All posts by Lower El Downstairs

Fighting for Felix, One Bag at a Time

In conjunction with the MBTS Parents’ Guild’s Community Impact Day initiative, the students of Upper Elementary East came together in June to upcycle old t-shirts into reusable bags. These unique, environmentally-conscious bags were then sold to raise money for seven-year-old Felix Lubin, who is being treated for neuroblastoma, a rare form of brain tumor.

The children’s decision to put their fund-raising efforts towards helping a fellow child was easily made, with many of them already knowing of Felix’s plight. The students’ compassion was very evident as they spent the day cutting, knotting and sewing bags using old t-shirts. Special thanks go to Casa teacher Ms. Krista, who generously shared her sewing expertise with the children.

The bag sale was completely sold out, with all of the bags being purchased by very supportive parents, family members and friends. Thank you to everyone who helped make Upper Elementary East’s fund-raiser for Felix a success.

 

Mightier Than the Sword: Students for a Plastic-free Cayman

The MBTS Parent body is a wonderfully involved group, as highlighted by the numerous contribution parents make to our classrooms. From assisting with transportation, sharing information on their careers with students, and informing us about important events happening in our local community, our parents help round out the education our students receive.

One such event was a letter-writing campaign which was brought to MBTS by Catherine Childs, a parent of a student in the Upper Elementary West class. Cathy was approached by Plastic Free Cayman to assist in their campaign to convince the government to ban single-use plastics in the Cayman Islands. Encouraged by recent changes on nearby islands, the government expressed interest but wanted to be sure this was something citizens also cared about. While Plastic Free Cayman targeted local businesses, the ever resourceful Ms. Cathy brought the campaign to the attention of MBTS, along with many other schools on island.

This campaign tied in perfectly with the beliefs of MBTS, and the current curricular focus in Upper Elementary West. It coincided well with lessons on writing persuasively, while also offering an organic opportunity to introduce the lost art of letter writing to our “Gen Z” (or more aptly named, iGen) students. 

The students have also shown immense passion for keeping our oceans clean and are well aware of the harm which plastics can cause our delicate ecosystems. With reasons ranging from the dangers of plastics for local animals and sea life to its effect on tourism on the island, our students presented well-reasoned arguments in favour of banning single use plastic bags.

This campaign concluded with Upper Elementary and MYP students from MBTS and other schools convening on the steps of the Government Administration Building to present the letters to the Honourable Dwayne Seymour, the Minister of the Environment (and also a student body parent!). Our young representatives brought with them a thick bundle of heartfelt, impassioned letters written by students in Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary and MYP. The letter handover took place on Friday, June 8th, which coincidentally was World Oceans Day.

This was a primarily parent-led initiative, with parents coming together to take students and supervise them while on site. On behalf of the Elementary classes at Montessori By The Sea, Upper Elementary West (UEW) would like to thank our parents for championing this campaign and for coming together to help our students use their academic skills to share their concerns and create change in the community. UEW is very invested in seeing the reduction of plastic pollution on the island and in our oceans, and this was a great opportunity for students to use their voices in a constructive way.

Thank you to the parents of MBTS for giving our students access to additional platforms to bring about the changes we wish to see!

Filling Hearts and Feeding Families

In response to the inspiring Community Impact Day initiative spearheaded by the MBTS Parents’ Guild, the children of the Lower Elementary Downstairs class recently conducted a food drive to benefit the Good Samaritan Food Bank. After a lengthy discussion about the many different ways we can all make an impact on the community, the children decided that feeding families who are in desperate need was the top priority!

The students enjoyed visiting different classrooms to make announcements about the food drive, and even brainstormed and practised various catchy “slogans” to try and get people excited to donate! The children were very eager to “inspect” the various canned goods and dry food item that were being brought in, and loved checking our collection bins to see how much more food was appearing each day.

We were fortunate to have parent volunteers Ms. Julia, Ms. Lisa and Ms. Stacey help bring the children to the Good Samaritan Food Bank, where organizer Ms. Eden told the children a bit more about their valuable work. The children loved packing brown bags full of food for families, and even got their food drive donations weighed. They were thrilled to learn that they brought in almost one hundred pounds of food!

Helping others has been a real focus in the classroom throughout the year, and the food drive was a very meaningful way to wrap up a year of student-led, community projects, including the class’ Earth Day beach clean-up, the student-organized Talent Show which benefitted the Cayman Islands Humane Society, and the class decision to donate our collected dress-down day money to the Special Needs Foundation. 

Here’s to a wonderful, meaningful year of filling our hearts by helping others!