: Just show up! 



Greenbrier “School’s Out” Pool Party

Sunday, June 9, 1:00 p.m.

$3 per person for non-members

Bring towel, bathing suit, sunscreen and money for snacks, etc. 

Contact: Hollie Hubbert, 304.389.3031



Sunrise Carriage Trail Walk with Music, Art and Dance (FestivAll event)

Sunday, June 16, 1:00 p.m.

Contact: Just show up!



Art-for-All Kids’ Juried Exhibition (FestivALL event)

June 16-29, hours vary by day

Work by selected MMS students and other young artists from five counties will be showcased at the Clay Center during FestivALL. A reception and awards ceremony for featured artists will be held on Sunday, June 29, from 3:00-4:30 p.m.


Downtown Open MMMS Hole (FestivAll event)

Tuesday, June 18, 5:30 p.m.

Head downtown for mini golf fun. Be sure to look for the Montessori-inspired hole created by our Middle School students for the 2019 Downtown Open.

Contact: Jennifer Carriger, jcarriger@mountaineermontessori.org



Art Parade (FestivAll event)

Saturday, June 22, 10:00 a.m.

Step off with MMS as we march, roll and stroll to help our city become a work of art! The whole family (including four-legged friends) is encouraged to take part. Wear your “M” shirt!

Contact: Jennifer Carriger


“One Small Step,” Bright Star Touring Theater, Main Library, third floor

Monday, June 24, 6:00 p.m.

This play, brought to you by Bright Star Touring Theater, marks the history of flight and space travel from the ancient tale of Icarus, to the first flights of the Wright Brothers on the beaches at Kitty Hawk, to the Great Space Race of the 1960s and beyond! Your young pilots and astronauts will be thrilled to learn about the real-life characters that took One Small Step!

Contact: Hollie Hubbert, 304/389-3031



Kanawha County Library Children’s Art Fair (FestivAll event)

Saturday, June 29, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Join in make-and-take creative fun at the MMS booth and other stations offering free art activities for children, as well as family-friendly entertainment presented throughout the day on Capitol Street.



Magic Island

Saturday, July 6, 11:00 a.m.

Meet for splash park, picnic and playground fun. Bring clothes to play in splash park, bikes, balls, picnic lunch, sunscreen and anything else to enjoy an afternoon of fun with friends at Magic Island. 



Downtown Street Fest

Saturday, July 13, 5:30-9:30 p.m.

Contact: Just show up!


Kanawha City Family Bike Ride

Sunday, July 14, 10:30 a.m.

Meet in the UC parking lot behind the pharmacy building (Building 1). Bring bikes, helmets, water and sunscreen. Brandon Merritt and Enybe Diaz will lead a family friendly ride through Kanawha City. 

Contact: Enybe Diaz, 304/546-6542

WV Power vs. Columbia, Baseball Game

Monday, July 15, 7:00 p.m.

Family buck night! Purchase tickets in section 103

Contact: David Bailey, 304/415-4999



Kanawha State Forest Nature Walk

Saturday, July 20, 10:00 a.m.

Meet at the Spotted Salamander Trail, which has a small parking lot across the street from the big barn.  If the parking lot at the trail head is full, park across the main road at the big barn. We will do the simple loop trail which is paved (wheel chair and stroller accessible). Carolyn and Luke (biologist) Head can offer some other trail and playground ideas for families to enjoy, depending on the age of the children who attend. Bring water, sunscreen, and bug spray. Bring a picnic lunch if you wish to stay longer. There are picnic areas and playgrounds throughout the forest. We are excited to explore with everyone! (Note: KSF does not have cell service)

Contact: Carolyn Head, 804/986-4988


Live on the Levee, Hybrid Soul Project (Multi-Fest Event)

Friday, August 2, 6:30 p.m.

Congregate near and around the sandbox

Contact: David Bailey, 304/415-9999


Coonskin Skate Park

Saturday, August 3, 10:00 a.m.

Bring water, skateboards, knee and elbow pads and helmets for a morning of skateboard fun!

Contact: Enybe Diaz, 304/546-6542


Picnic With Friends

Saturday, August 3, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Craik-Patton House, 2809 Kanawha Boulevard East

The Picnic With Friends will be a family friendly event filled with great food and cherished memories. Celebrate the past with living history presentations brought to you by the West Augusta Volunteers and the Kanawha Rangers. Learn about late 18th century firearms of the Revolutionary period from gunsmith and demonstrator, Bob Walden. Sit back and enjoy grass-stained mountain music by local artists, Peddlers Glory. Featuring special activities for children and periodic tours of the historic Craik-Patton House.

Wooden models of the Craik-Patton House, made by Elementary students after their Campessori visit in July to the historic home, will be on display!

Admission: $10/individual, $15/couple, $20/family; free for children under five.

To help with planning, Craik-Patton appreciates advance reservations/ticket purchases.

Contact: Just show up!


Downtown Street Fest

Saturday, August 10, 5:30-9:30 p.m.

Contact: Just show up!


Greenbrier “Back-to-School” Pool Party

Sunday, August 18, 1:00 p.m.

$3 per person for non-members

Bring towel, bathing suit, sunscreen and money for snacks, etc. 

Contact: Hollie Hubbert, 304/389-3031




Reminder: This calendar may be updated with additional activities or changes as events and/or weather dictate. Watch your email, social media and the MMS blog for updates.

Middle School to present Charleston’s first Pepperoni Roll Walk on May 25

Add together West Virginia’s most famous food, Charleston’s incredible arts festival, a favorite childhood game and the inventive and entrepreneurial thinkers at our Middle School.Mix with creativity and curiosity.
The result? The first Charleston Pepperoni Roll Walk t o be held Saturday, May 25, 1:00-2:00 p.m. during  FestivALL “Taste of All” at the Four Points by Sheraton Charleston . Instead of cakes, participants will circle the chairs for a chance for delicious pepperoni rolls. MMMS students are managing the entire event. Come join them for the fun that goes on all day from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (MMS faculty member  Alasha Al-Qudwah  performs with  Minor Swing  from noon-1:00 p.m.)
Please see the FestivALL website for complete details.

MMS on two hour delay May 20

MMS Main Campus will open on a two-hour delay today, Monday, May 20, due to a sudden water shortage. If you have not left for school, we ask that you wait until further instruction. Thank you for understanding.

MMS May 2019 Newsletter

The latest issue of the “M” news is out. Be sure to take a look to stay up to date on all the important events and announcements at our school!

MMS May 2019 Newsletter


MMS March 2019 Newsletter

The latest issue of the “M” News is out. Be sure to take a look to stay up to date on important deadlines as well as the many exciting events and activities underway at our school:

MMS March Newsletter









2019-20 Calendar Hightlights

The preliminary calendar for the 2019-20 MMS school year is out. Please make note of these key dates and watch for updates as they are announced:

  • August 16: New Student Visits
  • August 19: First Day for Students – Primary Extended Day, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Middle School
  • August 20: First Day for Students – Returning Primary Morning Friends
  • August 21: First Day for Students – New Primary Morning Friends
  • August 22: Ice Cream Social @ Danner Meadow Park
  • August 27: Back to School Night-Primary and Middle School
  • August 29: Back to School Night – Elementary
  • September 2: School Closed/Labor Day
  • September 9: Annual Meeting for All Families
  • October 14-15: Parent Conferences/No Classes/Plus Available
  • November 27-29: School Closed/Thanksgiving Break
  • December 20: Noon dismissal/Winter Concert
  • December 23-January 3: School Closed/New Year’s Break (School resumes January 6.)
  • February 17-21: School Closed/Winter Break
  • March 19-20: Parent Conferences/No Classes/Plus available
  • April 6-10: School Closed/Spring Break
  • April 27-May 1: Standardized Testing Week (grades 3-8)
  • May 25: School Closed/Memorial Day
  • June 5: Last Day of School/Early Dismissal/Picnic

Spreading Our Wings Gala to soar on May 18




At Mountaineer Montessori School, children are free to fly!

Our child-centered approach to education fosters learning without limits, offering students the time, space and encouragement to go as far and as high as they can.

Since our school’s founding in 1976, we’ve given wings to an estimated 1,000 children, freeing them to discover their passions, fulfill their unique potential and create stronger communities and a promising future.

“Spreading Our Wings,” our annual spring fundraiser, will be held Saturday, May 18, 7:00-10:00 p.m., at the Charleston Woman’s Club.  Buy tickets now


This very special evening will benefit our financial aid, teacher appreciation and specialty programming funds.

We invite our friends to join us as we:

  • Celebrate education that elevates
  • Applaud MMS programs and faculty
  • Bid on amazing class art projects and an array of exciting silent auction prizes Bid online now
  • Enjoy music, dancing, wine/beer, hors d’oeuvres…and more!
  • Mingle with old friends and new
  • Lift up the next generation of business and community leaders, innovators and creators, dreamers and doers

Great night for a great cause!

DJ Mark Davis loves helping people celebrate good times with music, bringing 25 years of musical performance and decades of collecting the best music of every genre to our annual spring event. Mark and Vinyl Village will get you — and keep you — on the dance floor all night long. Surprise appearances by well known musicians and performers are also planned!






Going, going, gone!


A highlight of SPREADING OUR WINGS will be an exciting auction of amazing class art projects and other works of art created by individual students as well as an extensive silent auction featuring an amazing array of vacation and entertainment certificates, fashion and beauty prizes, children’s packages..and more. Take home a one-of-a-kind masterpiece and support education that elevates!

Bid online now!

Text MMS Wings 52181

Auction donation information

Donation receipt













MMS is pleased to offer a wide range of exclusive education investment opportunities to our SPREADING OUR WINGS partners. We invite you to make a splash with a unique themed sponsorship…. bluebird to finch! Your partnership in this high-profile, unique event will showcase your commitment to West Virginia’s children to thousands throughout our region through a sustained marketing campaign and provide critical support to MMSContributions to MMS, a 501(c)(3) organization are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Complete sponsorship information is available on our online giving platform or here:

Spreading Our Wings Sponsorship Menu

Spreading Our Wings Sponsor RSVP Form


Spreading Our Wings Auction Letter


















Individual reservations start at $85 per person and include a tax-deductible contribution to MMS. Your reservation includes admission to the most uplifting party of the year, live music, beer/wine and heavy hors d’oeuvres, creative entertainment…. and affirms your support of our mission, faculty and students.  MMS will maintain a guest list and no individual tickets will be mailed.

Because it’s important for our entire school community to join in the celebration, a limited number of free and reduced price reservations will be available. For more information, please contact MMS Director Jennifer Carriger, jcarriger@mountaineermontessori.org.  Your sponsorship dollars support this important community-building effort.

Early bird prices end on April 30, 2019….make your online reservation or complete this form today: Spreading Our Wings RSVP Form



Education that elevates

Mountaineer Montessori serves 140 students ages 3-14 in Charleston, West Virginia — the heart of Appalachia.  Our mission is to elevate our students and region with forward-thinking, 21st century-aligned education that nurtures tomorrow’s problem solvers, creators, entrepreneurs and community builders…a new generation that will lead the way to a brighter tomorrow and a better world.

MMS is a community-based non-profit organization created to unlock the potential of West Virginia’s children through the scientifically-based, time-tested, child centered approach to education pioneered by Dr. Maria Montessori. We receive no government funding. Our operations are funded solely by tuition, foundation and business partnerships, and personal donations.

Community support helps keep our program accessible to the growing number of families seeking access to high-quality alternatives to one-size-fits-all schools. Enrollment has grown 83 percent over the past five years and we are currently unable to enroll all applicants due to space and financial constraints.

SPREADING OUR WINGS provides critical funding for financial aid, teacher training and classroom materials and programs, and help us continue to grow a world-class education option in our region.


Celebrating friends, fun and friendship with MMS!














































Re-enrollment underway for 2019-20

Re-enrollment is underway for the 2019-20 school year.

Current MMS families must complete the online re-enrollment process by February 15. Please follow the directions as outlined in the enrollment communication distributed to all parents.

Please note that applications for new siblings attending MMS next year must be also submitted by February 15.

After February 15, we will offer remaining any classroom spaces to new families.  Because space is limited in all classes, if we do not receive your materials in by February 15, we cannot guarantee that your child will have a place next year. 

Families with students enrolled at MMS will have priority placement for a future Toddler program outlined in our strategic plan.

Financial aid applications are due by March 30.  

If you plan to apply, please contact Jennifer Carriger (jcarriger@mountaineermontessori.org or Beth George bgeorge@mountaineermontessori.org) for a link to the online application. Notification of awards will be sent in writing by April 25. If your financial aid award is not sufficient to meet your needs, your tuition deposit will be refunded to you. 

Please be aware that is this the last year that returning families will need to re-enroll their children. Effective for the 2020-21 year, MMS will implement a continuous enrollment model that will automatically ensure your child’s space at our school throughout his or her academic career at MMS. This new policy will streamline the enrollment process for families and administrators and help us plan for the facilities, materials and staffing to support the best learning experience for your child.

New families interested in enrollment should begin the admissions process by requesting a tour at their very earliest convenience. Classes fill quickly.

We look forward to welcoming new and returning families MMS for our 43rd year of excellence and innovation in education!

Student-run food program resumes for 2019-January/February information

The MMS lunch program, run by our sixth year students, has resumed for the new year year. Please see the order form for details:  MMS Food Program January-February 2019

The deadline to place orders is Wednesday, January 9.