Senior Montessori Class Cook Up Sweet Justice For World Book Day

“Education must no longer be regarded only as a matter of teaching children, but as a social question of the highest importance, because it is the one question that concerns all mankind. The many other social questions have to do with one group or another of adults, with relatively small numbers of human beings; the child however, has to do with all men everywhere.”

Maria Montessori

Children are often told that sharing is caring but they donʼt know it until they practice it and they rarely want to do that with their sweets. But thatʼs exactly what the students at The Childrenʼs House did on March 1st for World Book Day. The whole school showed great community and initiative, from organising posters to baking and selling the generous amount of cakes and biscuits donated by themselves and their parents. The children fundraised just under €400.00 for Book Aid International.

Book Aid International is a charity that reaches 2.5 million people annually. It benefits 2,000 libraries worldwide and sends over 500,000 books to sub Saharan Africa every year. Every €2.00 raised will send a book to Africa so the studentsʼ efforts will make a valuable contribution towards the charity’s donations and work.

But the cake sale not only brings the school together in a community effort that is enjoyable for the children to participate in and observe. It was also a practical lesson of social justice for the older students and a chance for the younger students to experience some hands on creativity. The primary school childrens efforts are an important lesson in empowerment and leadership during these recessionary times. It gave the children a valuable sense of purpose and privilege- for them to realise what they do have – that there are children who don’t have access to books and that they are in a position to help them. They are not victims in harder economic times but leaders.

The directress of the school Ms. Kuh says, “It is important for the children to foster a sense of ʻwe can do something.’ ”

And not just for themselves. The 9-12 peer group are in a sensitive development phase for social justice, not only for themselves and their peers, but for their brothers and sisters around the world. This age group are particularly concerned with the concept of justice and it was this age group that initiated the fundraiser. “Children care about their peers, their community and their world at large. Being involved in raising money for such a cause is a concrete example of how they can make a difference and help change other childrenʼs lives.”

The bake sale was a great example of the childrenʼs ʻcan doʼ and motivation to help their brothers and sisters in Africa. It was also a fundamental Montessori principle in action, in which teachers observe the child and follow their needs while fostering a love of learning, encouraging independence and developing each childʼs maximum potential through hands on learning for academic and social development to ensure the child of today becomes the adult of tomorrow. Maria Montessori pursued her educational work with a spiritual consciousness. The children’s concern for others being put into action through the cake sale was a perfect example of what she called,  “Nourishing the spiritual embryo.” It was also very successful and tasty.