Reading Challenge Supports Mercy Neighborhood Ministries


UPDATE: Mercy Neighborhood Ministries has used the donated cans to pack and deliver food bags to over 100 homebound seniors! 

After a successful run with in-person school since August, Mercy Montessori made the difficult decision to go remote the week before winter break. As part of their advent preparations, some of the school's Lower Elementary pods (25 students in grades 1-3) created a reading challenge during this remote week. For each chapter or book read, a can would be donated to Mercy Neighborhood Ministries (MNM). At the end of the week, the students read 349 books/chapters and, thanks to the donations of their teacher, assistant principal, and a parent, they donated 524 cans to Mercy Neighborhood Ministries.

Teacher, Noreen Sullivan shared, "It was fun! When Mercy went remote, our students were sad and this challenge kept our class working together. The children also enjoyed making the Christmas season nice for other people. As a teacher, I loved the children's enthusiasm for reading and being kind."

Noreen continued, "Our students love to do kind acts.  They know it is part of getting ready for Christmas and our Advent preparations.  Reading a book and seeing the can that was going to go to MNM, let them make a difference in a concrete way.  Before morning circle, when everyone reads quietly, a child would say, "I finished a chapter!"  I would hold up a can of food, and say, "You just donated this!"  They got a feeling of satisfaction."

Montessori education is about the teacher as guide, and following the child's lead as much as possible.  Through this reading challenge, our students were in charge of their reading.   Reading skills come with practice.  For some children, reading is a joy.  For some, though, it is a chore.  But not this week!  One of the best parts of this project was seeing the smiles and hearing, "I finished another book!" spoken by the children who struggle with reading.