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Santa Cruz Parent

Saturday April 28, 2018  ~ 11:00am - 1:30pm

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Why We support Mount Madonna's annual Summit for the Planet

(0 April 2018) Summit_MountMadonna.jpgA place where classrooms are steps away from fields sprouting wildflowers, trails for walking, and woods resplendent with trees; where awe for wild creatures is encouraged; where great respect for the environment is fostered; where children and adults together practice responsible citizenship; where home family and school family harmoniously nurture future citizens of the world --this we at Santa Cruz Parent support. The Summit for the Planet Earth Day celebration and Eco-Carnival is the place to be April 28!

Jordan Willis, grade 12

(0 April 2018) Summit_JordanWillis.jpgSummit for the Planet is a celebration that happens every year at Mount Madonna School (MMS). The purpose of Summit for the Planet is to raise funds for the school and raise awareness about climate issues through games and activities for kids, and learning for people of all ages. As an MMS student, I can say that it goes much deeper than that.

(0 April 2018) Summit_FestivaL.jpgSummit for the Planet brings our community together; it is a celebration of the unique culture fostered at our mountaintop school where everyone knows everyone, and an expression of positive energy and growth. Participating students are eager to engage in the activities and celebrations because not only is Summit for the Planet a school event, it is a tradition that is symbolic of the broader MMS philosophy and a representation of the vibrancy, energy, and the community our school has to offer. 

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Cavan Smith, grade 5, and her mom, Christine Smith

(0 April 2018) Summit_CavanSmith.jpgThere's only one Earth, and we are responsible to care for it. Each generation - from our wise elders to the newest arrivals and future generations not yet born - relies on this planet for everything. Food, water, air, shelter - and more. It's vital that we all do our part to preserve our precious resources.

(0 April 2018) Summit_BoyRunner.jpgSo, each year, the Mount Madonna School community gathers at its mountain-top home to celebrate our planet Earth at a fabulous event called Summit for the Planet. All of the school's students, from the tots in Pre/K to the seniors who are readying for graduation, join with family and friends on a five-kilometer trail through the school's pristine redwood forest. Some run, some walk - and some even do the course twice! But everyone has the same objective: to raise awareness for our environment.

(0 April 2018) Summit_GirlTwirl23.jpgAfter the walk, we gather for an eco-carnival, to play and learn about how all living creatures impact each other and our physical surroundings. The students create learning games, put on a Trash Fashion show, and host organizations that are dedicated to caring for the environment.

We believe in doing everything we can to protect the Earth. Summit for the Planet is not only a fabulous day and a really important event for us and for Mount Madonna School, but it's a time when we can do just that. 

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Bridget Smith, grade 6

(0 April 2018) Summit_BridgetSmith.jpgSummit for the Planet is a special Mount Madonna School event because it's more than just a fundraiser. It's a celebration of our earth, school, and the nature we are blessed to have around us. For the first part of Summit for the Planet, we have an assembly explaining why we do this, strategies for getting sponsors, and play a game, like a scavenger hunt.

(0 April 2018) Summit_Tutu.jpgSecond, we collect money from our neighbors, friends, and families who sponsor us.

Third, we take a 5K walk through the redwoods with all of our friends. Everyone gets dressed up! There are green tutus and wigs, rainbow leg warmers and pom poms. I always meet someone new on the hike; I just see someone walking and they start talking to me!

Fourth, my favorite part, the carnival! Each grade creates an eco-friendly game, like an obstacle course or a bean bag toss. For completing each game you get wood chips. Whenever you like you can turn in your wood (0 April 2018) Summit_RingGame.jpgchips and get a prize of a plant or a healthy snack. There are also tents selling food and desserts.

Summit for the Planet isn't just a fundraiser, it's a hike, and an eco-friendly carnival and fun for everyone. The teachers, students, friends and families are all there enjoying the student performances and celebration.

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A Parent's Perspective By Linda Gonzales

(0 April 2018) Summit_BoyTrashHat.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. He would steal a spoonful here and there to make sure the taste was spot on. The sound of Tejano music, 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 dad on a makeshift dancefloor in someone's backyard, celebrating 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 April 2018) Summit_TrashGirlAdorable.jpgThe tradition of Mount Madonna School's Summit for the Planet for the last 11 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 the four walls in which their classrooms are situated.

This year's Summit for the Planet will start a walk-a-thon through our beautiful redwood forest trail and end up at the upper campus ocean view overlook for the eco-carnival. Mount Madonna School students from Pre-K through 12th grade 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 film festival featuring environmentally focused pieces, and live music. We have partnered with local non-profits to bring wildlife and educational resources up the mountain for carnival guests to interact with. Food will be available for purchase. Our longtime friend, India Gourmet will be serving up authentic Indian cuisine, Fired Up Fresh Pizza will be offering delicious wood fired pizzas, and for dessert Marianne's Ice Cream will be offering a few of their most popular flavors.

(0 April 2018) Summit_BoyHorse.jpgBy 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 us all back to the tradition of Summit for the Planet.

Thank you Sponsors!
Santa Cruz Parent Lazy Suzan Designs
Michael Lee Environmental Foundation SunRidge Farms
Morgan Hill Life & Gilroy Life Santa Cruz Sentinel
Mt. Madonna Stables KAZU
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Mount Madonna
April 21, 2018

Why We support Mount Madonna's annual Summit for the Planet
Jordan Willis, grade 12

Cavan Smith, grade 5, and her mom, Christine Smith

Bridget Smith, grade 6

A Parent's Perspective By Linda Gonzales
Thank you Sponsors!

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world.

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Indeed it's the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

The family is one of nature's masterpieces. George Santayana
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The family is one of nature's masterpieces.

George Santayana

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Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Summit for the Planet in Previous Years

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"The mountains are calling and I must go."

John Muir
(1838 - 1914

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