With our theme for the year of Service and Stewardship in mind, we have cultivated a list of opportunities to serve the greater Baltimore community on MLK Day. Below, you will find a list of local service opportunities to help connect your family to meaningful opportunities.
Civic Works – Current parent Dana Stein’s “urban peace corps” non-profit in Baltimore City that has hosted MLK Day service projects since at least 2002. Monday, January 21, 2019 8:30am-12:00pm (Rain or Shine) Volunteer with Civic Works’ Real Food Farm, Community Lot Team, and Elder Services teams! Join us as we focus on creating access to safe spaces and green spaces. https://civicworks.com/programs/mlk-day-service/
A variety of projects for all ages (3 months+) including singing with senior citizens, packing “blessing bags” for the homeless, serving meals to the hungry, acting as a camp counselor, and community clean ups.
A range of family-friendly service opportunities for ages 5 to 105. The activities help with food security, community development, public health, and support the morale of service members. There will be 18 on-site and a couple of off-site activities. Free child care is available from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
Other Opportunities: Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture – MLK Day Celebration Monday, January 21, 2019
$5 – Celebrate the holiday with musical performances, theater readings, a book discussion with Dr. King’s barber, films and craft activities for the family. Kaiser Permanente will provide an array of resource services for the community including free health screenings.
Kimberly Zerfas is the Director of Marketing & Communications at Greenspring Montessori School. A graduate of the Publications Design M.A. program at the University of Baltimore, Kim loves combining words and images to tell our unique story. She loves creative problem-solving, designing and writing materials that convey in-depth information in new and interesting ways. Learn more about Kim.
Greenspring Montessori staff recently underwent training in how to respond in the event of an active shooter on a school campus. We would like to share a basic overview of the strategies covered during our training, especially because they are counter to what some of us have learned in the past. These are the guidelines being taught by Homeland Security and local law enforcement agencies.
If you can evacuate the building, do so even if this involves jumping from a second story window. An active shooter has a 70% hit rate when targets are stationary. So even if a shooter is nearby, do not hide – RUN.
If it is not possible to evacuate, barricade the door to the room you are in with furniture and anything you can find. If possible, attach a belt to the doorknob so that the door cannot be opened easily. Shooters will often pass by rooms that cannot be easily accessed.
BE ACTIVE, NOT PASSIVE
If an active shooter is in the room with you, throw objects at the shooter. The shooter’s aim and concentration will be interrupted, which will save lives.
Are you interested in attending a parent training on this topic? If enough parents express interest, we are happy to bring our trainer back to share this information with our parent community. We would need to hold this session on a weekend when students are not on campus. Please email Margaret at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending a training session.
Margaret Jarrell has a long history with Greenspring Montessori School and she currently provides Administrative Support. Margaret taught for more than a decade, most recently for five years in our own Lower Elementary Program, prior to taking on the role of Director of Admissions. In 2015, she, her husband, and her newborn daughter moved to Florida after her husband received a wonderful employment opportunity. We were so sad to see her go, so eventually, we worked out a way for Margaret to work part-time remotely. She now turns her considerable expertise to support administrative staff, guides, parents, and prospective families. Learn more about Margaret.
The ability to concentrate and focus is at the core of satisfying and successful experiences in many aspects of life. As adults we need to attend to what we’re doing, whether it be the details of a graph we’re explaining at a meeting, the particulars of a recipe, or the art of active listening to the people we engage with every day. This ability has many new challenges in times we live in. Children must be equipped with the ability to concentrate and Montessori education does so much to address this need.
While concentration at the Children’s House level often looks like a student sitting alone with her work, engrossed in the task at hand, successful concentration looks a little different for the Elementary and Adolescent Community student. The Elementary child must learn to work collaboratively with others. This partner and group work means the child will be engrossed in their work, stop to talk to a friend for a few minutes, and then continue working. The ability to be interrupted and return to focused work is an incredible asset as an adult and the Montessori student practices this skill throughout the work cycle as he or she interacts with classmates during work and participates in lessons.
Similar to the Elementary student, the Adolescent Community student often works on projects in groups. Concentration for Elementary and Adolescent Community students means fully engaging in the projects and work. This is done when enough choice is given so that students can take ownership and invest in their work. In contrast, when everyone is given the same thing to do, some students will inevitably be more invested than others. However, students who are invited to choose within a particular assignment or project, tend to focus more because they are more engaged. Students are also focused when the work is challenging, but not so challenging that they give up.
The ability to focus on the present moment and attend to one’s work is challenging given the busy lives children lead, as well as the distraction of so many pinging and buzzing devices. At Greenspring, we support the students’ ability to concentrate with frequent opportunities for self-reflection that are built into the day. In Lower and Upper Elementary as well as Adolescent Community, students reflect on best practices after each work period, and often write in their work log about the work cycle. The process of reflection offers many insights into the child’s experience. Studies show that regular mindfulness-focused activities support concentration.
Challenge yourself to stand back and observe your child the next time he or she is focused on a project. This could be as simple as tying a shoe or as complex as building a Lego invention. See how long they are able to work independently to overcome the challenge and resist the overwhelming urge to swoop in and help. Be mindful of how often you are drawn to ask questions, fix the perceived problem, or otherwise distract from this process. A child’s ability to concentrate is a beautiful thing to observe!
This spring, students at Greenspring Montessori School have been busy in music enrichment!
After learning Hot Cross Buns on the piano, the upper elementary class was challenged to figure out how to play the song with glasses! They found all of the correct pitches by ear, and worked together to figure out exactly how much water each glass needed.
The Lower Elementary classes took out children’s books from the library and were given the challenge of telling the story through music. Some students added sound effects to their story while others morphed their story into a song!
For 5 years now, Greenspring Montessori has been playing in the Baltimore Athletic Conference in various sports competitions with other area independent schools. Our flagship team was a result of a student/parent effort to bring the opportunity of interscholastic competition to Greenspring. With a good handful of players and a tremendous parent coach, Greeenspring Mustangs came on the scene with a boys basketball team!
The final sprint at a cross-country meet in the fall
Since that start, we have continued to grow the opportunity – sport by sport and season by season – to today’s co-ed basketball, soccer, cross-country, and track teams. Our teams compete with other co-ed, boys, or girls teams year-round and bring the challenge, excitement, and fun to our community throughout the school year.
The annual Students vs. Parents soccer game
Our players are made up of the girls and boys from our Adolescent and Upper Elementary Communities. We begin in the fall with a soccer team and a cross-country team, with some athletes participating in both! This season, we played 9 games against 7 different schools highlighted by all-around individual and team growth. The icing on the cake was a final game victory over the parent/staff team!
In November our students move from the fields to the gym for basketball. This year our team is made up of 4 boys, 3 girls, and endless energy and work ethic. We hope you get the chance to come to a home game and cheer us on!
In the spring, we take up track and travel to new venues for meets with multiple other schools. In past years, many students have taken this opportunity to try something completely new, as the format of the track meets is teaching first, competition second. A student can come to a meet and watch, or compete in any or all of the 8 events. Athletics at Greenspring Montessori School is fun for all!