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Alamosa trip a life lesson for Montessori students

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By Deb Hurley Brobst

Four Evergreen Montessori School eighth-graders had a four-day trip of a lifetime over the summer to learn about another culture — and they never left Colorado.

The students traveled with school director Beth Heller-Atencio to Alamosa in the San Luis Valley to practice their Spanish and to help others.

The students stayed in the home of an Alamosa family, where they received cooking lessons. Then they put those lessons to good use by cooking at a homeless shelter.

“They just showed us the pantry,” Heller-Atencio said, “and said, ‘Cook (a meal) for 50.’ We could cook whatever we wanted.”

The students whipped up spaghetti with meat sauce, vegetable soup, sandwiches and green-bean salad for several meals at the shelter.

In addition, they were able to work in an Alamosa preschool where the majority of children spoke Spanish. The Montessori students read books, served lunch and helped at recess.

The students met people with different backgrounds and different lifestyles than those in Evergreen.

“The idea is for the students to get a cultural immersion trip without having to go abroad to get a different cultural experience,” said Heller-Atencio, who grew up in Alamosa.

Bergen Valley plans third-grade read-aloud night Sept. 17

Research shows that children who have stories read aloud to them after second grade develop better vocabularies.

With that in mind, third-graders and their parents at Bergen Valley Elementary School are invited to a special program just for them called Buddy Up and Read.

At the program, set for 7 p.m. Sept. 17, author Avi, winner of the Newbery Award for his book “Crispin” and two Newbery Honor Medals, will read a selection from his book “Ragweed” to the third-graders and their parents.

After Avi’s reading, children will follow him to the library for treats and discussion.

Meanwhile, parents will learn about the joys of reading to children as the children grow older. The presenters will be Bob Topp, known as Bergen Valley’s favorite storyteller, and Broadway film and television actress Gabriella Cavallero.

Bergen Valley principal Beth Elmgreen said Topp approached her with the idea for the program. She said he hopes to refine the program and take it to schools with children who have lower reading scores.

“I’m so excited about this program,” Elmgreen said. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for our third-graders.”

Fund-raisers begin at Evergreen schools

With the new school year in full swing, schools turn their attention to more than just academics. It’s time for fund-raisers.

Evergreen Middle School runs its magazine subscription fund-raiser from Sept. 15 until the end of the month. Subscriptions are at a low rate, and the school’s PTA gets a percentage of every subscription. The nice thing is that current subscriptions can be renewed through this program. The EMS PTA uses the money for a variety of the school’s needs, with input from principal Kristopher Schuh.

Both Wilmot and Marshdale elementary schools use a concept called party boards or fun-raisers. A person hosts a party and foots the bill. Others sign up to attend the party for a fee, and that fee is donated to the schools’ PTAs. The parties run the gamut from a ladies night out to a Broncos football party. Marshdale already hosted its ice cream social and fun-raiser kickoff. Wilmot’s is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10. at the school.

Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen sells Sally Foster items. The company offers gift wrap, gifts, gourmet foods and cookie dough, among other items. This year’s sale runs from Sept. 4-18, with delivery of items in late October, and the majority of the sales are done from the Sally Foster website.

Bergen Meadow and Bergen Valley elementary schools sell gift wrap as their first fund-raiser. This year it runs from Sept. 4-21. Students sell Innisbrook Wraps, which includes wrapping paper, gifts, food, candy and more. The Bergens PTA receives 50 percent of the sale proceeds, which is used to fund needs at the schools.

Have tips about schools in Evergreen? Contact Evergreen resident Deb Hurley Brobst at deb@evergreenco.com.