From the Adolescent Program:
Our Friday Markets are starting up again! Our first market day will be Friday, April 26, and we will be selling Spinach mix, Asian mix, and lettuce mix. All of our produce is grown in our hoophouse in Prairie Crossing. This spring we will also be selling “Bluehouse Cinnarolz”, homemade cinnamon bread made with the winter wheat we harvested. The farm students bake the bread in our kitchen. We will sell wheat grass as well. Later on this spring, we will have tomatoes.
You can keep up with our market and other Blue House news by visiting our blog, http://mslfap.blogspot.com
December 6, 2012 – Consistent with Montessori philosophy’s focus on caring for one’s environment (including the people in it), students at MSLF are regularly faced with opportunities to help others in need. Sometimes the individual in need is a younger child in the classroom or a peer on the playground. This time of year, Mia Stompanato’s Primary classroom chose to assist a 4-year old foster child named Zamequa.
The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) shares holiday wish lists of children enrolled in the Cook County Foster Care program. Mrs. Stompanato’s class has participated in this philanthropy in years past, and this year the class shopped for Zamequa, whose Big Wish is a new bicycle.
Not only does this project present an opportunity for children to learn how to help others in a hands-on way, but it also presents important lessons related to currency and mathematics. Counting the money was a wonderful supplement to the “bank game,” a Montessori teaching material in which students use the units of tens, hundreds and thousands. The final tally of money collected was:
Thank you to all of the children, parents, teachers and grandparents who have contributed to the collection for Zamequa’s bicycle. Because of the community’s generosity, the class used extra funds to purchase gift cards to make additional children’s holidays a little brighter, as well.
Have you been looking for an easier way to make cookies this holiday season? Or perhaps a fun gift? This year the Blue House is making chocolate chip cookie jars! Each jar will be filled with the dry ingredients to make about 45 cookies (all jars will include a recipe). Each jar will be sold for $8.00. All proceeds will go to the 9th year Italy Trip. Cookie jars will be available for pick up on December 19th at the 11:50am and 3:00pm carpool times. If there are any problems with these pick up dates please call: (847)543-0002 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that all forms must be turned in by Monday, December 10th!
November 20, 2012 – One of the many ways that MSLF students focus on helping others is through the Elementary Division’s traditional Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF project. Students from both Miss Jasinski’s and Mrs. Taylor’s Lower Elementary classrooms participated and raised an impressive $621.16.
This activity has been popular for several years now, and it provides children with the opportunity to learn about others in need, as well as how to organize and work together.
Following the collection of money, math skills were used in counting the returns. A “going-out” was then planned to the bank to transfer the cash into a check. The group is grateful to Mrs. Jory Cathlina and Mrs. Nancy Zelinske for chaperoning this bank trip. Students gain much more from experiences in which they are directly involved, and the UNICEF committee saw this project from start to finish. The following note exudes their sense of reward and excitement at the project’s completion last week.
“Dear Children and Parents,
Thank you for collecting all of the money! The total was $621.16.
That is a lot of money and we hope that the UNICEF children are very happy.
The UNICEF committee”
If you are a parent of Mrs. Mobley’s room, you already know about the heartfelt fundraiser that happened recently. If you’re not, you’ll appreciate the inspiring motivation of students Tessa Buhl and Andromeda Nerge. The girls had their minds set on helping children in Africa. So, Mrs. Mobley put them in touch with Mrs. Neumeister, a Lake Bluff resident and former MSLF parent, who volunteers for the Bududa Learning Center in Bududa in Uganda. Some of the children in Bududa are orphans and do not have many of the necessities and luxuries that we have here. Tessa and Andromeda collected first-aid kits, wind-up and solar-powered flashlights, and money from their classroom community to help the children in Bududa. Their collections will be personally delivered to Uganda by Mrs. Neumeister later this month. Your efforts will make such a difference…thank you, girls!
This year for Project Term at the Montessori School of Lake Forest Adolescent Program we have dedicated a lot of our time to raising money to improve the Adolescent Program. We have come up with the idea to raise money to renovate the kitchen floors in our school. Our kitchen floors have seen better days, and we believe that it is time to replace them. New flooring in our kitchen will not only be more appealing to look at, but will also help by keeping our kitchen a clean and healthy environment.
With every candle we sell, we are getting closer and closer to creating a better learning environment for the students and future students of the Adolescent Program.
Date - Tuesday, March 20
Time - 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Place - MSLF main campus (by the service entrance)
Thank you so much,
Courtney Liptay, Rachel George and Ela Boddicker, the New Floors project term group.
Sean Cullen, Camie Dudziak, and Giovanni Harold, harvest kale. Credit: Angela Morrey
More pictures are featured at Patch
Among the fields of already harvested kale and tomatoes, volunteers picked any leftovers that didn’t make the initial cut. This year they have gleaned 1,200 pounds of food for two local food pantries and a free farmers market.
Nearly three dozen volunteers have worked the fields of the Learning Farm and Sandhill Organics at Prairie Crossing.
On a recent day, three students from the nearby Montessori School of Lake Forest Adolescent Program combed the fields for kale left behind.
“Because of us, someone gets to eat a bit healthier food today,” said 14-year-old Sean Cullen of Gurnee.
The students and other volunteers washed and packed 100 pounds of kale and green tomatoes. This load is going to the free farmers market organized by Trinity AME Church and Manna Garden Initiative.
“It’s only a drop in the bucket,” said Roland Kuhl, who began the gleaning project with help from the Prairie Crossing Learning Farm. “But, it’s something and we know we’re making a difference.”
Kuhl said the fresh produce will go quickly and be distributed entirely within a few hours. Other days the loads are taken to the pantries.
90% of fresh produce at Avon Township’s Food Pantry is from the Prairie Crossing Learning Farm.
The Christian Outreach of Lutherans Food Pantry (COOL) in Waukegan also depends heavily on the gleaned goods.
“We really are so grateful for it,” said COOL Executive Director Diane Thackston. “When you’re on a limited budget you don’t usually spend money on produce. It’s unfortunate it costs more to eat healthy but it is such a treat to get the crops when we do.”
While this year’s crop was down from previous years due to the weather, the volunteers have been able to glean more than three tons of food for local pantries since the project began three years ago.
Gleaning is a Growing Project
The Gleaning project is an extension of Kuhl’s Ten Thousand Gardens, an initiative to help needy families eat and live healthier, and change their lifestyles from depending on processed foods.
Kuhl, the pastor of the North Suburban Mennonite Church in Libertyville wanted to encourage backyard gardeners to share excess produce with local food pantries. He turned to the Prairie Crossing Learning Farm for additional help.
“There is always a lot of produce left in the fields after it is harvested. It’s not worth it for the farmers to get the crops because maybe it is blemished or didn’t grow evenly, but it is still very edible,” explained Eric Carlberg, farm manager at Prairie Crossing Learning Farm.
Before getting into farming, Carlberg worked at a homeless shelter and said he struggled with ways to help people meet their basic needs. He wanted to help people become more self-sufficient.
Now, along with donating excess crops that is gleaned, each week farmers donate leftovers from the Prairie Crossing Farmers Market. In the spring they also distributed 4,500 seedlings, 75 pounds of seed potatoes and 286 seed packets.
Kuhl encourages everyone to help local pantries, even if they only have minimal produce or seedling to donate. “We’re just trying to get the idea across for people to start thinking about their neighbors,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do, and while this area is very wealthy we still have a high poverty rate.”
Kuhl said his goal is to get more farmers involved and more volunteers to glean and distribute the food.
To find out more about Ten Thousand Gardens, visit their website.
To learn about how to help with the gleaning initiative at Prairie Crossing Learning Farm, contact Erin Cummisford at email@example.com.
Last fall several of our Upper Elementary children created artwork to submit to Pentel’s 41st International Children’s Art Exhibition. More than 200,000 creations were sent to Japan from around the world. About 1,000 entries were received from the United States which won 122 awards. Recently, we were notified that two of our students’ entries have been selected from the U.S. Katie Bennett received a bronze award for her “Skiing on Snowy Hills” and Hailey Swisher’s “Morning in the Mountains” was honored with a Pentel award.
Please view copies of their certificates and artwork on the wall in the rotunda. Congratulations, Katie and Hailey!