"Within the child lies the fate of the future." - Maria Montessori
Families Growing Together
A school such as Acorn Montessori is more than the sum of its students, teachers, and buildings. It is a community that is sustained in countless ways by the participation of everyone involved. In this community, every member has a role to play.
We encourage students to take part in community outreach projects, but we also rely on parental involvement to help the school — and the students — reach its full potential. As an Acorn Montessori parent, there are innumerable ways for you to have a positive impact on our educational environment. You can volunteer to help with an art show or school performance. You can also help lead tours of our campus to prospective families or volunteer at informational meetings about the Montessori educational philosophy. As an educational community, we are much stronger when everyone is involved.
Feeding Our Neighbors
An integral part of a Montessori education is helping our students develop a sense of community and understanding what role they have to play in making the world a better place. So when America's Grow-A-Row — a local organization that grows and donates healthy food for the hungry while supporting local farms, educating children, and raising awareness of nutrition and poverty — came to us looking for help in feeding the hungry of Hunterdon County, we found their mission and ours to be the perfect fit.
Parents and children in all three programs planted, cultivated, and harvested three different plots on our five-acre campus, with all the produce going to stock local food pantries. After planting early vegetables that were harvested prior to the end of the school year, we found the program made such an impact among the students and parents that we took part in a future plantings.
Rainbows and Brighter Days
Even at a young age, children in the Rainbow Club are taught that they have the power to brighten someone's day. They take to each community project with a selflessness that is refreshing to watch, and take great pleasure in knowing how much their work is appreciated in the community.
Here are just a few of the community outreach efforts undertaken by the Rainbow Club:
- Each week, we decorate 25 to 50 paper bags for the Meals on Wheels program that runs out of the United Methodist Church on Allerton Road, using various media to create a theme that ties in with the season or an upcoming holiday. We have told the children that these bags hold the food that gets delivered to grandmas and grandpas who are unable to cook their own dinners, something the children frequently discuss as we decorate.
- Several times a month we pack individual craft bags for the children in the Oncology Department of Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital. Because these children are often too tired to go out to the recreation area, a bag containing all the parts for a craft project that can be worked on as the child feels up to it is always welcomed. Alumni Joanne Castanza, who is a nurse at Sloan Kettering, delivers them for us. She also talks to our Acorn children about how much their work is appreciated.
- For Christmas and Hanukkah holidays, the children decorate angel tags for the Angel Gift Drive. This year Acorn adopted three families from SAFE in Hunterdon, an agency devoted to the prevention of domestic violence in Hunterdon County. The families of Acorn are incredibly generous and two large SUV loads of gifts were collected this year.
- We make and hand deliver Valentines to the Rolling Hills Nursing Home located on Cratetown Road in Lebanon, for Valentine Day. A group of children and parents go together to hand them out to the residents and we sing a few songs we've learned in our classrooms or in Music class.