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Children Vote on MBTS 20th Anniversary Charity: Who Won?

In a Montessori setting, children are expected to make decisions, solve practical problems and exercise responsibility and freedom, as they make their journey towards personal growth, success and fulfillment. This balance between freedom and responsibility is an essential component of the Montessori learning community. 

At every stage of development and throughout every program at Montessori By The Sea, children cultivate and hone the ability to strike this delicate balance. From learning to do things on our own and carrying out important jobs in our classroom communities, to learning to communicate and resolve conflicts respectfully and peacefully through class and council meetings, Montessori classroom practices purposefully empower the child to share their individual ideas and feelings, whilst simultaneously building empathy, consideration and care for others. In doing so, they come to understand that with every right and privilege comes equally important responsibility.

A wonderful example of the concerted development of this dynamic balance is the recent, student-led vote held this month to determine which charity would be the recipient of various fund-raisers for MBTS’s 20th anniversary this school year. The Upper Elementary students researched and creatively presented information during the November assembly on three top “contenders” for the charity: Literacy Is for Everyone, the Children’s Garden at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, and Feed Our Future. The candidate charities were initially selected because they all benefitted children in a fundamental way, and the students presented persuasive arguments on why each charity would be a worthy recipient that reflects MBTS’s respect and love for the child

The Upper Elementary students then invited children in Casa Year 3 (Kindergarten) and Elementary to visit their designated voting booths, where each child could indicate their preferred charity by placing a colour-coded bead into their chosen charity’s cup. As the children patiently lined up to cast their vote, thoughtful conversations on what needs were more fundamental – food, nature or reading –  and thus more worthy of each vote could be overheard.

 

The Upper Elementary students then tallied all of the votes, and applied their Mathematical skills in graphing and data interpretation to analyze and display the results.

The big winner? Feed Our Future won by a relatively significant margin of votes. The students visited the different classrooms to expertly share with the school community the exciting results of the vote, displayed in pie charts that depicted percentages and actual voting numbers. We are all delighted and excited to be channeling various fund-raising efforts towards supporting the wonderful organization that is Feed Our Future.

By actively involving the children in decisions that affect our entire MBTS community, we are developing leaders and citizens who understand and respect the vital relationship between freedom and responsibility. This is what the world needs now more than ever, and MBTS is grateful to play a role in serving our children, and enabling them to fulfill the hope and promise for humankind.

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