2017-18 has been a fantastic year at Greensboro Montessori School, and we very much appreciate the students, families, and teammates who have been part of our community. Looking back on our year together, we have accomplished much, grown together, and discovered new things, ideas, and places. This year, our community came together in new and vibrant ways to build a new foundation that will launch our School into the future.

Looking back on any given school year, there are many ways to articulate or quantify success. For me, knowing that every single one of our students, and every single one of our teammates, joyfully worked hard is satisfaction enough. But that is just the beginning of the story. Our team recently reflected on why we each think this year was such a success. Here are a few of our answers:

Yes, we had a fantastic year.

With the last day of the 2017-18 year upon us, our final week is an opportunity to joyfully celebrate our graduates, sadly say goodbye to departing friends, and congratulate each other on all we've accomplished and learned. We should also humbly remember how fortunate we each are to be part of such a loving, empowering, and grounded learning community like Greensboro Montessori School.

Whether you’re a student, parent, teammate, alumni, or friend of the School, we’re glad you are part of our crew.

Calling all green thumbs! Greensboro Montessori School is seeking summer volunteers to help us tend our lush, 10-acre campus!

More specifically, our campus is home to four organic, permaculture gardens, which have been flourishing since 1997. These gardens serve as outdoor classrooms where our students engage in environmental education unique to Greensboro Montessori School. Students participate in year-round experiential lessons in which they tend to every aspect of garden work ... from seed to table. We have over 20 fruit-bearing trees, a pond, honey bees, chickens, a commercial-grade teaching kitchen, and much more. This year we’re looking for five families in total, one from each of the major divisions at our School - Junior High, Upper Elementary, Lower Elementary, Primary,  and Toddler - to help keep the gardens growing and looking gorgeous all year long!

When do we need you? We would love volunteer support from Monday, June 25 through Monday, August 6, and we will adapt  our need to families' summer vacations. Ideally, we would love for volunteers to schedule work time anytime on Monday and Wednesday mornings between 8:30 a.m. and noon. Eliza Hudson, lead environmental educator, will be on campus at those times in case any assistance is needed. However, if you can only volunteer on another day, for instance, on the weekends, we would love to work with you!

What will you do? Weeding, watering, mulching paths, and harvesting, when available. All we ask is you check in with Eliza for 15 minutes at the beginning of each week to prioritize your work. Other than this "administrative" task, our summer garden volunteer role is designed to be a no-stress opportunity ... we encourage you to bring your children, have fun, relax, and enjoy the gardens in the peak season!

Interested in helping? Please email Eliza Hudson and plan on attending Volunteer Orientation on Wednesday, June 13 at 1 p.m. If you are unable to make this Orientation, we can offer a personal orientation at a time more convenient for you.

Sara Stratton leads Primary students in making dressing for their strawberry spinach salads.

Springtime is always joyful in Greensboro Montessori School's organic gardens. Winter buds swell and burst, capturing the eyes and hearts of community members, no matter their age! Flowers of all kinds call to us and to our pollinator friends, and sooner than we realize, we reach the height of the season.

This year brought a colder and wetter forecast than in the past. We’ve still yet to harvest our first sugar snap peas, but the strawberries and spinach are out with a vengeance! We continue to enjoy the lushness all the early rain and cool weather brought, even as temperatures rise. Here’s a brief update from our spring adventures!

Primary and Lower Elementary have enjoyed plenty of weeding, watering, planting, and tasting. We just finished a week full of strawberry spinach salads, with a bit of fennel and spring onions thrown in for fun! (Check out the recipe below if you’re interested in trying this at home.) In Upper Elementary, we celebrated the conclusion of our Student Climate Change Summit art exhibition with a persimmon-ginger-honey ice-cream party! Everyone agreed it was fun to make and even better to taste!

Thanks to everyone who attended our Spring Community Garden Workday in the Primary Garden. Together, with roughly 20 volunteers from our school community (ranging in age from 18 months to 70 years old!), we had a blast and accomplished a swath of projects:

What else have we been up to in the organic gardens this spring? We have been incredibly blessed with the generosity of The Fund for GMS. You may have noticed several new Adirondack chairs, benches, swinging benches, outdoor sinks, and chalkboards in all three of our organic gardens. We also have a new Lower Elementary toolshed coming soon. The students have relished in these new additions to their outdoor classrooms, and we couldn’t be more grateful to have such gifts shared with us from within our school community. Thank you, for your continued support of environmental education at Greensboro Montessori School. From all of us on your environmental education teaching team, Happy Spring!

Strawberry Spinach Salad

For the salad:

For the dressing:

Eliza HudsonAbout the Author

Eliza Hudson is Greensboro Montessori School's lead environmental educator. Eliza holds her bachelor's degree in biology from Earlham College in Richmond, Ind. She has built and tended school gardens, taught hands-on cooking lessons and connected local farms to school programs working for FoodCorps. Prior to joining Greensboro Montessori School in 2014, Eliza was a classroom and after-school assistant at the Richmond Friends School, a farm intern at a family-owned farm in Ohio, and served as assistant director at a summer day camp in an urban community garden in Durham.

Greensboro Montessori School has taught environmental education since 1995 and has been permaculture gardening on its campus since 1997.