Sarah Shares: Seeing the City Through Our Children’s Eyes
When I get a handmade invitation to a field trip, I don’t hesitate to clear my calendar! Last week I joined the 2nd year and Kindergarten Primary All Day Montessori Students on a field trip to the Macy’s Light Show.
The students in our All Day Montessori (ADM) class have the benefit of time. Because of their extended day, the children have both a morning and an afternoon work cycle, as well as time for special projects, such as baking, music and readers theater performances, and for our older Primary ADM students, regular field trips.
Center City is central to Greene Towne’s identity—Greene Towne was founded by parents who lived in Logan Square to serve families who were committed to living in the city. Now in our 53rd year, Greene Towne is a proud and strong anchor institution in Logan Square, serving and connecting families who live and work in Center City, while providing an excellent education for our children. Our children often come to us already comfortable in our corner of the city from their family adventures. We extend that learning through Greene Towne's field trips and partnerships neighborhood parks, markets, museums, libraries, and more. Greene Towne fosters a love of Philadelphia, and comfort and joy with all that our city has to offer.
I felt all this and more traveling to the Macy’s Light Show with 15 four- and five-year-old Greene Towners (along with 4 teachers) last week. We walked from Greene Towne West Campus to the bus stop for Route 48, got on the bus (where children sat two to a seat), and got off outside Macy’s on 13th and Market. On the way home we walked two blocks to and from the bus ride, talking about all we noticed as we walked. I was impressed to say the least. Our children know how to listen when needed in order to be safe and hear instructions from the teacher. They hold their partner’s hand and walk carefully, especially when crossing the streets. They peer out the windows of the SEPTA bus, sharing sights they’ve been to before as we pass by… ”My dad works near here!” “I’ve seen that sculpture before.” “This is where my mom and dad and I go sometimes.” “Is City Hall the biggest city hall in the world?” Along the way we line up regularly to regroup and get ready for next steps.
Primary ADM Afternoon Lead Teacher Diana Mousetis has this down to a science, and has taught our children well how to move safely and respectfully as a group, so that we can take our learning wherever we go. I don’t know how long it’s been since I was last at the Macy’s Light Show, but I certainly saw it through new eyes with our students. Others visiting the show watched them with appreciation, and asked me what school we were from, clearly impressed with how well we take our learning on the road. “What IS a sugar plum fairy?” “FROSTY--I’ve read this book!” They sang along, ate their snack, and when it was ready to go, put on their coats using the signature “up and over” technique.
May you experience some of this same level of wonder and adventure over the holiday season with your family and friends. See you in the next decade!