Ms. Sara’s Class Skypes with Julie Salamon

IMG_1266On Tuesday, Ms. Sara’s class Skyped with Julie Salamon, author of CAT IN THE CITY. The Skype visit focused on the writing and editing process. What happens after you write the first draft of a story? How do you make it better? What do you think about when you create a character? How do stories change along the way? Julie Salamon has written a series of award-winning books, including WENDY AND THE LOST BOYS (2011), HOSPITAL (2008), FACING THE WIND (2001), THE NET OF DREAMS (1996), and RAMBAM’S LADDER (2003). THE DEVIL’S CANDY (1991) is considered a Hollywood classic about film making gone awry, and her novella THE CHRISTMAS TREE (1996), illustrated by Jill Weber, was a NYT best-seller and has been translated into eight languages. The class finished the book the day before the Skype visit. They asked thoughtful questions and received this piece of advice about writing from Mrs. Salamon: “No matter what you are writing, make sure it is something you enjoy writing about and that you are having fun.” A special shout out to Jenny Schmidt for bringing this opportunity to the classroom.

– Sara Vondrachek

New Playground!

Playground ImageIf you weren’t able to make it to Green Fest to see the unveiling, we’re pleased to present the plans and renderings for the new playground. The new playground design introduces much-needed green space and areas for teaching activities, as well as creative play using natural materials and equipment. In addition, the existing large parking lot playground area behind the new designed space will remain available to allow for activities such as soccer, basketball and other types of sports, and will be furnished with new equipment to facilitate that type of play as well. The projected budget for the project is $150-180,000, but we hope to offset some of this with material donations and volunteer labor. To date, fundraising efforts have raised $44,600, and the school is contributing an additional $50,000, which brings our current total allocated to this project so far to $94,600. Our goal is to begin work by June 2016. Thank you all for your fundraising efforts to date, and we are confident we can reach our remaining fundraising goals together!

Playground Update

Downtown Montessori Academy is pleased to announce we have engaged with site design group, ltd. for the design and bu10924740_773412939416863_1731890191606573465_nild of the school playground.

site design group, ltd. is an award-winning landscape architecture, urban design, and architecture firm based in Chicago. They are a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE).

“As landscape architects, urban designers, planners, and architects, we are innovative creative-thinkers. We are enlivened by our surroundings and strive to produce creative spaces that inspire, restore, and bring communities together. We are recognized by our ability to visualize and communicate innovative design concepts and spatial experiences throughout the design process.”

site design will be unveiling the plans for our new playground space at the Green Fest on May 21 at 4:30pm.
To date, $33,054 has been raised for this exciting new addition to the Downtown Montessori Academy campus! The school has committed to pay the architecture fees, so all funds raised by the DMA community will go directly to the construction and build of this ambitious project.

Stay tuned for more information, and join us at Green Fest on the 21st for the unveiling!

We Be Monsters Collaborative Art Project

10269186_10102612921157118_7122177904410012882_oWe Be Monsters is a culminating event of an intergenerational art collaboration between Downtown Montessori Academy (K8) and the Milwaukee High School of the Arts.

Our exhibition opening and silent auction will be located at the Milwaukee High School of the Arts Gallery at 2300 W. Highland Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53233 on Friday April 24th from 7:00 – 8:30pm. All proceeds will be donated to the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts which provides free arts programming to under-served youth. This community collaboration began with elementary students taking a field trip to MHSA to work with the high school students and draw their “monsters.” Many of the elementary students had never had the opportunity to interact with teenagers and were deeply impacted by their interactions with high school students. Using these “monsters” as blueprints, high school students created 3D marionettes and puppets from the elementary student’s drawings. High school students were highly motivated to create accurate three-dimensional representations of the drawings. Additionally, the theater department came to Downtown Montessori Academy and worked with a group of students to develop a script for a puppet show to be performed for Downtown Montessori Academy’s student body. This project allowed for diverse age groups to interact and gain a deeper understanding of each other and develop positive relationships between schools and communities.

The exhibition will feature drawings and 3D counterparts, video interviews from elementary students before and after the collaboration as well as a video of the puppet show being performed.


For further information please contact Jenny Urbanek at (414) 712-6462 or at jurbanek@downtownmontessori.com

Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

Have you purchased your Spaghetti Dinner tickets yet? It’s not too late to get in on the fun and help support our upcoming playground remodel. We now have a dedicated page for all your Spaghetti Dinner related needs. Just check out the tab at the top of this page labeled “Annual Fundraiser.”

There are several ways you can help with this fundraiser:

  • Bring in an item for your child’s classroom basket
  • Bring in a bottle of wine valued at $15 or higher
  • Invite your friends and family to the dinner, be sure to pre-purchase their tickets
  • Sign up to volunteer (link on fundraising page will soon be active)