(20-hour requirement for two-parent household, 10-hour requirement for single parent household)
More about Montessori- Every Thursday morning in September from 9:00 – 11:00 at Lyon Street Cafe with Sarah D.
If you are new to Montessori, or just want to learn more about philosophy and practice, please join our admissions director, Sarah Danielski, each Thursday morning in September. She will be available for questions and will make resources available for parents.
“Montessori and Play”- Wednesday, October 3, 6:30-8:30pm with Dr. Laura Flores Shaw, EdD
Please join us for a special guest speaker event at GVSU’s downtown campus. Dr. Shaw is a writer, speaker, researcher and consultant focusing on Montessori practices. She hosts the pod cast Science, Montessori, Parenting and has most recently been on an international speaking tour with Dr. Steven Hughes, who has been a guest speaker in previous years. Dr. Shaw will help explain what defines “play” for the young child, and why you hear the word “work” when speaking to your child’s Montessori guide!
Montessori Discovery—Friday and Saturday, October 12 & 13: ALL NEW PARENTS REQUIRED TO ATTEND
We hosted our first Montessori Discovery in 2016. It was a huge success and we are thrilled to be able to offer it again this year. Join us for a Friday evening walk through of all levels at our school. On Saturday morning, you will return for the chance to work with materials in the classroom and ask questions about your observations. Space is limited to 20 parents. You earn as many hours as you spend on the Discovery.
Fall Fest— Friday, October 26, 5:30 - 7:30pm
This is one of our most well-attended events. The Upper Elementary (EII) students and an EII parent work together to put on a family-friendly carnival fundraiser. The proceeds go towards covering the cost for the EII students’ annual educational trip. We need parents to volunteer for bringing dinner items, helping to run the games, and for clean-up. This is a great event to double or triple dip on hours. Consider bringing food, working a game, and cleaning up- three hours in one shot! Food item donations count as one hour. You earn as many hours as you work at event.
Auction Volunteers— Saturday, November 3, 6:00pm
The SSMS auction will take place at Watermark Country Club. The auction is a parent-run event to benefit the school. It includes a live auction, a silent auction and items for sale. The auction committee is looking for additional committee members and volunteers to assist with: donations, decorations, communication, data entry, check-in and check-out at the event, set-up and clean-up for the event. Each donated item will count for one hour. You earn hours for as many as you participate in set-up/clean-up/ working at the auction. If you’re interested in joining this group, contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Snowball Dance— Friday, January 25, 6:00-8:30pm
The most famous of all our community events! Your family and friends are invited to dress up and get down! This year the dance will be held at the Masonic Temple on Fulton St. We need parent volunteers to help with set up, to monitor the hallways (helping kids stay in the room), to help pass out food, and to clean up. Food item donations count as one hour. You earn as many hours as you work at event.
“The Self-Driven Child”- Thursday, February 21, 6:30 – 8:30pm with Dr. William Stixrud, Ph.D.
Please join us for a special guest speaker event at GVSU’s downtown campus. Dr. William Stixrud is a clinical neuropsychologist and co-author of The Self-Driven Child: the Science and Sense of Giving your kids more control over their lives.
Opera— Week of May 6-10, Performance will be held on Friday, May 10.
Performing on stage is a Stepping Stones tradition and an opportunity for our students to learn leadership and creative thinking skills. They learn to work together as a team and to support one another while expressing themselves in a new and exciting format. The Operas in 2016, 2017 and 2018 were successful because of our parents. This year we will again need parents to volunteer as the point person for each costume group, to attend our weekly costume making/set designing afternoons leading up to the performance, and to contribute materials for costumes and the set. We will send out more information for opportunities in early March 2019. Parents earn hours through helping with costumes/set, and also shopping for and contributing materials would count as one hour.
Please note that we will be sending out Sign Up Genius links through our monthly newsletters for these events throughout the year. We post these links on our Stepping Stones Facebook page as well. Parents will keep track of volunteer hours and submit them using the volunteer hour form at the end of the academic year.
THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
Helping out with the new Middle School at River Ridge Farm in Ada: We need help to cover farm/garden duties over weekends and school breaks throughout the year. Please keep an eye out for more calls to action in our newsletters. You will receive as many hours as you spend at the farm.
Hosting a Parent Dinner or Happy Hour : We are looking for parents to host a happy hour or dinner. Here’s what is involved: you select a location and date (usually a weeknight after work hours but could also be a breakfast or coffee). Email the details to email@example.com and the we will send out an invitation with a link to sign up. At the event you welcome other parents and allow conversation to flow. Parents are all responsible for purchasing their own food and beverages at the event. You earn as many hours as it takes for arranging and hosting.
Blogging: Our marketing committee is working on editorial content for the website, blog and social media. If you have a great story to tell about Montessori, Stepping Stones, a staff member or an alumni, please write about it and share it with us: firstname.lastname@example.org Each post counts for one hour.
Observations: In Montessori, observation is the best tool for educating our community. Please plan to observe in your child’s classroom (for CH – EII) beginning in October, and also in the level to which your child will be transitioning. Observations are expected of parents in the Children’s House and Elementary levels. (For the Infant/Toddler level, we would love for you to observe on a day when your child does not attend. Please contact your child’s lead teacher for more explanation.) Contact the teacher to schedule an observation for 30-45 minutes. You earn one hour per observation.
Parent Coffees: We will be hosting parent coffees here at school, October through April, from 8:30-9:30am on Thursdays throughout the year. Please keep an eye out for dates and topics in our first newsletter. Staff members will be presenting on different topics for the first 30 minutes. Questions and discussion to follow for the last 30 minutes. Please look out for more details in our newsletters. You earn one hour at each coffee.
Snack: All levels and classrooms ask parents to provide snacks on a rotation throughout the year, and this includes aftercare. We encourage items low in sugar and high in protein, and not highly processed. You will be receiving a calendar at the beginning of the year which will indicate the week you will be responsible for providing snack. Please be aware of the number of children in your child’s classroom and any restrictions due to food allergies. You earn one hour for each time you provide snack.
Laundry: We use a lot of reusable materials in our classrooms: tablecloths, cloth napkins, cloth placemats, cloths for cleaning, etc. We ask that parents take turns doing the laundry for their child’s classroom. Please wash and dry the load, and return to the classroom unfolded. This allows the children to participate in the care of the environment. You earn one hour each time you do the laundry.
Additional Information specific to Infant/Toddler:
Providing wipes— We use wipes that are donated by our parents in the infant/toddler community. (You earn one hour for every three (3) packs of wipes you bring in.)
Providing Flowers— The Tulip Tree room (older toddlers) will be asking for parents to bring in fresh flowers for the children to work on flower arranging. This lesson bridges the experience for them as they begin to transition to the Children’s House level: more refined hand/eye coordination, inner discipline and muscle control, refining their sense of aesthetics, and care of the environment. As you can see, you are helping to support the critical work of the child with this donation! The teachers will post a sign up outside of the door for you to choose a time to donate. You earn one hour each time you bring in flowers.