"The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth."
Dr. Maria MontessoriCare of the environment and a wonderment and respect for the natural world are essential elements of a Montessori education. This is especially true for adolescents ages 12 through 15. These students have a heightened sense of social justice and purpose. They care deeply about issues affecting their communities and the world. They are physically strong and well suited to use their minds and their bodies to positively effect change.
Service is a part of the Montessori curriculum and students are encouraged to think about ways that they can preserve the earth’s resources while lessening their carbon footprints. From simple ideas such as reduced packaging, and taking only what one wants at breakfast, lunch, and snack times at school, children learn a respect for all that nature contributed to make their supplies and food possible. Students at Montessori are provided opportunities to join botany clubs, camp, recycle, tend gardens and orchards, and teach their peers about nutrition, wellness, and safe food handling practices. Montessori children have a voice in how their school can best be a good steward of the Earth. Most of our best ideas for green sustainable practices come from our students whose minds are open to endless possibilities.
The students pictured above chose to partner with a local gardener to grow four hundred potatoes so that each and every student at Garfield Montessori could experience harvesting, preparing, and eating a vegetable fresh from the earth. Our botany club has also sponsored special “tasting” days when they assist every class in preparing a food in a new way. You are invited to view our slide shows of squash tasting and venison chili day found under the wellness link on our homepage.
Being “green” is deeply embedded in the Montessori philosophy and we at Garfield Montessori continue to strive to find ways to adapt our current facilities to reflect those values. Our vision for the future includes a nature conservation classroom adjacent to a kitchen/farming facility where students can sell or donate produce raised in their gardens, orchards, and greenhouses. We hope to provide a conservation play area and walking trail that incorporates water conservation, native plants, and recycled materials. We invite you to partner with us in our vision, and we thank everyone in the Decatur community who has assisted and supported us.
Mrs. Mary Anderson