“Coins for Cure”: How Casa Dei Bambini Montessori Gave Back to Their Community
Maria Montessori’s vision was a peaceful world created only by those who truly harness the capacity and capability to bring such a perception to reality, children. In her own words, “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education” (1949). Through the development of real, Practical Life service projects and community building activities, Montessori guides regularly provide students with opportunities to learn about the joy of giving and to develop compassion for others, work that builds towards the establishment of peace.
Guides at Casa Dei Bambini Montessori School in Missouri City, TX are doing their part to establish lasting peace through the implementation of a special service project, "Coins for Cure." Primary co-lead teachers, Namrata Soni and Nidhi Khurana, were inspired by the program “Pennies for Patients” benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and sought to develop a similar program in their classroom to help give back to those at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
With the help of a home-room mom, Soni and Khurana created a box for children to deposit coins each day. They began having conversations with the children about qualities like kindness and empathy, helping the children understand how to recognize the needs of others. Their goal was not only to help the children raise money, but also to foster an understanding that by donating toys, clothes, or “coins for cure,” they are receiving the great joy of giving.
This joy of giving was evident in the smiles on the students’ faces each time they made a donation. The students’ parents recognized the great impact the project had on their children at home as well. Sejal Patel, mother of Nishan Patel, states:
The "Coins for Cure" project brought to life the lessons of generosity, gratitude, and teamwork in each of our children. It taught my son, Nishan Patel, the importance of helping other kids together with the rest of his classmates. The class learned that together, coin by coin, they truly could make a difference in the lives of others.
Sepideh Manouchechri, mother of Viyana Hadi, shares the same sentiments:
My daughter would beam with joy and pride every time she collected a coin for her class fundraiser, “Coins for Cure.” It was wonderful to watch her focus her energy on raising coins from her friends and family to support such an important cause. I saw this same level of dedication in her classmates and friends at Casa—they all wanted to help other kids live a healthier life.
The students’ hard work and dedication to their service project allowed them to raise an incredible $780. Head of school, Rozina Mohammad, matched the amount, bringing their donation total to $1,560. Mohammad felt strongly about contributing to the service project as she believes that donating helps children learn the basics of business and promotes generosity, a characteristic linked to both overall health and happiness. By modeling the joy of giving for students, she hopes that she and the classroom guides will have a positive impact on the students’ health and well-being as they become the next generation of philanthropists.
Representatives from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital were so delighted by the generous donation from Casa Dei Bambini Montessori that they sent a letter to the school thanking the students, families, and teachers for their kindness. The letter also shared that their support would be influential in providing treatment for a young girl, Olivia, who had recently come to the hospital in need of care. Teachers and students alike were overjoyed to receive the letter.
Many students expressed feelings of happiness in helping others.
Jeremiah Hawkins-Aguilar said, "I felt happy and proud that I was helping other people."
Aveer Sharma told teachers, "I liked that I could be any help to someone getting better."
Kisha Jani said, "I was very happy that the money that we sent will help Olivia get better."
By participating in “Coins for Cure,” students at Casa Dei Bambini Montessori have learned qualities like kindness and empathy and have developed an understanding of the impact they can have on their community. The characteristics they embody and the knowledge they have learned will carry on with them to the future as they bring Montessori’s vision of a peaceful world to reality.
Montessori, Maria. 1949. Education and Peace. Netherlands: Montessori-Pierson Publishing Company.
About the Author
Heather White, EdS, is a Montessori in-home teacher and nanny, a Montessori educational consultant for the Andrew’s Institute, a Montessori educator for adult learners, and a volunteer moderator for the Montessori at Home 0 – 3 Facebook page. Formerly, she was a Montessori teacher, Lower Elementary coordinator, and associate head of school. She also has experience as a School Psychologist intern. She is AMS credentialed (Early Childhood, Elementary I). Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The opinions expressed in Montessori Life are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of AMS.