JMS NEWSLETTER

Casa II News

Casa 2 parents,

Please help me in welcoming Tyler to Casa 2 this week!  If you see his family around JMS, be sure to introduce yourselves so they begin to meet other parents.  Welcome, Tyler and family!  We look forward to getting to know each of you!

The busy month of December is upon us already.  That means only 16 more days (but who’s counting?) until the daylight hours begin to increase again!  I’m afraid we’ve officially entered the winter deep freeze… which means that the children will need hats, mittens, jackets, snow pants and boots every day now.  Even with the fluctuating temperatures, the children still need to be dressed appropriately for the cold weather.  If your child borrows a piece of clothing from the school, please be sure to return it the next day so that it is available for other children to use. 

Our feast last Tuesday was incredible!  The children came up with the menu and they all participated in supplying groceries, cleaning, cutting and cooking food, baking, setting the table, serving their friends and cleaning up afterward.  It was a very busy, but very memorable, couple of days in Casa 2!  The children chose the following menu: Chicken Noodle Soup with Vegetables, Sweet Potato Muffins, Fresh Fruit Salad, Corn, Homemade Pickles, Milk, Strawberry Water, and Mini Pumpkin Pies for dessert.  You could feel pride radiating from each child as they helped prepare each item!  Thank you to all families for helping provide the ingredients necessary for such a successful event.  Please take a look at the photos and notice the hard work and collective effort that the children put forth to provide this wonderful meal.  It is such a joy to see the children serving each other and offering to get each other “seconds.”  Lisa and I rarely stood up during the feast.  Every time someone commented that they would like some more of something, before we could even stand up another child had already went to get it for them.  Although the children had a great time, I know that Lisa and I did, too.  How precious it is to sit back and see the children taking care of one another out of the goodness of their hearts and without being asked.  We are so grateful to spend our days with your children!

Many of us take extra moments during this time of year to reflect back on all of the things we are grateful for: the good health of those around us, a warm home each night, delicious food on our tables, safe vehicles to get us from place to place.  The list goes on and on.  During our feast, the children shared what they are grateful for.  It was a very heartwarming conversation.  Children shared great ideas, from being thankful for men and women in the military to being thankful for their Frozen movie.  J  The other side of being grateful for all that we have is to also think about those people who do not have those wonderful blessings.  We began discussing all the ways we can help those in need. 

A few years ago, a child presented our class with a special gift: the gift of a goat.  A goat??  Yes, he purchased a goat to give to a family in honor of Casa 2!  He taught us about a very special organization called Heifer International.  This program accepts donations and helps provide families in need with animals and clean water to help build a successful future.  It empowers women to work and become self-sufficient in raising their children.  It educates each farmer with the knowledge they need to care for the animals they are given.  The organization also works to build sustainable farming communities to help end hunger. 

As adults, we are often asked to donate to various charities and organizations.  But the children don’t often take on a fundraiser that is solely “theirs.”  This week, we read a story called, “Beatrice’s Goat.”  This story introduces the many ways families are transformed when given the gift of an animal.  For example, a goat provides milk, which can be sold at the market, which raises money to buy clothing, food, and an education for children.  Beginning today, Casa 2 will be collecting money so that we can provide a family with a special gift this holiday season.  This is not a fundraiser that we are asking parents to participate in, as I know you’ve all done a lot already.  This is something that the staff and children in Casa 2 are excited to do together.  Before we depart for winter break, we will decide as a class what we should spend our collection on.  It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a difference. A flock of chicks ($20), honeybees ($30), rabbits ($60), or a goat ($120) are just a few of our options.  I remember how excited the children were when we did this fundraiser a few years ago, and how successful they were in providing a special gift to a family in need!  If your child asks permission to donate a few pennies, quarters or dollars… whatever they are able to give… please give them this opportunity to share and begin to learn what it feels like to make a difference.  JI encourage you to learn more at www.heifer.org

Our school was closed on Monday to allow for parent-teacher conferences.  Thank you to everyone who came in to discuss their child’s progress.  What a fantastic group of children and families we have!  Please remember that although we have scheduled conferences each fall and spring, we are always available to chat during the rest of the school year and can make time to meet with you any time there are concerns or questions.  Always email or call if there’s anything you want to discuss… and please don’t wait until spring conferences if there’s something we should talk about sooner.  I can easily be reached by email at tbender@jonathanmontessori.org or by calling the school at (952) 448-5232. 

I hope you are all able to enjoy the upcoming weeks.  I know there’s always a long list of “to-do’s,” but please don’t forget to relax and take time to appreciate it also.  For me, this month usually flies by and before I know it it’s already January and I’m not exactly sure where December went!  I’m going to slow down and enjoy this busy month, and I hope you can, too!

Safe travels as you go from place to place this winter season!  Remember that we will follow the Eastern Carver County school district for any closing due to inclement weather, but will remain open if the district closes due to cold temperatures.  Most importantly, remember that YOU are always able to make the right choice for your family.  If travel seems too risky, please make the choice to stay home if that is what you are most comfortable with.  I’m hoping that we will be rewarded for surviving last winter with warm temps, dry roads and little snowfall all winter long! 

Respectfully,

Taryn and Lisa, Casa 2