Montessori School of Flagstaff Cedar Student's Charity Work Impresses
The following is an excerpt from Flagstaff Family Food Center Volunteer Director, Michael Van Ness' correspondence with the school,
"On behalf of the Flagstaff Family Food Center: Food Bank and Kitchen I want to say "Thank You!" for having your students come and build emergency food boxes with us this morning. I seldom see such dedication and focus from the ADULTS who come and volunteer with us - it was a pleasure to host."
A group of students from Montessori School of Flagstaff's Cedar Middle School spent time at the Flagstaff Family Food Center packing emergency food boxes for those in need. From the photos and Mr. Van Ness' response it is clear that all those involved had a great time for a great cause.
Montessori Students Clean up Urban Trail
It was hard to get lost along a segment of the Flagstaff urban trail near Coconino High School while it was littered with seventh and eighth graders during a trash cleanup last Friday morning.
The students of the Montessori Schools of Flagstaff Middle School sported their brightest vests and most comfortable shoes to collect the empty beer bottles and left-behind dog droppings that were scattered along the Sego Lily Trail, which winds up the hill behind the high school to the crest of McMillan Mesa.
“It’s pretty fun, but it’s sad that there’s a lot of trash out here,” said Kevin Willden, a seventh grader at the school.
Every seven weeks, the students rotate for a chance to sit on a planning team – made up of a group of four – to research, make phone calls and strategize a community service project. So far, they have made sandwiches at the Northern Arizona Food Bank and landscaped at the other Montessori campuses.
“We haven’t done too many yet but it’s really fun,” said seventh-grader Alyssa Prager. “It’s a fun way to end the week.”
The Sego Lily Trail was previously known as the Sixth Avenue Trail; the new name reflects the presence of sego lilies, a small, white wildflower native to the West.
The school’s mission is geared toward self-education while the kids journey into adulthood – they accomplish this not only through academics but through things like community service projects.
“The school is largely based around independence and maturity and handling adult situations,” said Trish O’Brien, who has taught at the Montessori Schools of Flagstaff for the past nine years. “It allows them to really look out to the community and see things beyond just their academics.”
The school year consists of five six-week cycles during which each cycle focuses on a specific subject. The seventh week of each cycle is dedicated to exams.
Classes are held as usual every Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, however, the students participate in a regular class, a going-out to explore the environment or a community service project.
And they get to do each of these twice in a six-week cycle.
“We want them to be a part of the community and to understand the difference they can make,” said Lisa Martinez, who also teaches at the school. “They have done a wonderful job. They’re very enthusiastic and very passionate.”
Within the next couple months, the students have planned a craft day at the Peaks Senior Living Community and will volunteer at the Coconino Humane Association.
Curtis, Chelsea. "Montessori Students Clean up Urban Trail." Arizona Daily Sun. N.p., 27 Oct. 2015. Web. 24 Feb. 2016. <http://azdailysun.com/news/montessori-students-clean-up-urban-trail/article_03c839d2-da93-505d-937b-a1a5f594d774.html>.
Crime Investigation Dinner
This cycle, in Natural World, our teacher, Ms. Larson, let us participate in a Crime Investigation Dinner. This was basically a simulation to help us understand how investigators solve crimes. In the scenario, students in each class took on the roles of different Italian family members having dinner at Mama Rossa's Restaurant. One member of the family, Pepi Rony, had just disappeared and most of our characters were suspects.
We started by sitting around a table, as if we were at a real Italian Restaurant. Then we got our scripts and began the simulation. Throughout each of the three rounds, clues were revealed and we made predictions as to who we thought kidnapped Pepi. Eventually the kidnapper was revealed. This was a very fun and exciting activity and is just one of the ways Montessori makes learning fun!
Aja, Eighth Grade Student
On April 7, 2013, all the students from our Montessori Middle School memorized and presented a Shakespeare Sonnet. We were able to pick any sonnet we wanted. We had four weeks to memorize the original sonnet. Part of the project was to re-write the sonnet in our own words, copy it onto colored paper and include art to make it uniquely our own.
On April 7th, we had a little café for our performance of the sonnets. When it was your turn you stood up in front of the school and performed your memorized sonnet. When I presented I felt scared at first, but in the middle, I began to calm down. By the end I felt so good I wanted to say my sonnet again. We were graded on our eye contact, if we dressed up and if we were a good audience for the other students. This project helped build my confidence, increased my ability to memorize and taught me to be attentive to other performers.
Paloma, Eighth Grade Student