The MMS Fund
People + Teaching and Learning + Place + Mission = An Education for Life
The MMS Annual Fund provides essential funding that can be used immediately. By giving to the MMS Annual Fund, we ensure educational excellence and continuity for our school and families. We also model responsible community engagement for our children. This year, our faculty and staff demonstrated a remarkable commitment to the school by reaching 100 percent participation before the end of October. All gifts to the Fund support:
The MMS Annual Fund allows us to be competitive in the hiring, development and retention of teachers and staff. We recruit talented educators capable of building deep, trusting relationships with every child in their classroom and nurture them as they become expert practitioners of the Montessori model.
In addition to hiring and retention, your gifts support professional development opportunities, travel grants, community building events and trainings. These activities, supported by the Fund, keep our teachers engaged, involved, and devoted to the school.
Our staff’s personal knowledge of each child’s strengths and interests is an enormous advantage to our students while they are at MMS and as they apply to and select ongoing schools. Educators across New York City know that MMS students are prepared for challenging work, and the vast majority of students are accepted by their first choice school.
Teaching and Learning
Annual Fund donations support a high-impact curriculum, underwriting the intensely personalized learning that combines the Montessori philosophy with current interdisciplinary pedagogy and culturally relevant instruction. Montessori is a child-centered approach. In practice, what that means is that teachers follow student needs and interests closely. They use these interests to create lessons that breathe new life into the curriculum, so that it is relevant and exciting to each student. As a child evolves, so do our strategies for cultivating their strengths and passions. Annual Fund contributions provide access to materials and opportunities to meet their changing needs.
The child-led curriculum of MMS is further enriched by our interdisciplinary approach. Students are introduced to an idea in a classroom; they then are given opportunities to explore that idea more deeply in music class, in the art room, the library, foreign language, and even with movement in the gym.
To expand education beyond the four walls of the classroom, we take frequent field trips to cultural landmarks in New York City and to natural, open, and green spaces nearby. Students learn how healthy food is grown and marketed by connecting with farmers at the local Greenmarket. Our third graders expand their knowledge of history and sustainability with a visit to a Native lodge in Shelburn, Massachusetts, to meet and learn from an educator and storyteller known as Blacksnake Woman. This unforgettable overnight trip, which has been an MMS tradition for over 30 years, immerses children in Native Americn practice, belief, and culture.
The Annual Fund also supports our ongoing partnership with Black Rock Forest in Cornwall, NY. Each grade travels to the forest three times a year to engage with nature, to slow down, to be mindful and present, and to come to see and value the natural world around them. Their appreciation develops into stewardship as each sixth grade class gives back to the forest with a hands-on building and improvement project.
With Annual Fund support, our home on 85th street has become an innovative, green teaching space. Our facilities are upgraded regularly according to new design principles centered on light and air. Children learn in peaceful, bright classrooms, studios, and labs that are perfectly scaled for them.
MMS facilities provide each student with the kind of thoughtful daily interaction with nature they need to thrive. Children tend to gardens on the school’s roof and balcony that supply our kitchen with a bounty of fresh, organic produce for healthy community meals. In the fall and spring, they care for the tree pits outside the school that beautify the block. Simple everyday acts like these affirm and pass on our commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability.
All of our spaces are regularly maintained and updated. Rooms are repainted annually, lighting adjusted, and small upgrades are done as needed. Annual Fund support means that simple changes and fixes need not wait to be added to next year’s budget, but can be undertaken immediately.
The MMS Annual Fund preserves the future of MMS and cements its legacy. Because of your gifts to the Fund, we are able to keep our mission out front in the daily running of the school, support families as financial circumstances change, and deliver the high-quality education we have been providing for 55 years to a student body that mirrors our neighborhood, our city, and our world.
At the heart of all we do is our full commitment to the Montessori philosophy. Students at MMS spend their days in mixed-age classrooms, with teachers well-trained and fully committed to providing Montessori activities throughout the day. Each child reaps the proven benefits of the well-implemented, highly personalized, and deeply human Montessori approach. They leave MMS grounded in a knowledge of self and the world around them, confident, thoughtful, empathic, and ready for the challenges and joys life sends their way.
This Montessori approach has been time tested and studied, and yields impressive results. A study of students in Montessori schools showed that over time, students in Montessori classrooms become creative, flexible learners, who have a growth mindset and a love of learning.