Montessori School of Maui Creating Future Philanthropists
By Maui Now Staff
This year, Montessori School of Maui students raised funds for the Boys and Girls Club of Maui and Leilani Farm Sanctuary through a fundraiser at Flatbread Company in Pāʻia and a Walk-a-Thon on the Montessori School of Maui campus. Each organization was presented with a check for $1,250 at an all-school assembly on May 21.
Since 2008, the school’s Philanthropy Student Committee has successfully raised a total of over $15,000 for Maui nonprofit organizations.
The committee, comprised of two students from each elementary and middle school classroom, volunteer for a full year of philanthropy education, which includes learning about the many nonprofit organizations serving Maui, participating in fundraising events, and personally experiencing the joy of philanthropic giving.
Montessori staff committee members guide the students throughout the year to help them raise funds for local nonprofits and gain a deep understanding of the importance of philanthropic work.
Each year, the group begins with a discussion about philanthropy and its importance to our community. The children are then given information on many of Maui’s nonprofit agencies, including their mission statement, program details and the needs of the organization. The children carefully study, discuss and ask questions about each organization.
The students then return to their classrooms to educate their peers and conduct a vote to determine the organizations that will receive the committee’s fundraising proceeds for that year. All the classroom votes are then tallied to select the final two recipients.
In the past seven years, the committee has raised funds for Women Helping Women, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Pacific Cancer Foundation, Ka Hale O Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center, Maui Humane Society, Children’s Justice Center, Maui Youth & Family Services, Imua Family Services, MAPA, Feed My Sheep, Keiki Kokua, A Keiki’s Dream and the Hawaiian Animal Rescue Foundation.
“At the end of the school year, it is such a joy to see our participating students have a deep understanding of philanthropy,” commented Rene Anderson-Vorfeld, head of school for the Montessori School of Maui. “The students often join the committee again and again as their enthusiasm to help our Maui community grows. It is a wonderful thing to watch.”
The Montessori School of Maui, founded in 1978, provides a comprehensive curriculum for young people from 18 months through the eighth grade.
Parents are encouraged to visit the campus, call (808) 573-0374 or go online to learn more about this unique educational program.