From Judy To Joe
From Judy Accardi CO-DIRECTOR After 20 years as Director of Play Mountain Place and almost 20 more years in other staff roles here, I am ready to begin to focus my time and energy on other areas of my life that are important to me − taking more time for myself, for my family, time to travel, to write, to focus more on my private practice and to explore other interests I’ve long been curious to try.
Updates Regarding COVID-19
This is an incredibly trying time for everyone in the world. The separation we have from one another—coupled with the broader anxieties of this moment—are testing all of us. As we adjust and adapt to all of these new things, we wanted to be in touch with you, our wider community, about how it’s going at Play Mountain Place.
“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor! Would you be mine? Could you be mine?” – Mister Rogers Our intrepid wanderers in House Group this year adventured up and down our neighborhood streets, greeting people, hearing their stories, learning about our local businesses, and growing empathy through the knowing of others.
Going Green with the Green Team
We invited Anna Cummins and Marcus Eriksen of the 5 Gyres Institute (parents of Avani who attended Play Mountain Place), to give a very educational presentation about plastic pollution in the ocean. The children were so inspired from this presentation that at the next park day, they made a plan and picked up trash.
Making Moves: How Play Mountain Place Fosters Self-Empowerment and Expression Through Creative Dance
Play Mountain Place supports its students to explore themselves and the world around them while encouraging them to communicate authentically and seek their own solutions to challenges they face. Paula Perlman embodies the school’s principle values by facilitating collaborative creativity, problem solving and nonverbal communication through her movement classes, which she has lead for nearly 20 years.
Turbulent Montgomery, Alabama in the 1960’s: Alonzo Cephus’ Personal Account
On February 25, 2015 in honor of Black History/African American Heritage Month, Alonzo Cephus, former Play Mountain Place parent and current Board Member, came to Mountain Yard to speak about his experience as a young person living in Montgomery, Alabama, during the Montgomery Bus Boycott and his family’s personal connection to Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement.
“Robo 1″ and “Robo 2″ Urge Students to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
One day, we had extra boxes donated to Mountain Yard. Willow and Zoe found them and their imaginations soared. Soon, the idea of creating robots emerged. They created “Robo 1″ (Willow) and “Robo 2” (Zoey) to take their message of “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” to fellow students.
Large Bequest Funds Scholarships
Play Mountain Place is pleased and honored to announce the largest donation in its history designated exclusively to fund scholarships for Play Mountain Place students. Director Judy Accardi accepted a check for $100,000 from Margaret Rosenau (known as Heidi Rosenau when a student from 1973-1979), a bequest from her late father, Jim Rosenau.
Mountain Yard Celebrates World Cultural Traditions
Our Mountain Yard curriculum encompasses many areas, including anti-bias activities that inculcate an appreciation of ethnic and cultural traditions. For instance, during late October/early November we honored the Mexican tradition of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).
A Must See Talk: Dr. Peter Gray on The Decline of Play
At Play Mountain Place play is highly valued. In this talk, Dr. Peter Gray documents why free play is essential for children’s healthy social and emotional development and outlines steps through which we can bring free play back into children’s lives.
Mississippi River Flood Plan
Upper Elementary was on their end of the year trip and Primary and Elementary group were in the yard. The Mississippi River had yet to peak, and there had been much flooding along it’s banks. The premise of my plan was to learn in a practical sense about the flooding along the Mississippi river.
Finding and Mapping Treasures – Mapping II
I have had a series of Thursday classes based around cartography. After having led a few successful classes based in the children making maps that were personal to their experience, perspective, and imagination, I wanted to attempt a mapping and graphing project that involved team work and problem solving. I decided to create a project around finding and mapping treasures, somewhat like an archeology dig.
Cartography Class – Mapping
I wanted to bring awareness to where we live in context to the bigger world around us as well as bringing spatial relationships between here and the greater world. I noticed some students didn’t have a concept between city and state. I started talking about the neighborhood and the children narrowed the idea down, all the way to the location of their heart.
Literacy at Play Mountain Place
As a PMP teacher, I have received questions from parents over the years about how students learn to read and write at Play Mountain Place. PMP parents sometimes feel that because children make their own choices about how they construct their day, that perhaps the fundamentals of reading and writing are bypassed. What I can say is that learning to read and write is a very personal process at Play Mountain.
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