Prompted by the humanitarian crisis that has resulted from the war in Ukraine, Montrose students are participating in a four-week, school-wide fundraiser for the Red Cross in Ukraine – a fundraiser they initiated and are overseeing.
The effort is a collaboration among several different student-run clubs throughout the school.
Student Government leaders presented various ways to raise funds in an all-school Common Homeroom last month. They noted that the war – its violence and displacement of women and children – threatens the dignity of the human person, and supporting those who are hurt or displaced is to stand in solidarity with them.
On Monday, April 11, sixth grade students participated in a “Ukraine Solidarity In-House Field Trip,” organized by art teacher Christina Marge along with Middle School faculty. Montrose friend Maryanne Zozula, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Ukraine after World War II, visited for the day and advised on the planned activities.
The day’s featured activity was to make traditional Pysanky eggs that will later be sold within the school, with proceeds going toward the fundraiser. Parents volunteered to help with the project, as the process involved working with hot wax and candles. Students sketched designs on their eggs then outlined the pencil tracings with dripping, hot wax using special tools. When the wax cooled, the eggs were placed in dye. Once the dye dried, the students melted the wax and wiped it off, revealing intricate designs on the surface of the egg shell. The eggs were hardened with shellac before Mrs. Marge instructed the students on how to drain the egg yolk and whites from the shells.
In between stages in the egg dying and designing process, the girls read and dramatized Ukrainian folk tales while investigating the essential questions including “How do characters and events of folktales help form our world view?” and “What do folktales reveal about the values of a culture?”
Faculty member Sarah Ortiz gave sixth graders a lesson on “Ukraine’s people: past and present,” while Montrose Biologist in Residence Sarah Hanna led the students in an investigation of famous Ukrainian scientists and contributors to culture. Music teacher Abby Rios instructed the students on Ukrainian music.