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Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Maria Montessori understood that, innately, children feel connected to humanity, and recognized that children appreciate opportunities to serve others. This is an important connection that parents and teachers need to continue to nourish in students, providing opportunities for those meaningful connections. But what if, in addition to feeling good through providing service to others, a school's service project could be integrated with the curriculum, bringing in experts to encourage writing, dancing, science experiments, art, and, possibly, careers? That is just what happened when Wilmington Montessori School partnered with Power Up Gambia's education program. Power Up Gambia is a nonprofit organization founded by Kathryn Cunningham, a premed student who volunteered in a hospital in the Gambia in 2006 and was appalled by the consequences of the hospital's lack of power. Cunningham returned home to Pennsylvania and founded Power Up Gambia to provide solar panels to the hospital. When the Power Up Gambia project was first presented to Wilmington Montessori, there was an immediate connection. Linda Zankowsky, Wilmington Montessori's head of school, said, "We recognized early on that Power Up Gambia's education program could provide a wonderful enrichment to our cultural curriculum for our 6-9- and 9-12-year-old classes for the year--they were focusing on the continent of Africa. Within the Power Up Gambia program, the cultural curriculum was completely represented, including the continent study of Africa, the arts, and sciences." Zankowsky also appreciated the education program's value to her school.