Villa Montessori Students Focus on Global Awareness and Community Service During Holiday Season
This holiday season, Villa Montessori students and staff members refuse to let COVID-19 steal their holiday joy. As 2020 draws to a close, our school has several special events planned for the month of December that will help students discover more about the holidays on a global level – while also teaching the importance of assisting neighbors in need.
Utilizing a global perspective is an integral part of the Montessori curriculum. This will be further explored throughout the month of December as our students learn how other cultures and religions celebrate winter holidays, be it Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah. Just as holiday traditions vary from household to household, so too do the celebrations of Christmas across the globe. The children were fascinated to learn that some countries don’t hang stockings but rather put their shoes by the fireplace or even outside the front door in hopes of getting special treats.
With Hanukkah just beginning, the children are currently learning what a menorah is and what the seven lights represent. The children made dreidels and are also learning about the traditional foods that are served during Hanukkah.
One of the festive Reggio activities the students will undertake this month is building a winter holiday villageout of gingerbread/graham crackers. Students have already begun this exciting project and the classroom villages are taking shape and being displayed in the hallways for all to enjoy. Each child has the opportunity to express their creativity by building their own house, vehicle, or even a barn! Every age group from our youngest of 12 months to our oldest of 12 years has been happily working with icing and candies to decorate their holiday masterpiece.
Another important component of the Montessori curriculum is the focus on philanthropy and helping community members in need. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought financial hardship to many families here in Northern Virginia. To that end, Villa Montessori is conducting a holiday food drive to support Loudon Hunger Relief from December 9-30. Through their efforts, our students will learn the importance of giving back to those experiencing food insecurity here in Loudoun County due to illness, layoffs or other financial hardship. The school’s food drive is for school families only to maintain social distancing protocols; however, you can make food and/or monetary donations via LHR’s website at https://www.loudounhunger.org. Items that are especially needed include grocery gift cards, dry goods such as dry beans and cereal, fresh fruit and vegetables, canned meats and hearty soups, cooking oil, peanut butter and jams, baby food, as well as hygiene items such as shampoo, conditioner, baby wipes, and diapers.
As the year concludes, we are very mindful of our blessings and are so grateful for the amazing administrators, teachers, students and their families who make up our extended Villa Montessori family. We wish all of you the happiest of holidays and look forward to reaching many new academic heights together in the year ahead!