Today I received a check for $403 from the Abintra Montessori School in Nashville, Tennessee. The story, shared by teacher Jody McDaniel, quintessentially illustrates how discovery and initiative are fostered at Montessori schools. The process these young students went through, that resulted in raising funds to help bring water to the Azawak, exemplifies the Montessori principle of "follow the child". As Jody's story shows, the children take the lead and turn their awakened knowledge into something practical.
Three cheers to Jody and the Abintra Montessori School for supporting the journey of their students! Here's Jody's letter:
Enclosed is our Abintra Montessori School check in the amount of $403. Our third and fourth year Elementary students contributed their time and energy to making this donation possible.
Their study of earth included its resources, the water cycle, the scarcity of potable water in many parts of the world, and the fragility of the balance between need, resource, management and renewal. They realized there was a need to do something about the imbalance of the availability of fresh water across the globe.
At first, they wanted to send water to Africa. As the discussion developed, they realized that trans-Atlantic shipping would not be possible and another way would have to be found. They wanted to send money to help build wells, and we began researching possibilities.
The children decided that they had to tell somebody what was happening. They wanted to start getting their message out by writing a play to perform for their parents. As the play and the song developed, both entitled "The Great Penzatti Catastrophe" they began to feel that this was not enough.
A large group of these eight and nine year old children decided to crochet bags, scarves, pencil and glasses cases, marble holders, bracelets and bookmarks to sell as a fundraiser. They persuaded our Executive Director that they should sell their items and send the money they raised to Amman Imman: Water is Life.
The check you are receiving today is a direct result of their efforts. Truly, "a little child shall lead them."
Thank you for the tremendous work you do.
Middle Elementary Guide
I'd love to hear the song or at least know the words to "The Great Penzatti Catastrophe". Wouldn't you?!