W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
March 9, 2016
In this Issue

Upcoming Events

March 11
All-Staff Professional Day
No child-care available

March 14-18
Spirit Week
Help our sixth-graders raise funds for Room to Read
Learn More

March 21-24
Spring Break
Pre-registered child-care available, along with Spring Break Camps

March 25
Building Closed
No school or child-care.

March 28
No School. Pre-registered child-care available

March 29
Parent Education Webinar: Standardized Testing 
7:30 p.m., Online
Register Now
Message from Head of School
Lisa A. Lalama
Read more from Lisa on our Montessori Message blog.

Each year, our sixth-grade students sponsor Spirit Week, a week-long opportunity for our entire community to participate in enjoyable activities while helping people in need. As you know, the sixth-graders go to New York City each fall and attend the Global Citizenship Action Project (GCAP). During their time there they learn about several NGOs (non-governmental organizations) to the United Nations. This year they have chosen to raise money and awareness for Room to Read, an organization that works to develop literacy skills in children in Asia and Africa. Learn more about their trip and decision to support Room to Read in the article below.

Next week be prepared for your child to ask you to help them with their crazy hair, pajamas, matching outfit for their "twin" among other things. This is a week that our community looks forward to - a week that unites us in fun as it heightens our awareness of global concerns and organizations that address those concerns. 

The WMS mission statement says, "We empower children to be knowledgeable and responsible contributors to the global community." Central to the Montessori pedagogy is a commitment to learning about and caring for our world. Maria Montessori's curriculum introduces the world and its beginnings to elementary students through the Great Lessons, then focuses on the work of helping each child find his or her place in the world. Though these concepts are not widely known in these terms outside of Montessori education, they are embraced and shared in 21st-century skills such as global awareness and cultural literacy. 

While it may seem that Spirit Week does not have much to do with learning about our world, please look a bit more closely this coming week. Your children will experience far more than their crazy hair or dressing like a friend. They will expand their understanding of those throughout our world who are similar in so many ways and yet experience life much differently than we do. They will learn more about the world in which we live as well as how they can make an impact to create change.

Global Citizenship & Spirit Weekspiritweek
by Sixth-Graders Marina Gannon and Ava Walsh

On Sunday, October 18, 2015, Wilmington Montessori School's sixth-grade class made the long trek to New York City to take part in the annual Global Citizenship Action Project (GCAP) conference.

We begin our four-day adventure by attending a presentation by
Chris Bashinelli called Bridge the Gap. He talked about ways to make sure people understand what life is like in other parts of the world, and we did a group activity during which we imagined that the world was a village of 100 people. 

While we were at GCAP, we listened to presentations by nine different non-governmental organizations (NGOs). They shared information about their great organizations so that we could learn how to become better global citizens and maybe start our own NGOs someday. The presentations were all so inspiring that we couldn't wait to make our own impact on the world. Each year, GCAP participants from Montessori schools throughout the world select an NGO to support. This year, the majority of GCAP participants voted to support Save the Rain. However, as an individual school, we decided that we feel strongly about supporting another organization called Room to ReadRoom to Read brings the power of knowledge to kids in other places who otherwise would not get a high-quality education. They build schools and hire teachers from the local village, but their main goal is to provide the gift of reading. Did you know that approximately 80% of students in South Africa don't have access to a library? Room to Read wants to change that. They build libraries in schools and bring in books written in the local language. They also publish books written by the people of these small villages. We are proud to be supporting such a powerful organization and hope we can raise awareness about this amazing cause during Spirit Week!

On our trip to New York City, we also visited the United Nations. During our 80-minute tour, we learned why the UN was founded and what its purpose is. We enjoyed lunch at the Delegates Dining Room where we got to taste authentic cuisine from the UN member countries. We also visited the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cyprus. Here, we learned basic information about Cyprus and some of its biggest challenges. We especially enjoyed speaking to a native Cypriot who shared views on how the people of Cyprus feel about these problems.

One of the best experiences of our trip was when we saw Matilda on Broadway. It was a whimsical performance based on the spectacular book by Roald Dahl - we remembered the songs and sang them for days! Another amazing experience was when we ordered cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery. They had an array of colorful, well-decorated and yummy cupcakes and other treats. We also loved visiting M&M's World in Times Square. It was a truly magical store with its many floors of M&M trinkets such as T-shirts and stuffed animals - not to mention the many different M&Ms in all shapes and colors.

In the end, this was one of  the greatest trips we have ever experienced, and we will remember and treasure it for years to come. We are all so happy to have gotten the fantastic opportunity to visit one of the greatest cities in the entire world. We learned so much about ourselves and about being better people, and we loved every minute of it. If we could do it all over again, we wouldn't change a thing. We wish all kids got this spectacular opportunity to learn about the world.
Spirit Week
Next week is Spirit Week! We will be raising awareness and funds for Room to Read through a variety of themed days.

Here is the schedule:

Monday, 3/14 - PJs & Stuffed Animal Day
Tuesday, 3/15 - Twin Day
Wednesday, 3/16 - Clash & Crazy Hair Day 
Thursday, 3/17 - Favorite Character Day
Friday, 3/18 - Career Day 

Suggested donation for participants: $5
Co-op Cornercoop
At-Home Auction Co-op Job
The Auction Committee is looking for someone to make the bidding paddles to be used on the night of the auction. This is a simple task that could easily be done at home. Supplies and detailed instructions will be provided. If you are interested, please contact Lori Oberly at co-op@wmsde.org.
Meerkat Milers Water Station Help
Would you like to earn co-op hours and also know you are helping the Meerkat Milers (the WMS marathon team) stay well-hydrated? We are looking for people to assist with the water station in advance of and on the day of the Delaware Marathon  (May 8). This is a simple way to contribute to the success of the WMS runners - both children and adults - and know you are fulfilling your Co-op obligation. Your volunteer efforts will be greatly appreciated! For more information, contact co-op@wmsde.org.
News & NotesNews
Odyssey of the Mind News

Congratulations to all of the WMS teams that competed in the River Regional Odyssey of the Mind tournament last weekend. Our "Something Fishy" Division 1 team placed second in its problem/division, earning an invitation to the state competition in April. 

Good luck to the sixth-grade team that will be competing in the regional division 2/3 tournament this weekend at Brandywine High School.

Go Meerkats! 
Spring Soccer

Soccer Shots (for ages 4-6) will return this spring for eight after-school sessions on Fridays (April 1-May 27)!
Spring Break

What are your 5- to 13-year-olds doing over Spring Break? On top of our regular child-care program, we've got three half-day mini-camps in nature, art, games, sewing and Star Wars LEGO.

Camp Early Registration Deadline - March 31

The hands of the clock keep spinning, and there are only three weeks left to get the 10% Early Registration discount for Camp Montessori!  There's something for everyone, and it's all at www.wmsde.org/camp.
Steel Drums - Fall 2015
WMS Steel Drums Ensemble Spring 2016
 Fridays, 4-4:45 p.m.
For Grades 3-6

Session 2: Six weeks - $180
Fridays April 8, 15, 22 & 29, May 13 and Thursday, May 19

Performance at the 9-12 Spring Concert

Musician, composer and teacher Joe Ambrosino brings his talents back to WMS for another season!
To register by credit card, go to www.wmsde.org/afterschoolspecialsTo register by check, please submit payment to Cass Winner. 

Beginners welcome!

Auction Update: Gifts & Sponsorships

The WMS Auction and Gala will be here in just over a month! 

If you are interested in donating an item, becoming a sponsor or know someone who would, please contact Lori Oberly at Lori_Oberly@wmsde.org

All proceeds from the auction benefit the students at WMS.

Stay tuned for more detailed auction information in the next few weeks.

Today's LearnersLearner
Why Make?
by STEAM Coach Paula A. Sharpe
"Making is fundamental to what it means to be human. We must make, create and express ourselves to feel whole. There is something unique about making physical things. Things we make are like little pieces of us and seem to embody portions of our soul." 
-Mark Hatch, The Maker Movement Manifesto

Making is an important part of our lives. Some of us may knit, cook, woodwork or
 sew. These hobbies bring joy, happiness and sometimes a bit of stress relief to our hectic lives. Making is fundamental to our lives as adults, but why is it important in the lives of children? Why do children need to make?

In our Maker (STEAM) Studios, we do
 lots of making, and these creations help the child in so many ways:
  • Making allows children to practice their fine motor skills, whether they are cutting paper or sawing wood, threading beads or sculpting clay. Making allows for bilateral coordination when children are coloring or drawing, and good bilateral coordination development helps children when they are learning to read and write.
  • Making also allows children to practice self-regulation, especially when they cannot take their creations home right away or it takes a few weeks to finish a project. This is an important skill for even the older students to practice. 
  • Making can boost a child's self-esteem. Taking the time and courage to push yourself, try something new, and make something instills a strong sense of self-fulfillment and pride in all children. And, it does take courage to try something truly new. 
  • Making allows children to take an idea and make it come to life. The 9-12 students learned this when we created blueprints for a Little Library and then worked with our facilities crew to build the actual structure. We went over plans, adjusted our designs and created something for our school community.  Making allows children to have a personal connection to their learning, and when this happens learning is retained. 
  • Making is just fun. When children are having fun and feel relaxed while learning about a challenging concept, they are more likely to recall what they learned at a later time. Studies show that when children are stressed, learning is not going to occur. 
  • Finally, making allows children to express their creativity. Whether they are building with Picasso Tiles, construction paper or clay, they have the freedom to create and make, and that is powerful. It may not look like much to an adult, but to a child, it is his or her own amazing creation.
In our Maker Studios we make things based on different developmental levels. From painting in the Toddler studios, to making drums in the Primary studios, to programming computers to make geometric shapes using Turtle Art, all of our projects are important to the development of the "whole child."

Tomorrow's Leadersleaders
Alumni Spotlight: Beatrice Lintner, WMS Class of 2012
Beatrice Lintner, who graduated from WMS in 2012, always enjoyed her time in specials classes. It is here that she began to develop a passion for music and art that has become even stronger in the subsequent years. 

"The year after I left WMS, I started to play the cello," Beatrice says. "Four and a half years later, music has become the most important thing in my life."

Now a junior at The Tatnall School, Beatrice takes lessons every week and performs with the Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra and a string quartet. She has also recently fallen in love with visual arts and won a gold key for a pastel drawing in the 2016 Delaware Regional Scholastic Art Awards.  
One of Beatrice's most memorable experiences at WMS was when a classmate convinced her to become a vegetarian in second grade (she is still one today)! She also fondly remembers all of the wonderful time she spent outdoors, exploring WMS's woods and relaxing on the playgrounds.

"Nothing in my life has impacted me as much as WMS did," Beatrice says. "The freedom to create anything and pursue whatever I wanted was incredibly amazing, and I am so grateful. I now legitimately love learning and try to keep the values of grace and courtesy with me at all times. I look back at my time at Montessori as the most formative period of my life."
The Wednesday Weekly shares WMS news and events that are relevant to the families in our community.  

Please send submissions to wednesday-weekly@wmsde.org by 4:30 p.m. on the Friday prior to the issue in which you wish to include your information. Content may be edited for length  and style and may be held for a future issue due to space constraints.  

For more information, contact Noel Dietrich, Director of Communications.

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