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GOODNESS, WE’RE DOING A LOT OF GREAT THINGS IN THE WORLD.

MSD Surpasses Penny Harvest Goal!
Students and families at MSD collected over 175,000 pennies for the Penny Harvest program!
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After weeks of collecting pennies, the final piggy bank has been raided and the last coin has been pried from amidst the lint and gum in a small child’s pocket. The final totals are quite impressive. The students and families at MSD collected $1750.00 for the Penny Harvest program. That’s over 175,000 pennies! When the program first started in October, the school-wide goal was to collect 25 bags of pennies. Each bag holds $50.00 and weighs approximately 30 pounds. MSD collected a total of 35 bags – beating our goal by 10 full bags! The next phase of the program starts in January. The MSD Penny Harvest board, which is comprised of student representatives from grades two through six, will meet twice a month to research a variety of charities. The charities will actually make presentations to the student board so they understand how the charities use the money that is donated. Our Penny Harvest board members have taken their jobs seriously so far, so we know that the vetting of charities will be no different.
Once the board determines which charities will receive part of the $1750, an official check presentation will be made at a future Community Gathering. Until then, the Penny Harvest board members will be hard at work deciding which charities should benefit from our community’s generosity. Way to shine, MSD!
 
Announcing the Kick-off of the Penny Harvest!
This year, our all school Do Good project is in partnership with the Penny Harvest and the Young Philanthropist Foundation!
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The Penny Harvest is the largest child philanthropy program in the United States. The Harvest grew from the desire of one child (the founder’s daughter) to feed the homeless, and for the last 15 years, thousands of children between the ages of four and 14 have been collecting pennies and turning those pennies into grants for community groups. Every penny our children collect will be ours to give away. The Young Philanthropist Foundation covers all material and administrative fees for the Harvest, enabling the funds to go directly to the community groups our MSD students will select.
This Do-Good project will have three phases over the course of the school year.
Phase I: Gathering Pennies
Over the past two weeks the Lower and Upper Elementary classrooms have selected Penny Harvest Student Leaders, who will serve as our Penny Harvest Board. The Board represents their constituents, all of the MSD students from Toddler through Sixth Grade. Once each of the classrooms decides on the causes that they would like to help, the Board’s job is to vet community groups or foundations that support those particular causes.
On Monday, October 17, we kicked off the Penny Harvest project at our Community Gathering. All 14 Penny Harvest Student Leaders presented the project to the students and showed the community how easy it is to find change. On Friday, October 21, we will send home a Penny Harvest bag for each student to use to collect change. We will collect pennies from now until Friday, December 2. Each classroom will have a large jar that students can add to as their own collection grows. Once we put all of our jars together, it will be amazing to see how much we have collected!
Phase II: Make Grants
Once we have collected all the coins on December 2, the Penny Harvest Board will convene again and meet once a week for roundtable meetings under the direction of our Faculty Leaders, Min Chu and Peggy Donohoe. The Student Leaders will identify and prioritize community needs based on the causes the classrooms are most interested in supporting, research groups and visit local organizations to make the tough decisions on how our Penny Harvest funds can best make a difference in our community and globally. Once organizations have been vetted and selected by the Student Leaders, we will present funding checks at an end of the school year Community Gathering.
Phase III: Take Action
Collecting pennies is only part of this Do Good project. To further the impact of our funding grants, we will also participate in a hands on service learning project in the spring that will let us all put our words and deeds into meaningful action.
MSD and the Young Philanthropist Foundation both believe that philanthropy is anything you do to make the world a better place. We are excited to have found this wonderful organization to partner with the MSD students, parents, and staff to fulfill a very important part of our mission. 
 
MSD Partnership with the Denver Zoo!
This year MSD looks forward to an exciting new partnership with the Denver Zoo!
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One of the hallmarks of MSD is our commitment to engage in meaningful all school projects that provide wonderful integration points for curriculum, experiential learning, parent education, and service learning. This year, using our experience from last year’s Freedom to Roam project, we are excited to explore a new partnership with the Denver Zoo.  We look forward to sharing our experiences throughout the school year!
 
Global Do-Gooders at Our Best!
MSD partners up with the Freedom to Roam organization to study migration.
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This year, MSD has partnered up with the Freedom to Roam organization. Freedom to Roam is a coalition of the best in business, government and conservation to raise awareness and commitment about the need for wildlife corridor conservation while setting new and innovative industry standards for wildlife friendly practices on the ground and in the water. Freedom to Roam’s goal is to ensure the long-term survival of North America’s wildlife by conserving essential wildlife corridors so animals can continue to roam. By making connectivity a top environmental issue and by engaging business to play a critical role in conserving wildlife corridors, Freedom to Roam creates conditions necessary for the success of corridor habitat conservation projects across North America.
This year migration takes center stage as the hub of student learning. Migration ranks as one of the world’s and nature’s most visible and widespread wonders. Every minute of every day, somewhere, some place, animals and people are on the move. In the animal kingdom, migrants span from whales and terns to dragonflies and crabs. Different species migrate for different reasons. Some set off on their journeys to find food, while others set off to reach their breeding grounds. Others abandon the environment where they were born when living conditions change. In human populations there are reasons for migration from economic, political, marital, and tradition. This MSD “learning lens” allows students to connect their learning in a more meaningful way and thread disciplines of science, culture, language, math as well as specials and service. The latest research on the human brain indicates that the brain searches for meaning and patterns; an integrated curriculum experience leads to quicker and easier recall, stronger skills application, integrated knowledge base, greater depth and breadth of learning, and more ability to explore. MSD students feel engaged with their learning as they make connections across disciplines and with the world outside the classroom.
The global economy, technological advances, and expanded mobility and networking have led to an increasingly interdependent world. MSD has the opportunity to educate students to become leaders in this new global environment; our students experience an education that offers diverse and integrated knowledge through meaningful experiences, cultivating relevant skills for the 21st century. Our school mission seeks to empower our students, as well as our whole community to reach its full potential and be solution seekers, innovators, partners and “global do-gooders.” Our curriculum in turn prepares students to think critically and creatively through subject integration and connected patterns across subject disciplines. In the MSD learning environment, ideas are taught in concert throughout various subject areas and tied to field trips, and service.
Check out the Freedom to Roam website to learn more!
 
Montessori School of Denver Supports Project C.U.R.E.
MSD is a school of Global Do-Gooders. Our spring Service Learning project is supporting Project C.U.R.E. with C.U.R.E. Kits for Kids
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Montessori School of Denver is excited to announce our spring Service Learning project for 2010! This year, we are partnering with Full Circle, a group of MSD Parents creating a school-based model of philanthropy where students and families connect with communities around the world to see their giving come full circle. Full Circle and MSD are collaborating with Project C.U.R.E., a Denver-based non-profit and the world’s largest distributor of donated medical supplies to the developing world.
Working together MSD families will create C.U.R.E. Kits for Kids, shoebox-sized kits packed with everyday medical supplies, such as band-aids, pain reliever, and burn lotion. The kits can be filled for about $10 at the dollar store (depending upon which items you purchase), plus $5 for shipping costs.  Completed kits will be distributed to families in Belize who live on about $1/day and can’t afford the most basic medical care. What an exciting way to get your family together and learn about poverty, medical supplies, service to others, and generosity!
MSD has committed to filling 200 C.U.R.E. Kits this spring.  The collected kits will be delivered to the Project C.U.R.E. warehouse in preparation for shipment. The Full Circle team will travel to Belize in the fall to deliver the kits directly to the families in need creating a video documentary of the entire process!  Upon their return from Belize, we will present the video for all families and students so they can see how their donations came full circle!
Click here for more information on Project C.U.R.E.
 
Montessori School of Denver Participates in the 20/20 Challenge Program
MSD is a small school committed to making a big difference in the world. So we are proud to be a participant in a national 20/20 Challenge Program.
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MSD is a small school committed to making a big difference in the world. So we are proud to be a participant in a national 20/20 Challenge Program.  It is based on J.F. Rischard’s book 20/20: 20 Global Problems and 20 Years To Solve Them. This project, coordinated through the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) pairs schools in the US with schools globally to work on solutions for global issues, helping to teach students to become leaders in the interconnected world. The Challenge 20/20 Program provides an opportunity for schools to develop globally-based, experiential curricula and to build educational partnerships with schools around the world, while students create bonds children of different cultures. Together, the teams tackle real problems. Our Upper Elementary students are working on a social network with students from Zambia on issues of infectious disease and malaria. MSD students over the past two years, in collaboration with their peers in Zambia, have developed a new type of malaria net that is more efficient and usable for children under age five. The new net is patent pending and the students are learning about social entrepreneurship to raise money to create more nets and supply materials for their partners in Zambia.
Each year MSD students also collectively study a number of the continents.  This year, the study is focused on Asia, Antarctica, and Australia.
Here are some ways that MSD students are currently experiencing Asia:
Taiko Drumming Presentation
Asian Masquerade Ball
Moon Festival Celebration
Studying Korean Language
Trip to HMart Asian Grocery
Folding 1,000 Paper Cranes in conjunction with reading Sudako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Asian Puppet-Making
Practicing the Art of Ikebana, Japanese Flower-Arranging