Montessori students give back with carols, pie delivery

Published 6:40 pm Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Washington Montessori Public Charter School embraced the season of giving Wednesday by delivering pies to local residents.

As part of an annual tradition, the pies were delivered for a 17th year to residents of the Village Apartments and were accompanied by student violinists playing Christmas tunes, including “Jingle Bells” and “Joy to the World,” among others. Pie flavors ranged from apple to cherry, and pumpkin to sweet potato.

The Montessori school visits the Village Apartments every year around Thanksgiving to deliver the pies and play songs, and it’s become an event to which the residents look forward. Students at WMPCS learn violin using the Suzuki method, which supports a well-rounded education for anyone wanting to learn.

Olivia Gardiner, a fourth-grader at Washington Montessori, participated in the tradition for the third year in a row.

“Every single time I enjoy it more,” she said. “I like that we get to see the happy faces on every person, and that we get to play for them because I don’t think that many people visit them.”

Olivia said her favorite carol to play for the residents is “Away in a Manger.” She wants the residents to feel as though they are appreciated.

Music instructor Michele Rhem recalled one resident who was unable to eat the pie given to him last year because of his diabetes. Rhem said the students were visibly upset and some tears shed — a testament to how much heart they put into the tradition.

On Wednesday, the students made sure to smile and wave at the residents, thanking them for listening and wishing them a happy holiday.

For Olivia, that’s the most rewarding part.

“Seeing happy faces and knowing that they feel happy because they’re actually being seen, and that they’re appreciated and respected. … I think it’s important for everybody to know that they’re respected.”

Olivia said she is looking forward to her own family’s Thanksgiving celebration this year at her grandmother’s house. It didn’t take long for her to point out the root of her excitement: “I’m happy that I don’t have to clean my bedroom. It takes forever to clean my bedroom.”

TRADITION: Seventh-grader Nathan Naylor delivers a pie to a Washington resident on Wednesday. The deliveries are a Thanksgiving tradition.