Pixel Tracker

Friday, March 22 , 2019, 10:10 pm | Fair 56º


Santa Barbara Montessori School to Mark Montessori Education Week

Festivities will include a coffee chat with the head of school and a 'mini-Madonnari' festival

Thousands of Montessori schools throughout the United States and around the world will be celebrating Montessori Education Week, Feb. 28 to March 6.

Maria Montessori opened her first classroom in Rome in 1907, making this year the 104th anniversary. Locally, Santa Barbara Montessori School is joining the celebration with a variety of activities during Montessori Education Week.

The school will host a “Coffee with Jim” discussion from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

“Earlier in the week we’ll have several different activities going on in the classrooms with the children, but the ‘Coffee’ is open to parents who may have questions about Montessori education,” said Jim Fitzpatrick, Santa Barbara Montessori School’s head of school.

As a Montessori teacher during the past four decades, Fitzpatrick brings a certain perspective to any discussion about Montessori education. A 1972 graduate of the International Center for Montessori Studies in Bergamo, Italy, he and his wife, Frances, founded Santa Barbara Montessori School after teaching in Montessori schools in San Francisco and Whittier.

“The ‘Coffee’ will be an informal discussion, with a brief introduction focusing on Montessori’s relevance in today’s ever-changing world of different approaches to learning,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’ll have coffee, tea and wholesome treats to enjoy while considering the finer points of Dr. Maria Montessori’s discoveries and the development of Montessori schools around the world over the past 100 years.”

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 6, the school will host a “mini-Madonnari” celebration at its campus, 7421 Mirano Drive in Goleta.

“We’ve participated in the ‘I Madonnari’ festival year after year,” Fitzpatrick said. “The Memorial Day festival held at the (Santa Barbara) Mission is a fundraiser for the Children’s Creative Project, and we’re excited to now bring a scaled-down version to our own campus as a way to celebrate Montessori education. It’s an Italian thing! Children and their families will have this opportunity to practice their chalk-painting skills.”

In addition to the school’s version of a sidewalk chalk-painting festival, there will also be a “Backyard Harvest” booth, and the school’s own “Farmers Market” with organic vegetable seedlings available to take home for transplanting.

“The ‘Backyard Harvest’ is a new project for us, too,” Fitzpatrick said. “Children will be picking fruit and vegetables from their backyards and then bring them to the ‘market.’ In addition to avocados, oranges and lemons, the children have also planted 173 tomato seeds with the intention of giving away a tomato seedling to anyone who would like to transplant it to their own garden.”

Santa Barbara Montessori School’s “mini-Madonnari” event is open to the public; those attending will be provided chalk pastels and encouraged to join in the fun of coloring-in a sidewalk design.

“Those families or individuals with their own design can reserve a space to ensure they’ll have the opportunity to color their own design,” Fitzpatrick said. “Artists are welcome to bring their own chalks and can reserve squares (6 feet by 6 feet), rectangles (4 feet by 8 feet) or rhombi (6-foot base x 4-foot height). There’s even the option of reserving an equilateral triangle (6-foot base or 12-foot base).”

For more information or to reserve a chalk-painting space, call 805.685.7600.

Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.