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Adolescence: Personal Growth
THE FARM
Creative arts and physical expression call to the adolescent as a means to sort out their emotions, ideas and personal identity. They explore physical challenges relative to their rapidly changing bodies, involving their whole beings in physical fitness challenges and meaningful work.
Communication Skills

Presentation and Public-Speaking
Public speaking typically challenges even the most accomplished adults. Gaining early familiarity and comfort in this arena builds confidence while preparing each child with an important life skill.

The best way to increase confidence and comfort is through practice. Public speaking is practiced at the end of each project during community presentations. Presentations come in all forms: lab reports, data analyses, PowerPoint presentations, dramatic re-enactments, visual arts exhibitions and demonstrations.

In the process of preparing and giving presentations, students learn skills such as:

  • Confidence in front of an audience
  • Organization
  • PowerPoint and multi-media design
  • Debate
  • Creative dramatics
  • Collaboration on performances

Seminars: Dialogue About Big Ideas
Frequent, guided intellectual discussions are incorporated into community life to provide opportunities for students to process experiences through dialogue. Seminar discussions develop independent thinking and articulation of big ideas and become a key vehicle for analytical inquiry and the exploration of ideas.

Seminars take place:

  • Within the framework of every project
  • As a community-wide event
  • In math sessions
  • In literary discussions
  • In the application of philosophy
  • In solving community issues
Seminars demand the cultivation of an open mind and a productive exchange of perspectives. Students are required to speak up and offer opinions, developing both intellectual process and individual confidence.

Arts and Sports

Creative Arts Creativity
During a time of sorting out emotions, ideas, and personal identity, the arts provide the vehicle for adolescents to explore and understand themselves. They are often able to express their thoughts and experiences more readily through art than through language and logic.

Multiple opportunities are needed to be creative and use creative media. The Adolescent Program provides rotating projects in the arts to allow students to explore various artistic outlets. Visiting artists share their skills and their passions.

Projects include:

  • Drawing
  • Watercolor
  • Woodworking
  • Multi-media art
  • Photography
  • Drama
  • Choral singing
  • Guitar and drums
  • Flower arranging

Physical Education and Expression
Rapid physical changes are the hallmark of adolescence. Getting used to an adult body requires regular physical activity, physical challenges and the chance to explore different modes of physical expression.

Students do physical work on the farm and work outside as part of their studies and project work. They have opportunities to explore different approaches to physical health through weekly physical expression projects which include skill work in:

  • Orienteering and outdoor skills
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Softball
  • Running
  • Biking
  • Yoga and Pilates
  • Fencing
  • Horseback riding
  • Canoeing
  • Hiking
  • Snow activities

Community Work and Service
Service to others and community is an important aspect of social awareness. Serving others contributes to a widening perspective and cultivates wisdom and compassion. At Hershey, volunteerism is incorporated weekly and is a community-wide expectation. Hershey students learn the importance of serving others who need help by making genuine contributions to our community.

On Friday afternoons, students and staff assess the community tasks that need to be accomplished. Small groups are formed to complete tasks such as cleaning stalls, harvesting produce, publishing newsletters, splitting firewood, baking, attending to the B&B, repairing broken items, and hosting visitors.

Some students volunteer their Friday afternoons to work in a special program for Alzheimer's patients at the UH Corinne Dolan Center for Memory and Aging. Others do diverse jobs for our friends and neighbors in the way of yard work, barn work or child care.

During Thanksgiving week, all staff and students make a special visit to organizations in the wider community to offer their help including the Cleveland Food Bank, The Ronald McDonald House, the soup kitchen at St. Hermann's, Geauga County Department on Aging and local retirement homes.

Social Responsibility and Practical Skills
Every aspect of the farm must be run with the collaboration of students and adults. All students rotate through a set of responsibilities that require them to cook in the kitchen, clean and maintain the building and work in the woodshop, in the barn, and on the farm.

Farm Duty
Every morning two students assist the Farm Manager with whatever tasks the operation of the farm requires: cleaning barns, handling animals, buying feed at the grain co-op, working with the vet, working in the garden, gathering firewood, attending the bees, or shoveling snow.

Kitchen Duty
Two students work each day with a cook to plan menus and prepare and serve lunch. Students learn safety guidelines for commercial kitchen operation, food preparation skills and techniques and new recipes. Students also share tips on nutrition and clean the kitchen after lunch gaining the same expertise that is required for running a restaurant.

Woodshop Duty
The woodshop is the laboratory where students craft items to be sold at market or to the school community. They learn to safely use hand tools and simple power tools. Cutting boards, salad tongs, holiday ornaments, and other student-created items are produced as a result.

Microeconomy: Business, Economics, and Entrepreneurship
Running a business first hand offers students early exposure to the meaning of money and the basis of economic systems. Students plan, operate and account for business ventures related to the farm, woodshop and seasonal sales events.

Money handled through these businesses remains separate from the school's operating budget and must be managed with the reality of investments, profits and losses. The students come to understand principles of supply and demand, marketing, accounting, use of capital resources, and division of labor as they contribute to the local economy.

Businesses run by the students include:

  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Holiday Basket, Wreath and Tree sales
  • Organic Gardens: growing vegetables and flowers for CSA, Geauga Fresh Farmers' Market and community consumption
  • Beeswax Candle production and sales
  • Honey harvesting and sales
  • Maple Syrup production and sales
  • Goats' Milk Soap production and sales
  • Pancake Breakfast operation
  • Meat production for community consumption
  • Woodshop production of craft items

After-School Activities
Belonging to a genuine community where people live, work, and study full-time means that all students benefit from the rich life that happens around-the-clock. Residential students participate in after-school physical activities like running, biking, basketball, sledding and cross-country skiing. Horseback riding lessons are offered on an individual basis.

Both day students and residential students are invited to participate in after-school soccer and horseback riding. Day students are welcome to spend the night and participate in boarding life activities and responsibilities. Community events such as coffeehouse performances, drama performances and dances are scheduled throughout the year

Interested? Get More Information or Schedule a Visit!
Parents can schedule a visit to our classrooms and experience the learning environment first hand. For more information, contact Kathy Beech, Director of Admissions at kbeech@hershey-montessori.org or call (440) 357-0918.

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© 2014 Hershey Montessori School
Concord Campus: 10229 Prouty Rd. Concord, OH 44077
Huntsburg Campus: 11530 Madison Road, Huntsburg Twp., Ohio 44046
440.357.0918 phone    440.357.9096 fax    staff@hershey-montessori.org

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