Over 250 current and alumni families, past and present faculty members of Evergreen Montessori School in Silver Spring, Maryland dedicated a new custom-designed Tree House play structure in honor of the 30-year career of Primary Division Director Marilynn Liotta. The dedication of the Tree House took place at the school’s annual Spring Festival and featured a violin recital and choral concert. Guest speakers included Mrs. Lynn Pellaton who served as Head of School from 1972 to 1996.
The Tree House is all natural and was constructed from sustainably harvested Black Locust logs and Osage Orange branches. The Tree House is a permanent part of the school’s award-winning rain garden and was built by local craftsman Marcus Sims. Ms. Liotta is retiring at the end of the school year.
You can learn just about anything by playing with blocks: physics, geometry, leadership, project management, team work, cooperation and more. I am thrilled to introduce new outdoor construction blocks called Outlast Blocks to the playground and Rain Garden at Evergreen School this week. The blocks are made by Community Playthings to be safe for Toddlers through Elementary. The blocks will add one more creative play option to our playground. The blocks support the play theory of ‘loose parts‘ that has guided the Evergreen playground design for many years.
Here’s our new play structure– The Tree House– being installed. It is about as natural and organic as anything you would find in an Appalachian forest. As an Evergreen parent wrote… “How COOL is that!”
This 18-foot tall play sculpture was custom-designed by Bill Hutchens and is being installed by Marcus Sims and Allan Hill. The Tree House consists of four platforms, rope ladders and a slide. It is made of black locust trunks and Osage Orange branches and pressure treated decking lumber.
When I told some children that we were going to call it The Tree House, they corrected me: “It’s a fortress.” “It’s a tower.” “No, its a pirate ship.” It’s as mutable and whimsical as imagination itself.
Did you know that Saturday, December 21 will be the shortest day of the year? The sun will not rise until 7:23 AM. The sun will set at4:49 PM. It will be a dark, damp and chilly day. Our elementary class has already had lessons on the path of the Earth and the science behind the solstice.
What can we do on this bleak and dreary day but celebrate? Hibernating is not an option.
The day before the solstice, the Winter Festival will be Evergreen’s way of using the warmth and joy of family and friendship to thaw the coldness of the season. We are named Evergreen for a reason! We look forward to seeing our parents at our traditional mid-winter event. In addition to the music performances by each class and our school song, we celebrate the children who are moving up to a new academic level in January. And then our all-school potluck. Enough to keep us warm until spring!
Our new Thanksgiving cards went into the mail yesterday. The cards were designed by Ms. Nina Mahboubi and her nest class. After creating a wash of vibrant fall color, students blew a river of India ink across the paper’s surface to create a barren winter tree silhouette. Who needs another picture of a turkey or a cornucopia anyway?
Some viewers see flames in the background and others recall a warm fire on a cold winter night. What ever feelings our card evokes, we say there is much to be thankful for this year– children’s art especially.
Here is a link to last year’s design, too