Thursday, August 31, 2017

On Hurricane Harvey

Contact: Carla Hofland, Director of Member Services
Phone: 212-358-1250 x302
American Montessori Society
116 East 16th Street, New York, NY 10003-2163

August 30, 2017

Dear Montessori Friends and Colleagues,

I am writing to express AMS’s deepest concern for everyone who has been impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
Among the millions who have been affected are members of our Montessori community—schools, teacher education programs, teachers, support staff, families, and, of course, our children.

We are evaluating the situation to determine how we can be most helpful. However, until things stabilize, and the totality of the damages is determined, there are many unknowns.

Currently, my staff and I are in the process of reaching out to all of our member schools and teacher education programs in affected areas. Many of your will have received a phone call from us earlier in the week—others will be hearing from us very soon. If we are not able to reach you by phone, we will follow up with a personal email. Please respond, when you can, to let us know how you are and what your needs are.

Maria Montessori said, “We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.”

With this in mind, we know that many of you are thinking about how you can help.

Here are several resources you may find helpful:
·        Texas Monthly: information about donating to programs that serve people with special needs, and more
·        Dallas Morning News: how to register as a volunteer, provide supplies, and more
·        Archdiocese of New Orleans: Parish-based support…
·        Chron: food banks, donate money, support African-American businesses, help pets…
·        San Diego Tribune: volunteer, donate money…
·        USA Today: help a children’s hospital, donate money, volunteer…
·        CNN: donate blood, donate supplies, help with cleanup…

We will be continuing to monitor the situation and to assess how our community can best support those affected.

Carla Hofland
Director of Member Services
212-358-1250 x302

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Eclipse Viewing in and Around Morris County

Although Westmont will not be open on August 21st when the Great American Solar Eclipse is taking place, there are many nearby locations that are hosting viewing parties.

Morris Museum is hosting a family friendly eclipse viewing party beginning at 1 p.m. It will include crafts and the viewing of the eclipse on streaming NASA TV. The museum will be selling solar viewing glasses in their gift shop.

The Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium will have telescopes with solar filters out for the community to use.

Mendham Public Library is hosting a viewing party using a telescope. Pre-registration is required.

And if going out to a party is just too much, you can host your own viewing party at home! Just be sure you have viewing glasses (they can be purchased at Best Buy, Lowes, or WalMart).

You can also make an eclipse viewing box with your children that will allow them to safely view the eclipse. Directions can be found here:

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Giving Chores to Children Supports Success in Life

At Westmont we strive to support and develop responsible independent individuals.  Dr. Maria Montessori said, “ Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”

Here is an interesting article from (2017) Kids Whose Parents Make Them Do Chores Are More Successful, in support of giving chores to children:

There's a reason your children are prone to tantrums when you ask them to wash the dishes — chores are not fun. After all, who wants to spend 20 minutes scrubbing crusted-on tomato sauce instead of watching Frozen for the millionth time? But instead of avoiding the tears and just washing everything yourself, you should hold your ground. Why? It turns out kids who do chores are more successful adults.
"By making them do chores — taking out the garbage, doing their own laundry — they realize I have to do the work of life in order to be part of life," Julie Lythcott-Haims, former dean of freshmen at Stanford University and author of How to Raise an Adult told Tech Insider. Lythcott-Haims also spoke at a TED Talks Live event about her research, which she based on a Harvard Grant Study, which happens to be the longest-running longitudinal study ever conducted.
"If kids aren't doing the dishes, it means someone else is doing that for them," Lythcott-Haims said during her TED Talk. "And so they're absolved of not only the work, but of learning that work has to be done and that each one of us must contribute for the betterment of the whole." She also believes that kids who grow up doing chores will be better employees who have the skills to collaborate with coworkers, will be more empathetic towards others and can take on tasks independently.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Summer Activities Around Town

With the summer at its midpoint, it might be time to find some fresh ideas for family summer activities. Did you know that most local libraries have membership passes that can be checked out free of charge? They also offer story times and activities like puppet and magic shows. There are farms and festivals to explore as well as parks, including parks with splashpads!

We have compiled a list of upcoming area activities and links, but feel free to add to it in the comments.

Love Peaches? Come pick you own peaches from our orchards and fields. Fun family activities - pony rides, tractor train rides, hay wagons and more. Taste some peachy treats - peach pies, muffins, cakes, ice cream, and tarts. 1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester NJ. 908-879-7189.
17th Annual Butterfly Festival held on the 950 acres on Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed preserve. Activities for the whole family. Obstacle course and dunk tank, hay rides, nature walks and the popular Butterfly and Bug Parade. Tour exhibits, the famed insect zoo, and the Kate Gorrie Butterfly House. Games, crafts, small animals and art work. $ Tickets. 31 Titus Mill Road Pennington, NJ. 609-737-3735.

Mendham Township Children's Activities

Chester Library Youth Programs

New Jersey Splashpad locations can be found at:

The top-rated NJ playgrounds can be found at:

And, of course, your child can always join us at Westmont for some summer fun. We have two weeks left of camp, Farm to Table and Cooking Up Fun. We also offer daily drop-in Extended Day from 12:00 - 4:00 PM M-F through August 18. See you there!