by Suzie Byers, Children's House and Lower Elementary Spanish teacher
Did you know that we have a sister school in Chile? Similar to LMS, La Escuela Montessori de Valparaíso
was founded by a group of parents seeking to offer their children a Montessori education.
Different from LMS, this Chilean Montessori School is only four years old.
In February 2010, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake destroyed its building just before it was going to open its doors for the first time. Its founders, Vanessa and Pedro, asked their two children, Ágata (5) and Domingo (3), if they would be willing to move their family into the second floor of their house in order to make their first floor a temporary home for the Montessori School. They enthusiastically agreed. So, within weeks of a natural disaster, La Escuela Montessori de Valparaíso was born.
I was was lucky to meet this family early in my sabbatical from LMS. I taught English through yoga every week to its inaugural class of seven students. (You can see me and my students in the photo above).
LMS teachers donated some of their old materials so that they could be recycled by this fledgling school. Since my return to LMS, I have collaborated with their new English teacher to continue our connection despite the five thousand miles between us. Through email, Skype, and letters, LE children have been strengthening their bond with my former students.
In April, another tragedy struck Valparaíso: devastating fires destroyed nearly 3,000 houses. When LE students learned that three of their pen pals had lost their homes, the first, second, and third graders organized a fundraiser for the fire victims.
Inspired by before and after pictures of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, they created beautiful puzzles that they will sell at the Arts Show Reception on May 29th
from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. All proceeds will be donated to help the rebuilding effort. Hope you will consider supporting this cause. If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
LMS Lower Elementary student connecting via Skype!