Events Montessori Highlights Montessori Montessori in Redlands

Date: 5 May 2007

Montessori in Redlands, California, Centenary Celebrations

On May 5th, our school celebrated the annual Spring Carnival and along with it the Montessori Centennial and school re-opening (we just purchased the land where the school is built). It was very well attended and everyone enjoyed the centennial ceremony very much.

The celebration consisted of four parts. It started with a parade of ten wagon floats carrying ten potted plants and flowers, and a sign representing 10 years of the Montessori movement each. Children carrying the giant ten bars followed the wagons. The bars were placed on a structure erected right above our school sign. Margie and Leon Armantrout (holding their granddaughter) cut the ribbon marking the re-opening of the school; they were the founders of our school 31 years ago and have been actively involved since. The children ended the ceremony with the school anthem. I'm sending pictures of each part.

Also, a timeline gallery was set up in one of the classrooms; we named it "100 Steps for Montessori" following the guidelines given by the campaign. Every elementary was paired with a primary class to work on a 20 year span of the Montessori movement and parallel world events. The children read, researched, wrote and illustrated their entries. The footsteps of all the children at the school were collected and laminated. 100 of them were selected to mark the steps people would have to walk to read the timeline, starting with the toddlers' and ending with those of the Middle School students. The rest of the footprints were used to decorate the gallery. Copies of the Centenary Declaration were distributed and two computers were set up at the end of the 100 steps, for those who wanted to sign right then and there. I believe we collected between 200 and 250 signatures. We counted approximately the same number of people, children and adults, that walked the 100 steps of the gallery (approximately 20,000 steps to add to the campaign). Every child that came to the carnival, received a 100 square Centenary button, donated by our very active parent group.

The event was warmly received by the school and city community as well. The local papers Daily Facts and Press Enterprise run at least two releases each. We are very proud of our accomplishment and hope this will be an inspiration for other schools to do the same. The last picture of the six sent shows the organizers, left to right: Dorama Montoya, Sara Garcia, Kristin Vredevoogd (all primary teachers), and Pamela Henry, support staff and mom.

Thank you for the encouragement and all the inspiration we got from the centenary website, and from the beautiful idea that Jim from Montessori of Terra Linda had when putting together the 100 square ceremony in San Francisco.

Best regards,
Dorama Montoya
Head of the Centenary Celebration Committee
Montessori in Redlands, California