Annual Fundraiser

STX Montessori raises $5K for scholarship fund

copa2012avisclipping

Rivert Diaz of Siete Son right, gives salsa dance lessons to a group of men and women during St. Croix Montessori’s Latin-themed fundraiser, “A Night at the Copa” Saturday night at the Captain Morgan Visitor’s Center.

Written by Tom Eader, November 24, 2012 for The Avis

ST. CROIX — The nonprofit school St. Croix Montessori raised $5,000 for its scholarship fund during a fun-filled event Saturday at the Captain Morgan Visitor’s Center located on the grounds of the Diageo USVI run distillery, according to a school board member.

“It will be able to help us fund several partial scholarships for our students who cannot afford a full tuition.” Lisa Bass, a parent of a student who attends the school and a St. Croix Montessori board member, said about the money raised.

The Latin-themed fundraiser, “A Night at the Copa,” featured music by Rivert Diaz of Siete Son, free salsa dance lessons and a silent auction featuring student artwork as well as hotel stays to exotic locations including Puerto Rico and Mexico.

The silent auction featured artwork created by the elementary school students. The students were introduced to the Latin artist Romero Britto and asked to draw their interpretation of his piece titled “Heart Kids.”

The primary sponsor of the event was Diageo who provided the location for the event at no cost.

“We give big thanks to Diageo,” Bass said.

All the money raised during the fundraiser through the admission cost and silent auction will go toward the school’s scholarship fund. Tickets for the fundraiser were sold for $59 each or $75 per couple. “We’re building up our program and the money is going to go toward the scholarship program for students who can’t afford the tuition, so the more people we can get to contribute, the more scholarships we can give out,” Bass said.

Lizette Llanos Popo was able to enroll her four-year old son in the school this year thanks to the scholarship fund.

“When we applied in spring they were able to build up the scholarship fund to offer him a partial scholarship to allow him to attend,” she said.

Popo said St. Croix Montessori educates students in the primary and elementary grade levels. She said about half of the school’s 40 students receive scholarship assistance. She said the school is now building up its scholarship fund to provide future financial assistance to parents who want their children to enjoy the Montessori experience.

“We want to open up the Montessori experience to anyone who sees the benefit of a Montessori education,” Popo said.

St. Croix Montessori’s goal, in partnership with parents and community, is to educate the children of St. Croix following the principles of Dr. Maria Montessori, according to the school. Located in Estate Orange Grove, the school is committed “to give the child a vision of the whole universe” while developing him or her to the fullest potential.

Born in 1870, Montessori was the first woman in Italy to receive a medical degree. She worked in the fields of psychiatry, education and anthropology. She believed that each child is born with a unique potential to be revealed, rather than as a “blank slate” waiting to be written upon.

Even though the school was successful in raising $5,000 for its scholarship fund, Bass said the school will continue its fundraising efforts.

“It was really great, but we have a lot more to go,” she said.

The next fundraiser for St. Croix Montessori will be the school’s annual Indian-themed dinner on April 13, 2013 at the Palms at the Pelican Cove.

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