This newsletter is best viewed in HTML or you can view on our website:,638.html
Please add to your safe-senders list to ensure your newsletters do not get caught by email filters.

Santa Cruz Parent

Saturday April 29, 2017  ~ 9:00am - 1:45pm

(0 Summit 2017) SummitAD2017.jpg

Grace Timan, 7th Grade

(0 Summit 2017) Summit_HappyDance.jpgFor nine of my 12 years I have been participating with my family in Mount Madonna School's Summit for the Planet walk-a-thon and celebration. It is always something I look forward too.

As a first grader, I remember running the forest trail with all of my friends. We began the morning excited and determined, and by the end of the run, we were quite tired! Although we were tired, this didn't stop us from running around the eco-carnival like it was Disneyland! To us, as young kids, the eco-carnival was Disneyland - that's how good of a time we had!

As I started to get older, things started to change. While the level of fun remained, my thoughts about Summit for the Planet shifted. I began to pay more attention to the "eco" part. This made me love our festival even more; not only was I having the time of my life, I was helping my school raise money and felt like I was helping the environment too!

For Mount Madonna School, Summit for the Planet is a necessary thing. The fundraising component helps fill the gap not covered by tuition, and the walk-a-thon and eco-carnival are good ways to educate the community about environmental issues -while having some fun!

(0 Summit 2017) KAZU_Ad_2017.jpg

Sophia Manzur, 5th Grade

(0 Summit 2017) Summit_3Runners.jpgSummit for the Planet is a fundraiser that helps keep Mount Madonna School unique. Summit for the Planet raises money in a fun and creative way. The first part of Summit for the Planet is a walk-a-thon. We get to walk through the redwood forest which is a healthy activity and also reminds you to enjoy the environment. Afterwards we all gather for the eco-carnival that raises more money and has activities where you learn how to save our planet and animals.

(0 Summit 2017) Summit_GirlBubbles.jpgSome fundraisers do not make it so students are involved but at Mount Madonna School every student has a fun part. Students ask family and friends to sponsor them in the walk-a-thon. All of the elementary classes make eco-friendly games from recycled materials for the carnival. Every student performs by singing, and they get to show their parents and friends the work they have done in science class.

My class, which is fifth grade, will present our environmental project on the Santa Cruz kangaroo rat. The seventh grade class, which is my sister's class, will present their environmental project, Seed of Flame, about the Loma Fire that happened last fall. It recently won first place for middle school and $25,000 in the national Lexus Eco Challenge!

If you come, you will be inspired by the projects and the eco-friendly games because you are learning about helping the environment while having fun. The walk through the redwood forest is very beautiful. You will see a pretty view of the ocean and be surrounded by nature. There will be a lot of happy kids running through the forest. There will be many varieties of (0 Summit 2017) Summit_Owl.jpgfood so you and your friends and family can eat. There is a science area where you will be able to hold a snake and other amphibians. Someone will be there explain all kinds of facts about the animals if you are interested. There will also be pony rides! There will be activities for kids from pre-k to high school, live music, a trash fashion show, and solar car races.

Please come to Summit for the Planet with your friends, family and kids.You will learn a lot about the environment and have fun!

(0 Summit 2017) Summit_MorganHillandGilroyLife.jpg

A Parent's Perspective
by Linda Gonzales

(0 Summit 2017) Summit2015ChildrenRunningLots.jpgTradition played a huge role in my childhood. In fact, many of my fondest childhood memories can be pinpointed to a family celebration where traditions were plentiful. Sights, sounds, and smells can trigger memories and suddenly bring on the giddy feeling of nostalgia. At Thanksgiving the smell of fresh stuffing out of the oven can transport me back to watching my Grandpa Pedro make his famous stuffing, stealing a spoonful here and there to make sure the taste was spot on. The sound of Tejano music, which can be best described as polka music sung in Spanglish (a perfect blend of the English and Spanish languages) inexplicably makes my feet tap as I imagine myself being twirled by my mom or dad on a makeshift dance floor in someone's backyard in celebration of a cousin's birthday, baptism or graduation. Tradition not only fills my mind with memories - it fills my heart with gratitude for a childhood rooted in strong relationships.

(0 Summit 2017) Summit_BoyRobot.jpgThe tradition of Summit for the Planet for the last 10 years is a testament that through tradition, relationships are cultivated, strengthened and honored. A successful Summit for the Planet requires community involvement and commitment. Our students are encouraged to fundraise to contribute to their education and collectively reach a goal required for their most favorite programs to continue. Parents are asked to volunteer their time assisting with the planning and execution of the event, a necessity to keep the event safe, organized and of course, fun. All faculty and staff pitch in on the day of the event by filling in wherever their help is needed, showing their students that they care for them beyond Monday through Friday and outside of the four walls in which their classrooms are situated.

(0 Summit 2017) Summit_GirlinPlastic.jpgThis year's Summit for the Planet will start with the official opening of the new Hawks' Nest. We will honor and thank the donors and volunteers who made the project possible. This ceremony will set the next phase of expanding the school's facilities and programs in motion as we intend to expand our community and experiences offered to our students. After the gym opening, walkers will gather for the walk-a-thon through our beautiful redwood forest trail and end up at the upper campus overlook for the eco-carnival. Our children will participate in an all-school song dedicated to our Mother Earth. Festivities will include eco-friendly games created by our lower school students, a trash fashion show, solar car races, a roller coaster display, a nature-themed exhibit that will include written pieces, photography and art created by our students, musicians from our school (0 Summit 2017) Summit_IceCream.jpgcommunity, and our fifth and seventh grade class' environmental projects will be on display. We have partnered with local non-profits to bring wildlife and educational resources up the mountain for carnival guests to interact with. Our longtime friend, India Gourmet will be serving up authentic Indian cuisine and the Mount Madonna School snack bar will be open and offering freshly popped popcorn, burritos and other kid-friendly treats.

By the end of the day our students, families and friends will have reunited and made new connections, executing the Mount Madonna School mission that "...a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships, and service to society." Someday, the sight of friends smiling at one another, the sound of children laughing, singing and playing, and the smell of freshly baked naan may transport you back to the tradition of Summit for the Planet and fill you with warmth and joy for the opportunity to be a part of this community event.

(0 Summit 2017) OutandAbout_Ad_2017.jpg

Citizens of Action
by Ralph W. Schardt

The Michael Lee Environmental Foundation (MLEF) was originally introduced to Mount Madonna School (MMS) through the garden coordinator and teacher, Jessica Cambell. MLEF immediately recognized a fit with our mission - to support science-based environmental education. MLEF supported a grant request to upgrade the garden and help renovate some of the teaching areas demonstrating conservation, soil management and organic, sustainable practices.

MLEF soon became acquainted with the teaching principles of the school, along with the motivation of its teachers and students. As MLEF's executive director and a former educator, I found a feeling of hope while working with MMS. Their outreach programs, cultural awareness activities, and environmental practices were a fresh breath of air compared to so many other institutions.

Seven years ago, when MLEF was asked if we would like to support Summit for the Planet, it was an easy decision to participate. When it came time for MLEF to decommission our organization, we found a way to continue support for the next 20 years through a long-term grant. We are proud of MMS and its education principles that will turn out productive, culturally aware, environmentally driven students who will become citizens of action for the world.

Ralph W. Schardt is a former Executive Director, Michael Lee Environmental Foundation.

(0 Summit 2017) SouthValley_Ad_2017.jpg

Thank you Sponsors!
Santa Cruz Parent Lazy Suzan Designs
Michael Lee Environmental Foundation SunRidge Farms
Out and About Magazine Allterra Solar
KAZU Santa Cruz Sentinel
Growing Up in Santa Cruz Mount Madonna Stables
Morgan Hill Life & Gilroy Life
South Valley Magazine & NewSVMedia

(A April 2016) SPF_Sponsor_SantaCruzSentinel.jpg

Santa Cruz County
April 20, 2017

Grace Timan, 7th Grade

Sophia Manzur, 5th Grade

A Parent's Perspective

Citizens of Action

Thank you Sponsors!

Click to view EventsClick to view our Business Directory

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."

Albert Einstein

(0 Summit 2017) Summit_GirlPony180.jpg

"Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."

John Muir
(1838 - 1914)

(ABC_Feb 2015) Summit_Widget.jpg

(0 Summit 2017) Summit_TheodoreRoosevelt.jpg

Summit for the Planet in Previous Years

(AA Summit) SummitforthePlanet_BoyandParrot2.jpg

(AA Summit) SummitforthePlanet_FacePainting2.jpg
(AA Summit) SummitforthePlanet_Owl2.jpg
(AA Summit) SummitforthePlanet_RossandReptile2.jpg
(AA Summit) SummitforthePlanet_Walkathon2.jpg
(AA Summit) Summit_dunktank.jpg
(AA Summit) Summit_Game2.jpg
(AA Summit) Summit_GirlWreath2.jpg
(AA Summit) Summit_piggy-back.jpg
(AA Summit) Summit_jogginggirl.jpg
(AA Summit) Summit_Walkinggirls2.jpg

"The mountains are calling and I must go."

John Muir
(1838 - 1914

(0 Summit 2017) Summit_PonyLesson.jpg

(A April 2016) Summit_MayaAngelou.jpg

(0 Summit 2017) Summit_WalkForest.jpg

Stay Connected: Blogs Blogs | RSS RSS

click to view: movie review : Waiting for Superman book review : The Great Truck Rescue
travel review : Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA recipe club : Thumbprint Cookies
feature article : Parent & Kids

You received this e-mail because you have signed up for our e-mail newsletters from our website.
If you received this message in error or you want to be removed from this exclusive mailing list just visit
the following link and follow the instructions. CLICK TO UNSUBSCRIBE | Santa Cruz, CA