January Newsletter 2019


What Do You Do With an Idea?  You Change the World.

One of my favorite books to read with the children is What Do You Do With an Idea?  The story begins:  "One day, I had an idea. Where did it come from? Why is it here? I wondered, 'What do you do with an idea?'"

The illustrations in the book wonderfully portray the "idea" as an egg wearing a crown - depicting an idea as noble, elevated, of great importance. The illustrations are mostly in black and white, but, as the story continues, the idea grows and the color in the world around grows with it. 

The child in the story expresses the feelings that any person might experience as they share their new ideas:  "I worried what others would think. What would people say about my idea?...I was afraid that if people saw it, they would laugh at it.  I was afraid they would think it was silly."

But the child does not give up on the idea. Before long, the idea becomes a part of everything, with the world in full color now, as the child realizes, "What do you do with an idea?  You change the world."

As we read this story together, I can feel the children relating to the character. We pause to talk about what's happening, and I can see the excitement in their faces and hear it in their voices. They understand those feelings of uncertainty but, more importantly, the significance of ideas, of their ideas. They understand that what they have to contribute to the community and the world is valuable. 

Every single day at school, children approach me with ideas they want to share...ideas about activities we can do together, or how we can resolve issues or how to better care for our environment, even down to the smallest rolly-polly bug. Their ideas are good and make our classroom better.

The Montessori philosophy supports the development of imagination and creativity. It allows children to delve into new ideas and relationships, providing a foundation of self-expression and innovation that will serve them throughout their lives. They are able to discover answers for themselves, leading to deeper experiences that cultivate a lifelong love of learning and discovery.

Children feel a very strong need to participate in the world around them.  As we listen and allow them to contribute their ideas, we support that need.  

As we begin this new year, I hope we can all take the time to truly listen to the children in our lives, valuing their ideas and contributions. As we do, we will give them the gifts of responsibility and independence later in life. And, they will change the world.

-by Lara Squires, Lower Elementary Outdoor Environment Teacher

MLK Days of Service 

As part of our dedication to Youth Service America and our commitment to the 2030 UN Global Goals, we are asking that our students and their families take some of their "day off" and participate in a service activity on January 21, 2019. There is a plethora of volunteer ideas and our students have creative and innovative ideas on how to serve. We look forward to hearing how your family participated on this day. If you feel inclined, we would love for you to put your experience in words, and we can put it our next newsletter. Teachers will be discussing this day with the students in class and brainstorming on ways to volunteer. 

Legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This federal holiday was first observed in 1986.

In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a "day on, not a day off." The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "Beloved Community."

Participation in the MLK Day of Service has grown steadily over the past decade, with hundreds of thousands of Americans each year engaging in projects such as tutoring and mentoring children, painting schools and senior centers, delivering meals, building homes, and reflecting on Dr. King's life and teachings. Many of the projects started on King Day continue to engage volunteers beyond the holiday and impact the community year-round.  

 -by Cassi Mackey, M.Ed., Principal

One day, all oppression and unneeded violence will end

The red that colors this earth will vanish

Illusions of peace will become truth

I have a dream


One day, the doors of literature will be open to everyone

Every child in every country will have an educated mind

To make the right choices in every situation

I have a dream


One day, all humans will be treated equally

Not judged by skin or appearance or inborn ability

With rights the same as every other man or woman

I have a dream


One day, all the jungles of the Amazon will be replenished

The loggers who hack at its heart will be gone

We can find other ways to sustain society

I have a dream 


Today, we take on step

One becomes two and two become three

We can take charge in the fight for a better world

I have a dream


-by Natalie Beaird, age 11 at time of authorship (now in high school)

My Giving Story

As you all know, we were one of twenty stories selected out of 2,000+ entries after so many of you voted online. We were so proud to share our service learning experience with the world. It was so gratifying that it was recognized. We were also so impressed with how our community rallied and supported our story. Unfortunately, we did not make the top three entries. Nevertheless, when Save the Rain received the results, this is what I received:  

"We are so impressed with how far your community was able to reach and share the message of our shared mission to help kids without clean water. I really thought we had a chance at the grand prize. But we are not disappointed, we are so grateful for the work put in and the eyes and ears who heard the message. We are truly humbled and inspired. I say we put something together again and try again next year. Clearly, together we have something special, to have made it as far as we did. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for being such wonderful Save the Rain ambassadors. Love, Save the Rain."

We congratulate the worthwhile stories below that did receive the top honors. 

Marie Smith of Alabama won $10,000 for sharing her family's experience with KultureCity, an organization that works to find and create sensory-inclusive spaces where people with sensory sensitivities, like Marie's son, Jake, can access concerts and other cultural activities in their own communities. 

Judy Fridono won $5,000 for the Southern California-based Puppy Prodigies, explaining how they bring kids with disabilities, veterans suffering from PTSD, and surf dog Ricochet together to harness the healing power of the ocean. 

Heather Starbuck won $2,500 for the the Matt Adams Foundation, which she founded after losing her fiance to opioid addiction, sharing the story of the six months she spent hiking the Appalachian Trail to share Matt's story and raise funds for rehabilitation and transitional programs.


-by Cassi Mackey, M.Ed., Principal

Hearts for the Homeless

It has become one of our school's favorite traditions to collect necessities and fun items for the children from Children First Academy (school for homeless children). Once again, our CFA friends will be coming to our Valentine Mercado. Not only will they get the opportunity to shop at our students' stores, but they will also take with them these much needed items that we collect as a community. Items are due no later than Tuesday, February 12th.


Together we can make their visit one to remember!


We Need Your Help

3B  Gary                           boys' t-shirts for 7 - 9 yr olds (no undershirts)
3A Cassi                           shampoo/conditioner/lotion (travel size only)
2B Kathy                          new toys for girls/boys (small/medium)
2A Nadine/Hollie           girls' t-shirts for 7-9 yr olds (no undershirts)
4A Romie/Genine          new stuffed animals (small/medium)
4B Cyndy/Nikki              girls' socks for 7-9 yr olds
4C Laurie/Lesley            toothbrush/toothpaste packets
1A Jenna                          new colored pencils and markers
1B Tabitha                       boys' socks for 7-9 yr olds
1C Cecile/Mary               girls' hair accessories and wrapped candy
1D Heather/Vari             snacks for snack bags (fruit snacks, raisins, cheese crackers, etc)


Please bring items no later than Tuesday, Feb.12th.

If we all pull together, we can make Valentine's a little brighter for these children. Thank you for the support and generosity. 

Contact Cassi with questions. 



  • Thank you for coming out and supporting MEC during our Barnes and Noble Book Fair and dinner out at Panda Express. It is always such a fun evening, and the teachers appreciate the books you donated to your child's classroom libraries. Books are always such a magical gift to receive. In addition to the books, MEC made a total of $920.27 for the evening.  
  • Our entire faculty and staff extends their gratitude  for the thoughtful gifts, books, food, cards, gift cards, messages, etc. that were received during this holiday season. Although unrequired, there is no denying the wonderful warm feeling one gets when when someone makes the effort to show their appreciation, especially during such a busy time of the year. 
  • Special thanks to Cody Jackson, our P.E. and Mustangs coach for the remarkable years of service at MEC. Cody has seized the day and followed an employment opportunity that was just too good to pass up. Although we would love him to stay with us forever, we encourage personal growth and new adventures. Cody will be missed in the deepest way possible. He has been a tremendous role model for not only our children, but for our faculty and staff, as well. His kind heart and gentle spirit will serve him well as he forges his new path. He also knows that he always has a home with us.  
  • Thanks to Nikki Jackson (LEAP Supervisor)  for stepping in and taking over P.E. for the remainder of this school year, until we can find a permanent P.E. coach. Nikki's experiences and relationships with the students will make for a smooth transition.


  • Re-enrollment paperwork will be coming home with your child Wednesday, January 16th. It is due back to the office no later than Wednesday, January 23rd along with your $75.00 class fee for the 2019-2020 school year. We DO NOT automatically re-enroll students. If you don't receive your re-enrollment paperwork, please stop by the office to pick up a packet. 
  • Please do not park in the fire lane (red curb) unless you are quickly dropping off or picking up your children. 
  • Please call the office at (480) 926-8375 by 10:00 am to let us know if your child is absent that day. 
  • Account balances are due on the 15th of each month. If you have a credit/debit card on file, then it will be processed on the 15th. If your card on file declines, a $25.00 reprocessing fee will be applied to your account.

Book orders due Friday, January 18th.

Please make checks payable to MEC, not Scholastic.

Thank you!

Dates to Remember

School Resumes - Monday, January 7th.

Civil Rights Day - No school, Monday, January 21st.

Re-enrollment paperwork for 2019-2020 will be coming home with your child Wednesday, January 16th. 

Re-enrollment paperwork due no later than Wednesday, January 23rd.

The Arizona School Tax Credit Program

allows you to direct up to $400 for a married couple or $200 per individual to our Charter School Extra-Curricular Fund. This donation replaces dollar-for-dollar funds that you otherwise would owe in state income taxes. Donations can be made anytime but must be received by April 15, 2019 to qualify for the 2018 tax year. You may donate for the 2019 tax year January 1, 2019. Tax credit forms are available in the office. 

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