Collaboration Doubles Compassion

Minnieland Huguenot decorated and sold pinwheels
while learning about Air, Land, and Water in September.
In the spring of 2010 I had the opportunity to meet with the Montessori teachers of Minnieland Academy to share our Wells of Love program at an end-of-year luncheon. The teachers recognized an opportunity for their students. By learning about the people of the Azawak, who live in circumstances quite different than their own, their 3-6 year old students would gain a global perspective.  Given the opportunity to help, these young leaders would lay a foundation for their future by manifesting their potential to make a tangible difference people's lives.

Lead by Montessori school director Lori Marano, Minnieland Academy Montessori classrooms raised $5,000 during the 2011-2012 school year.  Their results were doubled by a corporate administration dedicated to empowering their community.
Drawing from student in Kijigari village,
part of the 2012 Friendship Exchange

How they did it
The teachers used Wells of Love resources to incorporate Amman Imman into their lesson plans, tying stories of the Azawak into science, geography, culture, peace lessons and celebrations. 

The 3-6 year olds and their teachers engaged in a variety of creative activities that raised awareness about water, shared their compassion and desire for peace, and raised funds for Amman Imman’s activities in the Azawak.  

At the end of the year, each classroom received a set of Friendship Exchange cards with drawings from children in Amman Imman’s borehole villages.  The students were delighted to receive this gift from the their new found friends in the Azawak.

Here’s a list of some of the activities the different classrooms participated in:

  • Sold student art work, hot chocolate and cake pops
  • Made jewelry and hand-made bookmarks for our “friends in Niger” to sell at the holiday time 
  • Held bake sales, yard sales and consignment sales
  • Collected coins and soda caps
  • Constructed wells and other art projects
  • Sold hand-made crafts including ornaments and placemats  
  • Events like Movie Night, Spaghetti Dinner Night Fundraiser, Art Auction, Popcorn Fridays, Father/Daughter fundraising dance, Mother/Son Sports Night
  • Sponsored Parents Night Out
  • Minnieland Salem Church set up a donation collection jar
    called "Change for Change" .
  • Tie-dyed cloth and made quilted pillows

Double Impact
Everyone was surprised and delighted when Minnieland’s corporate administration amplified the impact of the classroom fundraisers by matching the funds, bringing the total contribution to $10,000! 

Now everyone is doubly inspired! This year the teachers in 33 Minnieland Montessori classrooms have decided that they want to aim even higher. Motivated by the impact on their children, their administration’s support, and the enthusiasm of the parent community, they intend to double their efforts by collaboratively raising $10,000. The Minnieland corporation has echoed back that they will match those funds again.

Skipwith Academy hosted a Father / Daughter Dance.
Each family paid to attend the dance and
received an evening of dancing, food and fun.
What can we learn from this achievement? Incredible results can be achieved when an administration, teachers, parents and students work together!  

Thank you, everyone at Minnieland, for your example and inspiration! And thank you for your contribution towards saving and improving lives in the Azawak of West Africa!


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