We are truly an international community at our school! Thank you to everyone for sharing their cultures, traditions, talents and food!
Plentiful of round pumpkins, carving supplies, children in costumes, parents ready to carve and scoop, decorations and Halloween treats... that was the setting of our First Annual Carving Event! It was wonderfully organized by Ms Sue and the teachers, and it raised over $400 for our Playground fund! Thank you to all who participated and helped with setup and clean up. Look at all the fun we had and we hope to see you again at our carving event next year!
On Thursday we have participated in the Theatre for the Very Young program! It is grant-funded by Kean University: the Students Partnering with Faculty initiative-- an opportunity for college students to work along-side their faculty mentors on research or creative projects. The performers this year are all Kean students who are getting certified in Early Childhood and/or Theatre Education. This program was a wonderful addition to Mindfulness activities already implemented in our curriculum.
First the children were engaged in a craft project-- coloring the paper leaves that were later on hung on bare trees as part of the scenery.
Then we altogether practiced 5 Mindful Movements (from Thich Nhat Hanh's Exercises for Well-Being) before traveling through a rainbow of hoops to the performance area. There we sat on the floor pillows, and did mindful breathing using a Hoberman sphere as the model. We also listened to a quieting poem (from Thich Nhat Hanh's A Handful of Quiet).
A very special puppet show version of Kathryn Otoshi's book ONE was presented next. The theme of ONE is in itself mindful-- a story of standing tall, rejecting bullying, and being inclusive. The play completely stole everyone's attention and the children even got to touch and see puppets up close afterwards. They have also played with Hoberman sphere and retrieved their leaves from the trees. The leaves were sent home on Friday.
Although our school has been hosting Chick Hatch Project in collaboration with Quiver Farms for many years now...it is still the most exciting experience for everyone involved. Children seriously take on the responsibilities of Chick parenting showing care while turning the eggs, and then providing food and water to baby chicks later on. Of course hearing baby chicks for the first time or seeing them run around from one friend's hands to the other...is priceless and meant to stay in memory forever!
Thank you to all our dear fathers who visited their child's classroom and joined them in working with materials from our shelves.
It was a pleasure to have you sit in our circle and share the special snack with you!
The International Social was held on Saturday, January 21st. This event was to celebrate all of our diverse heritages, cultures, and customs. It was an immensely successful event made possible by our very generous school community. Thank you to all the parents who took the time to prepare a special craft and those who danced, sang and drummed. Our food buffet was overflowing with delicious food from every continent. The children enjoyed an opportunity to be with their classmates and the parents enjoyed seeing the many friendships that have been formed. Please scroll down to see the pictures from this special event.
In honor of First Thanksgiving, our little and not so little friends, have been working hard to make everything ready for our feast. First Thanksgiving was however only a simple gathering. Following the Mayflower’s arrival at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620, the Pilgrims suffered the loss of 46 of their original 102 colonists. With the help of 91 Native American Indians, the remaining Pilgrims survived the bitter winter and yielded a bountiful harvest in 1621. In celebration, a traditional English harvest festival, lasting three days brought the Pilgrims and natives to unite in a “thanksgiving” observance.
This “thanksgiving” meal would not be celebrated again until June of 1676. On June 29th, the community of Charlestown, Massachusetts proclaimed a day of thanksgiving for their good fortune. Ironically, this celebration excluded the Native Americans, as the colonists’ recognized their recent victory over the “heathen natives.” One hundred years later, in October of 1777, all 13 colonies participated in a one-time “thanksgiving” celebration which commemorated the patriotic victory over the British at Saratoga. It would take a span of over 150 more years to establish Thanksgiving as we celebrate it -- George Washington proclaimed it a National holiday in 1789, Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November in 1863, and Congress sanctioned it as a legal holiday in 1941.
We are grateful that we have a holiday where we can celebrate with each other and humbly reflect upon all the gifts that saturate our lives. We are thankful for all our friends and families here at the Unitarian Montessori School!
Peace is what every human being is craving for, and it can be brought about by humanity through the child.
On Septemeber 21st, students and teachers gathered in our Meditation Garden to celebrate International Day of Peace. With our quiet meditation and singing voices, we sent kind thoughts and wishes for the world peace. May peace prevail on Earth!