The Princeton Montessori School was the host to a fall festival for its students and their families in the backyard of the school on Oct. 19.
Holding its inaugural fall festival last year in celebration of the school’s 50th anniversary, the event was such a hit the school decided to bring it back this year and make it an annual occurrence moving forward.
“I think it’s going to be a long-standing tradition here,” said Kristen VonWachenfeldt, administrator at Princeton Montessori. “It’s such a great way for the families to come together, build community, have fun and also for the kids to see their teachers too. What’s better than having a party at your school?”
Events for the day included pony rides by Hunter Farms, hayrides run by the faculty and parents, free doughnuts provided by Terhune Orchards, live music from bluegrass group the Blue Wave Ramblers, inflatables, as well as games and arts and crafts for everyone.
“I think we have such a connected and engaged community,” said Michelle Morrison, head of school. “I was managing the hayride and had my face to the group, I noticed how nice it is that everyone knows everybody, they feel comfortable, the kids are safe here. It’s just so lovely to see everyone enjoy themselves.”
One of the biggest events of the day is the doughnut on a string competition. Here, six participants, each representing a different program in the school, have to hold their hands behind their backs and eat an entire doughnut that hangs from a string.
VonWachenfeldt, who represented the administration, fell short in the competition, coming in second place to middle school teacher Kate Garzón, who won lunch for her whole program.
At the Princeton Montessori School, the fall festival also echoed the beliefs of the school’s curriculum.
“One of the reasons this event reflects who we are as a school is because we value nature and outdoor time,” Morrison said. “We are very connected to our farm to school program, so this in a way was all about our harvesting of the produce and the things we worked hard on. And also, we’re about community – just allowing people to have downtime and come together and enjoy each other.
But for the faculty of Princeton Montessori School, the day was also about providing a safe place for students they can call home.
“We definitely want people to feel like this is their second home and you can see when the students come up here that they just feel so at home here. It’s just so much fun to see them enjoying each other,” VonWachenfeldt said.
For more information about the Princeton Montessori School, visit www.princetonmontessori.org.