Junior Hikers, Birthdays, Poems, Stories, Facilities and Fests...

9-12ers readying to rock the A.T.

The 9-12 year-old class has been hard at work getting in shape for our end-of-year field trip--hiking the Appalachian Trail!! We plan to continue hiking one trail each week until May. Each week we push a little harder and choose a more challenging trail. We can't wait to get out there on the AT!

We are also in the middle of our student-led lessons. So far Sawyer has taught us EVERYTHING about the Beatles, Ethan has taken us through the wild world of Lego history, Erik has taught us the origins of American football, and Reid is teaching the class about sustainable horse-logging as I type this.

See ya,
Kristy & Matt

A Month of Birthdays

I don't know what it is about February. Besides being the most difficult month to spell, and especially because it suffers from a significant day shortage, somehow the second month of ye olde yeare is also host to the most birthdays of Mountain Pathways staffers. As this goes out on the 11th, The MP senior staffer Sara in the 3-6 is celebrating her world premiere, St. Justin's Day falls as usual on Feb. 14, (our 6-9 leader has extra cause to celebrate as this marks his last birthday before he puts on that fancy tux in June and gets himself married off to Miss Kristy, a Feb. 1 birthday haver herself). And rounding out the wedding party, Rev. Glenn himself must confess to his forty-firstest of birthdays on the 23rd (and I have to throw in that my son Sawyer is the 19th, and my daughter Savannah held on an extra week trying to make it, but landed on the 27th of January instead). Happy Birthday to All of Us!

Mountain Valleyfest Sponsors: DEADLINE, FEB. 15!

This coming Tuesday is the current deadline to get commitments from sponsors for our Ginormantic Mountain Valleyfest Mega-Stupendous Event on May 21. We have promotional materials to print and distribute and sponsors want to be on those things. Here is the link AGAIN to the spreadsheet that tells the status of every potential sponsor contacted. If you know someone who should be on there, or who has not been contacted, please help. The committee is particularly looking for someone with connections to local fast food franchises, not so much for food donations, but hopefully some actual money or perhaps drinks or utensils, etc. This is the link to the promotional materials that can be emailed to potentials (though face to face always has a better shot, so you could print and take as well). Questions should be directed to mvfest@gmail.com.
Also, don't forget to email Alecia Jackson if you want to help with the organization of the fun runs that we will be connecting with the festival: alecia.jackson@gmail.com.

3-6 Stories and Poems: We all want to roll....

Stories and poetry have taken off in the large 3-6 classroom. We encourage the children to use "invented spelling" for their creative writing work. This means they have learned enough sounds and symbol formations that they are able to assemble short stories. They also may choose to use vocabulary cards to spell some of their words. We do not ever correct this creative writing process but are able to take note of and give developmentally appropriate lessons to children at other opportunities. This writing opportunity gives the children a great deal of satisfaction and sense of self-worth.

Here are some of their creations (with a translation to the right)

The Sory of Valintinse The Story of Valentines

Valintinze is a day to Selabat Valentines is a day to celebrate
love and pes yes or no love and peace yes or no
valentineze day yes valentines day yes
Sum Pepol thek no Some people think no
But i sae Yes. But I say yes.
by Olivia


Ther wuns was a grl cat. There once was a girl cat.
Hr name wus Ollie. Her name was Ollie.
by Devan


Therair was a net There was a net
theet cot a fish that caught a fish
Hish Fred bit the Net Fish Fred bit the net
by Victoria


my roo rmotte kanchrol helukopttr My Remote Control Helicopter
spring bladse up & dan Springing blades up and down
rowd & rowd my helukottr. Round and Round my helicopter.
by Silas


The cat is really happy because she is big and furry. The end
by Audrey


hexagon and circle
they both wanted to roll.
oh how they wanted to roll.
by Ellary


Update: The Buildings, The Well, The Road

Buildings: The Norwood House cleared a big hurdle with the county inspectors when it was decided that it was technically infeasible to put in lifts or ramps between the levels. We have another meeting next week to address some further concerns with our basement plans. When it is all approved, we will be gathering our workers together to get the four or five days worth of construction done. We need to hear ideas for getting materials donated. (Well, we also need someone to get a look at the plans and put a materials list together first). Thanks so much to Architect Dad Bill Dixon for all the hard work his offices at Appalachian Architecture have put in to this process.

Well: We are on track to get an engineer to, well, engineer, the plans for the new well. The state approved our tiny little site in the woods to drill, so we're hoping that this -- combined with good news on the inspection front -- is serving to tie us to this location for a while. We are going to 'back burner' the ideas for moving to any new locations.

Road: Thanks so much to new 3-6 mom Sarah Bauler for all her hard work in getting the Dept. of Transportation to take a look at whether we can get some more recognition of our 'School Zone' along Howard's Creek Road. We have an actual representative of the DOT coming to observe in a couple of weeks (we need him to see a 'normal' traffic day to get a real idea), but in the meantime, I had an idea. How about you email short stories you might have gathered over the years involving the traffic on the road and the speed of cars you have witnessed? Email them to Sarah at sarahbauler@gmail.com.

Thanks also to the crew of dads that straightened out the sign at TCBY last weekend!

Finally, our best wishes go way out to our toddler teacher Rebecca Bellonci. She is heading to Charlotte to get her back operated on Monday. We are fully expecting her to come through with flying colors and be back to her post in around three weeks. In the meantime, we welcome Kelly Boone to the toddler room. Kelly is excited to learn more about the Montessori approach as she considers pursuing her Montessori certification in the future.