Learning Through Community Service

“Actions speak louder than words,” said Sandra Parker, a teacher and program advisor at Creative Montessori Academy. “The students at Creative Montessori Academy are not only learning about community projects, but they are also engaging in important work that is impacting our community.”

Throughout the year, students at Creative Montessori Academy are giving back while learning how to read, write, do math and much more.

“What started as a focus on teaching kids how to write creatively and give back has turned into so much more,” said Parker.

This year, CMA students have put their skills into action by creating a student-led newspaper titled the CMA Gazette. The newspaper is written and distributed weekly through the determination of 10 fourth through eighth-grade students.

Each week, the students are assigned to come up with an idea and write an article for the CMA Gazette. The CMA Gazette is printed and the students go wild selling it to friends, family and their community. And boy do they sell!

The CMA Gazette sales are over $640.00 so far this year. The proceeds have been given to four different organizations: Waynewright Community Meals, Community M, Wyandotte Animal Shelter and Downriver for Veterans.

“The newspaper has allowed students to learn about needs in the community, how to fundraise in a way that relates to them and give back. Plus, we are able to use real skills we are learning in the classroom,” Parker said.

The students are learning that every effort to help others, big or small, is worthwhile.  They become educated about needs within our community and then become empowered, seeing that children can and will make a positive difference in our community and throughout the world.

In addition to the newspaper, Creative Montessori Academy shows compassion through the various food and clothing drives to local non-profits, as well as a Make a Wish essay contest, which resulted in giving $731.00 to the Make a Wish Foundation.

“We called the whole outreach ‘Kids for Wish Kids, Wish Week- Compassion for a Cause. The students sold Make-A-Wish bracelets for $1.00 and wish stars for any amount that they could give.  We also did a jean day for $1.00 where students could wear jeans with a uniform shirt,” Lindsay Defenthaler said, a teacher at Creative Montessori Academy.

Working together to better the lives of others is at the center of Montessori’s vision of peace through education, and CMA strives to keep this spirit of expecting greatness and compassion throughout the school year.

“We believe that children as little as kindergarten can learn how to show kindness and care to others. We want to role model that in our schools and community,” said Rachel Moul, a student advocate at Creative Montessori Academy.

Continue reading Creative Montessori Academy article on the News-Herald website.


CMA Gazette – created weekly, cost per issue is $.25. Every 6-8 weeks, they give the money to a local charity

Need to know:

  • School Supply Drive – Early Fall – Rachel
    • What items were donated? Notebooks, binders, pencils, backpacks, lunch boxes, markers, colored pencils, folders etc..2 XL boxes full of items
  • Coat and Blanket Drive – Downriver families – Rachel
    • It is run through a church which is a non-profit organization-
  • Make a Wish Foundation – $712.67 – Lindsay
    • What did the essay contest entail? Students were required to submit an entry form, drawing or one page essay (depending on grade and ability level). Students needed to explain how they showed compassion to others. How was that connected to raising money? This was a part of the character trait for the month, in which we supported Make-A-Wish
    • Were students just asked to bring in money for Make a Wish? The students were able to donate any dollar amount, even a penny, to put a star on the “Wish Wall.” Students could purchase a Make-A-Wish bracelet for one dollar.
    • Was there a particular “wish” that you were raising money for? We were helping raise money to assist in granting a child’s wish. No specific wish.

From Lindsay:

  • The essay contest entailed writing a paragraph (K-3) or page (4-8) explaining a time where they student had shown compassion, they had to include a photo or drawing with it. It was connected to raising the money for Make-A-Wish because we chose the fundraiser to connect with the character trait of the month, which was compassion.  We had an assembly where Hannah Bentley, a development coordinator from Make-A-Wish came out and shared what the foundation does. She showed the students the different levels of wishes, and explained whom can receive them. She shared a video of a wish-kid receiving his wish. We wanted to instill compassion in our students by giving them an example of hardships and showing what we could do to help support someone going through a difficult time.

  • We called the whole outreach “Kids for Wish Kids, Wish Week- Compassion for a Cause”.  We sold Make-A-Wish bracelets for $1, wish stars where students could write their names on them and they were displayed in the hallway for any donation amount, we also did a jean day for $1 where students could wear jeans with a uniform shirt.

  • There was not a particular wish we were raising money for.

  • How many kids are involved with the CMA Gazette? How old are they?- Sandra
    • There are 10 students on the staff grades 4-8th. We donated 122.00 to the animal shelter and I would say about 350.00 in food and supplies. I hope this helps. Sandr
    • Wyandotte Community Soup Kitchen/Wainwright Community Meals – $150.00
    • Animal Shelter – $122.00
    • Veterans Association – $367.07 – CMA is donating 367.07 to the veterans for downriver. Students could buy hearts to hang on our wall for any amount, even a penny! I am contacting the organization so we can get a picture with a veteran as well as having our staff members who have served in the picture as well.  I think we are good right now. Let me know if you need anything else
    • Total = $639.00

Sandra Parker – CMA Gazette  

Rachel Moul – Student Advocate

Lindsay Defenthaler – Make a Wish