The Kingsley Montessori Scholarship Gala 2013 is a community-building, festive event that celebrates the school’s individuality. Faculty, families, and neighbors are welcomed to attend the Sat., March 2nd affair at The State Room, located at 60 State St. in Boston. It is the primary fundraiser for income applied toward financial aid scholarships.
“As a relatively new school, we don’t have an endowment,” says Kristi O’Conner, Director of Advancement Efforts. “We don’t have funds and reserves growing that we can draw from to create a financial aid budget that we can sustain on a year-to-year basis.”
The money raised during the gala constitutes 90% of the financial aid budget, assisting about 15-17 families per year, depending on economic needs and the number of children per family attending the Kingsley.
The evening includes a cocktail hour, silent and live auctions, raffle items – many donated by Kingsley staff and parents – dancing, and socializing.
“The success of the gala is really important because it directly impacts how many families we’re able to provide aid to,” explains O’Conner.
This year’s theme is “my hands are small, but they are my own,” and was inspired by a Jewel song. It evokes images of the happenings and values of the Kingsley: a gentle, hands-on environment where children are engaged in their work.
O’Conner emphasizes the importance and academic influence of having students complete the full duration of their elementary school education at the Kingsley.
“One of the things that is unique about Kingsley is we are the foundational decade of learning, where having a child remain in a classroom on a continuum is an important step,” says O’Conner.
There are mixed-age classrooms: in the preschool, there is a dedicated toddler class; the preschool classes combine ages 3-6; lower elementary classrooms integrate 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders together; and grades 4, 5, and 6 are merged in the upper elementary. This learning technique allows students to learn from their peers, giving them the opportunity to work collectively and teach one another. Students stay with their teachers for three years, allowing the instructors to develop a deep knowledge of their personality, learning habits, and how to encourage their students’ greatest potential. “There’s a lot of self-direction in the work that they do. They choose which projects they’re going to take on, and they take ownership of their work,” O’Conner says about Kingsley students. To purchase tickets for the Kingsley Scholarship Gala 2013, visit www.Kingsley.org.