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One Student’s Amazing UNICEF Experience

Thank you for giving the opportunity for Dylan to participate in the recent UNICEF activity.  Dylan raised a total of $141.00 by himself!  He shared the information he had learned about UNICEF with me and immediately asked if we could begin that very day.  He was serious and concerned about raising money “for the children.”  After careful thought and consideration, he decided he wanted to raise enough money to help vaccinate 200 children ($60.)

I took him to Target after school, the very day he received his UNICEF box.  On the way to Target, we practiced his introduction and approach.  He approached strangers with confidence.  He began with “Excuse me!  My name is Dylan.  Would you like to donate to UNICEF?”  He would then show potential donors what their contributions could provide for children who “didn’t have anything.”  Often, various conversations would begin.  Donors would ask Dylan which UNICEF effort was most important to him.  He quickly responded with “the shots!”  Our forty-five minute trip to Target resulted in contributions totaling $60.00.  We are proud of Dylan and were surprised to learn he earned so much in such a short time.

The following day, Dylan decided he needed to raise more money.  After all, how would the medication reach the children if they didn’t have a bike!  He also decided that a soccer ball or two would be important to the children and would make them feel better after their shots.  Unfortunately, that day we both had our appointment with the allergist and were scheduled for a series of shots from 8:15am -2:30pm.  While in the waiting room, Dylan wasted no time in approaching patients in the waiting room with success.  Once our names were called and the series of shots began, through his tears, he asked the nurse if she wanted to donate to UNICEF. She promised she would check her purse and see if she had any change.  He replied “OK.”  Several minutes later to our surprise, several staff members entered our room and took turns placing their donations in Dylan’s box- he lit up like a Christmas tree!  They praised him for his efforts and wished him well.

Halloween did not stop Dylan from asking for donations.  Once again, we visited Target, then Party City and were successful at Target.  We, then had lunch at McDonald’s where he also received donations from patrons.  On Saturday, Dylan went to Costco with his dad where he received several donations.  He took a break on Sunday.

On Monday after our Tate Farm Field Trip, we went to McDonald’s for lunch and once again, Dylan took his UNICEF box.  Afterwards, we visited Starbucks where he was very successful.  Knowing today was the last day he had to reach his new goal of $140 (100 vaccinations, bike and 2 soccer balls) he asked if we could return to Target, which we did as well as approached several shoppers walking to and from various shops along the way.  Before heading home he asked if we could make one last stop at Walmart, which is by our home.  We did, which resulted in Dylan surpassing his goal.  Dylan raised $141.00.

I wanted to share this story about our son and his efforts as we are obviously very, very proud of him.  He knew there would be no reward for raising money and he was not promised anything in return.  He chose to spend his time to help children he will never know.  He was nervous and a little “scared” each and every time he approached donors and even turned down (sometimes rudely) a few times, but he never gave up…

This was a great learning experience for Dylan which we feel has boosted his confidence and has allowed him to be part of something greater than himself.  What was surprising to us were the compliments he received, especially from the “twenty-somethings” who shook his hand and told him what a wonderful thing he was doing for children around the world.  We had great conversations because of this experience and are certain it has impacted him in many ways.

Cindy and Chad M.

[Dylan will be happy to know that MHS’s Trick or Treat for UNICEF raised over $400 total and the Elementary I class will be considering his request as they decide how to allocate their funds.  Stay tuned to see Ms. McCollum’s blog entry later in the month.]

November 18, 2014 3:26 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off on One Student’s Amazing UNICEF Experience

Toddler II

We hope everyone is enjoying the nice fall weather! We are also enjoying
playing outside with colorful leaves. The children are really curious about different leaves. Also a few of them are really interested in observing various bugs. We have now a bug-watching container. Thanks to the Arthur family (Sloan) & Park family (Mason) who donated materials from the Small Hands catalog. The children are enjoying these so much. They always like new or different things to explore. Last week we celebrated Diwali and kids loved the different Diyas (oil lamps). We always try to explore new work in fun way. We also started compost for our garden. Their social development is really noticeable, such as helping others or comforting a friend when he/she is sad. It is a real pleasure to watch the toddlers growing and becoming complete human beings.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Toddler-II Teachers
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November 10, 2014 4:17 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off on Toddler II

Primary III — Ms. Shree, Ms. Kelly, & Ms. Verena

In October, we enjoyed learning about the difference between nocturnal and diurnal animals. We learned about the continent of South America and its countries. Kids had fun learning about pumpkins, taking the seeds out of pumpkin and counting them. At the end, we toasted the seeds and tasted them. Our fall festival was a great success. Kids enjoyed making chili and had fun with activities in the evening. The field trip to Tate Farms pumpkin patch was really fun. A big thank you to Eden, Millie, Natalie, Harper, Lilli, and Dylan, and their parents for all the Small Hands gifts. Thank you very much for all the children for collecting money for UNICEF.
In November, we will study the history of Thanksgiving and what Thanksgiving means to us. Also, we will learn about the leaves and why they change color in fall. We will also learn about the continent of Asia. We will celebrate ‘Diwali’, the festival o f lights, on November 12. We will have our Thanksgiving feast on Tuesday November 25 in our class room. Happy Thanksgiving!



November 7, 2014 7:23 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off on Primary III — Ms. Shree, Ms. Kelly, & Ms. Verena

MSH Book Club Lunch and Learn

Please join us for an open discussion of Richard Louv’s book, “Last Child in the Woods” November 13th at noon at the Huntsville-Madison Public Library at 915 Monroe St..  We will welcome guests from the Land Trust, Huntsville Botanical Gardens, Operation Green Team and Burritt on the Mountain to participate in our discussion as well as a few of our Montessori teachers. Lunch will be provided by 1892 East. Space is limited so reserve your spot today by emailing your RSVP to  You will receive a confirmation email.  You do not need to have read the book to participate in this discussion, just care about the growth and development of children.  We look forward to seeing you there!

October 30, 2014 3:53 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off on MSH Book Club Lunch and Learn

Ms. Kathy’s Music Classes

Our full school music program is going so beautifully!  I can hardly remember a smoother fall with all the classes, and that’s from 1996 till now!

The toddler classes are following directions, using instruments correctly, doing movement activities, singing a bit on most songs–a huge development–and keeping a steady beat. We’ve been doing body awareness activities, finger play, and rhythmic development. Every class is delightful!

Preprimary classes are using sticks, bells, chickitas, and resonator bars. They’re singing with me on every song, mostly on pitch, which is a focus at their ages. We’re continuing rhythmic and vocal development, and doing many seasonal songs. I’m pleased with their progress.
We divided kindergarteners into two music classes so everyone could sit across from me on the rug and see my glockenspiel. We’re learning high and low on the glock, and also reading the notes we’re using. After fall break the students surprised me by being ready to play melodies in addition to their usual steady beat on chord tones!  That’s about 3 months ahead of time. Terrific progress!
Lower elementary students are doing beautifully on their dulcimers, and love being able to play along as they’re singing!  I’m so happy they’re enjoying that, and we’re busily adding more songs every week.
Our new program, the upper elementary ukuleles, has proved to be hugely popular, and we’re moving very quickly now. The students tune their instruments with the digital tuner, I come in and check their tuning, and we’re ready to play new notes in under 5 minutes from the time I come into the room!  We’ve learned some strumming techniques, the terminology and basic principles of string instruments, and all the notes and fingerings of the pentatonic and the C scales. We’ve chorded some songs and played all the melody notes of others.  I’m extremely pleased with the various levels of musical development we’re able to learn through this instrument.
You’re invited to visit music classes, and I welcome your questions and feedback.
October 27, 2014 5:07 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off on Ms. Kathy’s Music Classes