The private Montessori school in Sandy Springs, for children ages 18 months to 14, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this school year. It is home to the 50 Acts of Kindness campaign this year — an essentially self-explanatory endeavor that is perhaps every bit as noble as it sounds.
“It’s about helping people in the world…doing your part,” said Madeline, 10. For privacy and security reasons, the school does not release its students’ last names.
An upper elementary student, she sold an array of personally designed tie-dye merchandise — from T-shirts to soaps and blankets — during the school’s annual Montessori Mile event for charity last fall.
Madeline’s modest profits went to aid the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, dedicated to improving health, education and living conditions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“I thought that what [Mutombo] is doing in Africa, [like] building hospitals, is a good cause,” she said.
All told, students at the school have banked 28 projects toward their stated goal.
“Projects like these are directly related to two of our core values: the gift of time and global awareness,” said Springmont Head of School Jerri King. “Our students learn to be altruistic, no matter how big or small their contribution and they learn to see beyond themselves and to lead socially useful and purposeful lives.”
Easton, 9, is yet another example of those ideals.
He and his siblings recently manned a kitchen all day to crank out goods for a bake sale held at the end of their driveway. The $200 it yielded was split between the World Wildlife Fund and Save the Children.
“I did some research with my friends on endangered animals and [children in need] and that’s when I got the idea for the bake sale,” he said. “I just wanted to do something to help … just feel like it’s good to do stuff like that.”
At Springmont, age is apparently just a number when it comes to lending a helping hand.
Five-year-old M.J. can attest to that.
He and his classmates crafted and sent greeting cards to his uncle, a U.S. Army second lieutenant stationed in South Korea, and his platoon during the holidays.
“I enjoyed doing it,” said M.J. “It was a lot of fun … and made my Uncle Nick and the other soldiers really happy.”