Summit for the Planet Student Spotlight
What inspires you about the Mount Madonna School (MMS) annual Summit for the Planet event?
The unity of it all and watching the whole school come together and push towards a common goal inspires me.
What should people know about Summit for the Planet that would make them want to come?
It’s honestly just a good time! No matter if you are in the first grade or a senior, there is something for everyone. Personally I really like spending time with all my friends in the walk.
Santa Cruz Parent: A Spotlight on Creativity and Learning
“The annual Summit for the Planet connects the MMS school community with local area organizations and businesses supporting the environment and teaching young people the importance of stewardship. The walk-a-thon is a way for our school to raise funds and awareness, and a day of play and fun for families and all the visitors who join us on the mountaintop.” Read it on Santa Cruz Parent.com
A Spotlight on Creativity and Learning: 13th Annual Summit for the Planet Celebration and Eco-carnival
Place a marble in the chute and watch it speed along the highs, lows, twists and turns of themed, model rollercoasters! Stand trackside for the team-built solar car races! See customized, scale-model tiny homes and blueprints; or catch the “catwalk,” as young designers model original clothing made from recycled packaging, fabrics and other items! Read more…
Morgan Hill Life: Education – Family fun at the 12th Annual Summit for the Planet celebration
Check out the wildlife and many kid-friendly activities at the upcoming 12th annual Summit for the Planet eco-carnival and Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 28. Hosted by Mount Madonna School, this free public event features kids’ games, face painting, live wildlife and reptile exhibits, pony rides, music and food. Read more…
Santa Cruz Parent: Why We support Mount Madonna’s annual Summit for the Planet
A 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. Read more…
Santa Cruz Sentinel: Mount Madonna Seventh Graders Win Lexus Eco Challenge
Santa Cruz Sentinel, 3/31/2017, “Mount Madonna seventh-graders win Lexus Eco Challenge,” by Jondi Gumz…Read more…
Valuing Tradition: 11th Annual Summit for the Planet
POSTED: March 29, 2017
Tradition 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…Read more…
Santa Cruz Sentinel: When It Comes to Leadership and Environmental Education, Mount Madonna is King of the Mountain
POSTED: February 27, 2017
Santa Cruz Sentinel, 2/25/2017, Name Dropping, “Leading to the top of the mountain,” by Justine DaCosta. Read the article
Summit for the Planet Walk-a-thon and Eco-Carnival Offers Healthy Family Fun and Nonprofit Support
POSTED: March 20, 2017
Garbed in costume-like fashions made from colorful plastic packaging, assorted paper products, re-purposed fabric and more, about a dozen children strutted confidently across the stage during last year’s Summit for the Planet “Trash Fashion” show. The show was a culmination of weeks of gathering recycled materials and designing wearable garments…Read more…
Seed of Flame: Middle School Project Named as Finalist and Awarded $10,000 in National Environmental Challenge
POSTED: February 8, 2017
The Seed of Flame, an environmental STEM project undertaken by a team of seventh grade students at Mount Madonna School (MMS), is one of 16 finalists nationwide to receive a $10,000 prize through the 2016-17 air and climate Lexis Eco Challenge. Read more…
Register-Pajaronian: Mount Madonna School Receives State Honor
POSTED: February 1, 2017
Register-Pajaronian, 1/30/2017, “Mount Madonna School receives state honor.” Read more…
Mount Madonna Honored with Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award
POSTED: January 26, 2017
Congratulations to teacher Jessica Cambell and Mount Madonna School (MMS) on receiving the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), which celebrates the environmental education work of MMS fifth grade students for the last nine years! Read more…
California Classroom: Students Study Local History, Coastal Ecology and Marine Science
POSTED: November 17, 2016
On a trail connecting Pescadero State Beach to a nearby marsh, students listened quietly to a story about the lives of the Ohlone people, early inhabitants of the area. While students commonly learn history through reading and museum visits, this group of Mount Madonna School (MMS) third and fourth graders was in nature’s classroom, spending two days along the central coast learning about local history, coastal ecology, and marine science. Read more…
Education in Action: Learning Together at Monterey Bay Aquarium
POSTED: November 2, 2016
Mount Madonna School’s second and seventh grade classes had the opportunity this week to explore and learn together at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Read more…
National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF): Spotlight on Mount Madonna School
POSTED: October 11, 2016
National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), 2016 spotlight on the 2015-16 fifth grade class from Mount Madonna School and their Western Snowy Plover project. Read more…
Summit for the Planet is a Special Occasion
POSTED: April 18, 2016
For all Mount Madonna school students, Summit for the planet is a special occasion. Students, parents and staff alike look forward to the event which is a celebration for Earth Day. Read more…
Come Join the Summit for the Planet Community
POSTED: April 18, 2016
Nestled in the beautiful redwoods and arching madrones near Mt. Madonna Park, you find the campus of Mount Madonna School, a private school serving students from preschool through twelfth grade. Read more…
The Best Thing About Summit for the Planet
POSTED: April 18, 2016
The best thing about Summit for the Planet is that it’s a whole community showing up. Read more…
Interview by the Fourth Grade Students
POSTED: April 18, 2016
Mount Madonna teacher Nick Cabassa’s fourth grade students from interviewed MMS fifth grade teacher Jessica Cambell, a founding member of the school’s Summit for the Planet planning committee. Read more…
Supporting ‘Citizens of Action’
POSTED: April 18, 2016
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. Read more…
Mount Madonna School’s 10th annual Summit for the Planet
POSTED: April 18, 2016
Naturalist and wilderness advocate, John Muir, tells us: “Everybody needs beauty… places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul alike.” Read more…
Public Screening of “Shore Wars: The Shore Awakens,” fifth grade’s educational movie related to their Western Snowy Plover environmental project
POSTED: March 23, 2016
The Western Snowy Plover, a “cute little shorebird” that lives along the California coast, is the subject of Shore Wars: The Shore Awakens, an educational movie written, filmed, edited and produced by Mount Madonna School (MMS) fifth grade students. Read more…
Mount Madonna sixth-graders hold solar oven cookout
Santa Cruz Sentinel
POSTED: February 19, 2016
In their curriculum transition from space exploration to Earth sciences, sixth grade students at Mount Madonna School harnessed the power of the sun last week to cook delectable treats with their own solar ovens. Read more…
From Plastic Bricks to Sustainable Seating: Students to Build “Earthbench”
POSTED: February 9, 2016
This spring, seventh grade students will be working on designing and building an “Earthbench” made of recycled plastic bottle “bricks” and cob to share with the Mount Madonna School (MMS) community. This interdisciplinary STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) project is a hands-on component of their classroom learning about human-caused environmental impacts and responsible management of Earth’s resources. Read more…
Wings, Feathers, Beaks and Pellets: First and Second Grades Study Birds
POSTED: January 8, 2016
Like little birds building nests from materials gathered from the surrounding habitat, first and second graders eagerly collected small sticks, acorns, bits of grass and oak leaves to push into clay and dough that they’d fashioned into small, bowl-shaped-nests. This unique hands-on activity was just one piece of a cross-curricular bird study that included learning about identification and field marks, incubation, developmental stages, habitat and adaptations. Read more…
Community Walk-a-thon and Artful Upcycling
POSTED: April 16, 2015
Put aside the paint and brushes, sewing machines are the new “media” in the Mount Madonna School (MMS) art room this spring, as all middle school and some high school students are busy crafting stylish, reusable tote bags from favorite old t-shirts. Dubbed “Artful Upcycling” by art teacher and professional artist, Sandy Shaw, the finished bags will be on display – and possibly for sale – at the 9th annual Summit for the Planet on Saturday, April 25. Read more…
A Great Time for Family and Friends
By Kira Kaplan, 6th grade
Summit for the Planet is a great time to get together with family and friends and celebrate nature! I love that we’re supporting the school and also the earth. I appreciate that there are booths that teach us about the world and what each person can do to help.
Last year there was a booth I thought was spectacular that taught people about marine animals and how we can help save them. Summit for the Planet has taught me to have awareness for what is around me as well as what is in front of me. It has taught me to love nature and to appreciate the world around us and to help to protect it.
My favorite part of the whole day is when I cross the walk-a-thon finish line and feel like I have accomplished something – and not only helping my school but having fun doing it! For me, Summit for the Planet is a meaningful time to be with the people you love. It is a time for community; everyone comes together and walks together, they talk together and they celebrate together! It is a time when everyone aspires to change our world for the better.
Supporting ‘Citizens of Action’
By Ralph W. Schardt, former Executive Director, Michael Lee Environmental Foundation
The Michael Lee Environmental Foundation (MLEF) was originally introduced to Mount Madonna School 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. Six 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. Read more…
Mount Madonna School walk-a-thon raises more than $28,000
By Steve Johnson [email protected]
San Jose Mercury News
POSTED: 04/26/2014 02:37:18 PM PDT| UPDATED: 12 DAYS AGO
WATSONVILLE — Cheered on by a gobbling wild turkey nearby, 14-year-old Ruby Bracher lined up Saturday with her classmates for a 5-kilometer hike through the dense redwoods and lush ferns high atop the Santa Cruz Mountains.
For eight years now, the Summit for the Planet walk-a-thon has become a crucial fundraiser for the private Mount Madonna School. But the Earth Day-themed event is also plenty of fun for its 200-or-so students, family members and friends, who celebrated the event with songs, food and a “trash fashion” show where the kids wore clothes they designed from recyclable materials such as egg crates and plastic picnic table covers. Read more…
Feel-good fundraising: Summit for the Planet
Morgan Hill Times
Catch a “trash fashion show” and an array of family-themed green activities at the upcoming eighth annual Summit for the Planet Walk-a-thon and Earth Day Celebration Saturday, April 26. Hosted by Mount Madonna School, this free public event combines a 5K fundraising walk-a-thon supporting local nonprofits with an eco-carnival, solar car races, music, wildlife, green shopping, learning expo and organic foods.
“Trash Fashion creativity is a sight to behold,” said trash fashion emcee and first-grade teacher Cassia Laffin. “We’ve had skirts made from paint sample cards and plastic bottle dresses. Every design is truly unique. Students, let your imaginations soar as you deliberate on your new design! What recycled finds will inspire the inner diva in you?”
Walk-a-thon and Festival Offers Healthy
Family Fun and Nonprofit Support
Garbed in costume-like fashions made from colorful plastic packaging, aluminum foil, assorted paper products, re-purposed fabric and more, about a dozen children, ages 7 to 17, strutted confidently across the stage during last year’s Summit for the Planet “Trash Fashion” show. The show was a culmination of weeks of gathering recycled materials and designing wearable garments during school art classes and at home; and provided participants with a fun outlet for showcasing their creativity by using items that might otherwise have ended up in a landfill.
“The kids enjoy the hands-on 3-D design and construction aspect of the Trash Fashion project,” comments professional artist and middle school art teacher Sandy Shaw. “We start with a class discussion about the importance of reducing, reusing, recycling – and recreating to help inspire students and get their creative ideas flowing. I want all of them to be excited about participating, and I offer the option to create a ‘Trash Fashion’ or a ‘Trash Sculpture’. It’s gratifying to see them move through the creative process of idea generation and having an abstract concept, to developing a 3-D physical piece of work!”
Catch the next Trash Fashion show and a whole array of family-themed “green” activities at the upcoming 8th annual Summit for the Planet Walk-a-thon and Earth Day Celebration, on Saturday, April 26. Hosted by MountMadonnaSchool, this FREE public event combines a 5K fundraising walk-a-thon supporting local nonprofits with an eco-carnival, solar car races, music, wildlife, “green” shopping, learning expo and organic foods.
“Trash Fashion creativity is a sight to behold,” adds Trash Fashion emcee and first grade teacher, Cassia Laffin. “We’ve had skirts made from paint sample cards and plastic bottle dresses. Every design is truly unique. Students, let your imaginations soar as you deliberate on your new design! What recycled finds will inspire the inner diva in you?”
Festivities will begin at 9:00am with walk-a-thon registration; the walk begins at 10:00am. The celebration will get underway as the walkers return, and concludes at 1:30pm.
Celebration participants will spotlight sustainable ‘eco-living’ and education, and include a broad range of environmentally-focused businesses and nonprofits, from the Bat Conservancy of Coastal California to Allterra Solar, the Wildlife Education Rehabilitation Center (WERC) and Bay Area Amphibian and Reptile Society (BAARS), SulphurCreekNatureCenter, Mt. Madonna Stables and Save Our Shores. Attendance at this annual event has grown to some 500 people of all ages, from across south Silicon Valley and the MontereyBay areas.
The support of key sponsors for Summit for the Planet is very important for sustaining and growing this festival, and event organizers are honored that numerous local businesses are participating, including presenting sponsors, SunRidge Farms and the Michael Lee Environmental Foundation. Additional key community sponsors are: KAZU 90.3FM, MainStreet Media, Out & About magazine, and the Register-Pajaronian.
“Fundraising is an essential component of every school, public and independent,” comments Pamela Blunden, Summit for the Planet coordinator. “Making that fundraising commitment can be daunting to say the least. Many parents and students can feel tapped out in asking family and friends to buy products they don’t really need or want.
“How many times a year do you get asked to buy cookie dough, wrapping paper, magazine subscriptions, coupon books and knickknacks you don’t really want? Sure, you want to help out your child, the neighbor’s kids, the Boy Scouts, and every adorable child who’s out to raise money, but really why not just give a donation? Most people want to have something in exchange for giving money. How can we change this way of thinking of fundraising?
“All organizations have a choice when it comes to fundraising and what they choose to do is a reflection of who they are and what they value most.
In addition to be a community-building “fun-draiser,” Summit for the Planet also promotes a healthy life style.
“Across the nation there’s a visible effort underway to fight childhood obesity, cut back on sugar intake and limit the size of soft drinks, yet many schools continue to sell cookie dough and candy as a way to raise money. What message are we sending to our kids when we load them up with cookies and candy to sell?” adds Blunden.
This walk-a-thon is a great alternative to sugar-filled “caloric fundraisers” and the wastefulness of excess paper products. Families are invited to join faculty, friends, and community members and spend time walking a 5K course through the forest.”
Depending on the number of walkers and amount pledged to each walker, organizations will have the opportunity to cover a hefty portion of their annual fundraising needs – without the hassle and expense of running their own fundraiser! There is no charge for organizations to sign up and participate; and organizations keep 70% of what they raise in pledges, while 30% is used to offset the costs of organizing and running the event.
In talking with other schools and groups about fundraising, Blunden says she is repeatedly hearing how more and more families are steering away from having to participate in door-to-door sales. “With Summit for the Planet, walkers don’t have to go door to door! Instead they can utilize social media – or just make a phone call – to seek support from friends, family, or even grandma and grandpa on the East Coast. Pledging support is convenient and easy from any location via the Summit for the Planet website.”
Healthy, family fun-draising. It’s truly is a walk in the park!
Tings to know when you go:
9th annual Summit for the Planet Walk-a-thon and Earth Day Celebration, April 25 from 9:00am-1:30pm*. Hosted by Mount Madonna School, 491 Summit Road, Mount Madonna. There is a $25 fee to walk and receive a t-shirt. The celebration is a FREE event. For more information or to sponsor a walker, visit: SummitforthePlanet.org and on Facebook at facebook.com/summitfortheplanet, or email Prema Gammons at [email protected]
*Walk-a-thon participants must pre-register; registration begins at 9:00am; the walk begins at 10:00am.
Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.