As part of their distance learning during the week of March 31 through April 4, Damariscotta Montessori students sent letters, cards and drawings to Lincoln County nursing home residents. Residents at local facilities such as Harborview Cottage, Lincoln Home, and Cove’s Edge are in need, because they cannot receive visits from family members and friends during the statewide “Safe at Home” to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Public service and global citizenship are a fundamental part of the Montessori curriculum at every age level. Younger children drew pictures and made cards, while elementary and middle school children honed their letter writing abilities. Middle School teacher Samantha Mehlhorn remarked that the project has special meaning for her students who were already volunteering with residents at Harborview Cottage and had to stop their monthly visits due to social distancing. “This project gives them an opportunity to maintain that connection.” Some of her students continue visiting Harborview after they graduate from DMS. Older children were also invited by some facilities to reach out via conferencing to read stories to residents or share videos of a musical performance.
Head of School, Chip DeLorenzo, noted, “It is especially important for students to engage in simple and meaningful acts of service during the Corona Virus pandemic. Helping others reduces stress and boosts well-being in students—it promotes a sense of accomplishment, and a connection to others.”
Damariscotta Montessori School plans future projects such as thanking healthcare workers and decorating grocery bags for food delivery from Main Street Grocery in Damariscotta.