April Newsletter 2018

And We Are Off….

AzMERIT begins this week, and, in lieu of a long-winded article from your principal regarding intelligence, I thought one of our students said it best through his unsolicited poetry:



There are a lot of smart people

In this vast wonderful world

From creating an incredible invention

To finding the area of an object


All people come together

In more ways than one

But the main thing they have in common

Is intelligence


You need intelligence to do anything

To paint, to sew, to read

You even need intelligence

To understand this poem


Intelligence spreads over the whole world

Not a single soul doesn’t have it

Your intelligence might be deep within you

Or shining on the outside.


by Nicolas Calzadilla, age 9

AzMERIT Schedule

Tuesday, April 3rd (Writing)

Wednesday, April 4th (ELA and Math)

Thursday, April 5th (ELA and Math)

Things to keep in mind during testing week:

Stick with usual bedtimes and morning routines.

Be sure your child gets enough sleep and eats a healthy breakfast.

Pack healthy lunch with protein, vegetables, and fruits.

Avoid making special plans the night before a test.

Please bring your child to school before 8:30 a.m.

MEC Miles for Maji

“Maji” is the Swahili word for water. People in Tanzania speak Swahili; they also walk many miles to get the clean water they need to live. The students at Montessori Education Centre,with your support, will be symbolically carrying water along the canal in order to raise money for Save the Rain, an organization that works in Tanzania to give people access to clean water. Furthermore, the bottled water that we carry will be donated locally. All year, we have been studying the preciousness of water, and this event will be an inspiring culmination.

Miles for Maji, which will take place on April 20th, is how MEC is taking part in YSA’s Global Youth Service Day 2018. YSA (Youth Service America) has been our partner again this year in keeping the MEC community focused on citizenship. Each student will get to express that focus during their walk, with the first class starting at 8:45 a.m. and the last classes staying until the job of moving all the water is done.

We are asking that each student bring something to donate to Save the Rain (even if it’s pennies). Save the Rain tells us that a $15 donation can give a child clean water for their lifetime (100% of donations directly fund projects). On the event day, each student is also asked to bring some bottled water to carry, along with closed-toe shoes, sunscreen, and a hat. Hydration will be provided.

Reminders for Miles for Maji

  • It is on Global Youth Service Day, April 20, 2018 starting at 8:45 am.
  • Only students, staff, and assigned parents (with fingerprint cards) will be allowed to walk with our students (for safety reasons). 
  • If you would like to support the students of MEC on this day, we are hoping that you will come stand along the canal (which will also help with safety) and cheer on the students as they walk an carry water. It is highly suggested that you bring a sign that shows your support and/or has water facts on it, or it may just say Save the Rain.
  • Parents are asked to park at SunValley School.
  • Any parent on the canal will be asked to sign-in at the office first and wear a name tag.
  • In order for your child to walk, please make sure you have signed the permission slip and given a monetary donation.
  • Please make sure students are wearing blue shirts, closed-toe shoes, light clothing, sunscreen, hat (optional), and that they have hydrated before they come to school.
  • There will be hydration stations along the canal for the students to rehydrate. 
  • There will also be MEC staff and visibility barriers located at the ends of canal to provide a presence between the sidewalk and street.

A Deeper Meaning

I have been working with the children creating the paper water droplets that hang above the waiting area outside the office and display some information about water on our planet. We were amazed to learned that it takes 700 gallons of water to grow the cotton that is needed to make one t-shirt, or the whopping 39,000 gallons of water it takes to manufacture a new car. But, somewhere along the line, the amazement ceased, and it turned into, “I need 20 more drops, find a fact, find a fact!” I started to become more focused on mass producing raindrops and creating a “cool” art piece rather than understanding the true meaning of this project...until later that week.

I was giving my infant daughter, Olive, a bath and decided to be a bit daring. I laid her on her stomach and let her feel the water underneath her, letting it support her. It was so peaceful, until she bobbed her head and choked on some water. I quickly went into swim-teacher mode and calmly said, “It's okay! Its okay! It is all part of the process.” Then, it hit me; all I could think about was the many children around the globe who may never know this “process.” Here I am, bathing in 37 gallons of water, practicing with my daughter water safety skills that I will soon be doing with summer program students in the 22,000 gallons of water required to fill an average pool. All the while, women and children of the sub saharan walk miles everyday for water only to be greeted with far less quantity and far less sanitary water available, and certainly not collecting water for a luxurious bath.

The realization that families around the globe do not get to experience this “simple joy of life” broke my heart. I was grateful that a project I happily volunteered for only in hopes of creating a work of art suddenly became a valuable lesson. I am now more aware of this ever-growing demand for clean and accessible water. I am now provided with the resources to make a difference for these women and children in need of something we take for granted, or at least I did prior to my bathtub epiphany.

Vital lessons like this make our community so special to me. The hours spent on hanging up and then removing the tape residue from 300 placemats for our Placemates and Poetry project, ripping 2,000 strips of fabric for our I Will campain, or hanging raindrops for World Water Day all has a deeper meaning. A meaning that we get to understand and share together.

by Nikki Jackson, LEAP Supervisor

…and It Begins

While I was at the American Montessori Conference in Denver, I had the opportunity to gather and march with hundreds of other Montessorians (along with tens of thousands of citizens) at the March for Our Lives event.  Many of us Montessorians carried a sign that read, “Establishing Peace is the Work of Education,” which is one of Maria Montessori’s most famous quotes. I can’t really explain how it felt to be amongst peers, as well as so many young people. We were living up to Maria’s expectations of us, standing at the very edge of things because that’s really the only place that makes a difference.

I believed I was there to help end something, then I realized that we were there to begin something. I looked all around me and everywhere I could see there were young people, like colorful birds, calling with a thousand voices. And suddenly, I understood. Here is where it begins, with all of us, giving our children a world worth loving for a lifetime to come, with our youth leading the way.

By Cassi Mackey, Principal

 In Remembrance of a True Leader of Peace 


April 4, 1968


"If your actions inspire others to dream more,

learn more, do more, and become more,

you are a leader."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

St. Mary's Food Drive

March 26th - April 13th

St. Mary's Food Bank desperately needs help now through the summer months. MEC will be collecting nonperishable foods. The most needed items are bottled water, canned tuna, peanut butter, canned fruits/vegetables, pasta, rice, cereal, beans, juice in plastic bottles, diapers, powdered infant formula, baby wipes and baby cereal (due to safety guidelines, the food banks cannot accept jarred or canned baby food). Please make sure the item you donate is not expired.

Save The Date

Family Mercado is May 11, 2018 

The Family Mercado is a school-wide community event to help raise money for classroom needs. Each classroom will be creating products and services for your enjoyment. There will be creative crafts, groovy games, fabulous food, marvelous merchandise, poppin' prizes and movin' music. Each class will keep 100% of the earnings from their stores.  

Your classroom teachers will be contacting you soon, if they have not already, to help support their classroom stores. 

Pre-sales for Mercado Money (fake money) that will be exchanged dollar-for-dollar will start at the end of April. Please keep your eye out for fliers and e-mail blasts for further details.  

It will be a fun-filled evening.  Hope to see you all there!

Important Dates

Book orders are due Wednesday, April 11th. Please make checks payable to MEC (NOT Scholastic Reading Club).

Miles for Maji event on April 20, 2018 starting at 8:45 a.m. 

Parent/Teacher Conferences are Friday, May 4th. No school.

Family Mercado is Friday, May 11th.


Parent/Teacher Conference sign up sheets will be in the office starting Tuesday, April 10th.

Miles for Maji permission slips and money due on April 13th. 

Montessori Summer Program 2018 is filling up fast. If you are interested in signing up your child, please pick up paperwork in the office.

Toddler and Preschool Deposits for 2018-19 are due Tuesday, May 15th.

Summer Session 1 Tuition is due Tuesday, May 15th.

Yearbook forms will be sent home with your child on Friday, April 6th, and forms will also be available in the office. The DEADLINE to return the form and money to the office is Thursday, May 10th. There will be no extra yearbooks for sale, as we order the exact number purchased. Please plan ahead.