Montessori students host Civitas Lunch, raise money for Ben’s Bells

Montessori students Abigail O’Meara and Marcus Sang, both 11, said the idea of offering lunch to around 100 elementary students and all staff came up while talking about how they could do outreach and fund-raising for different charities.

“Civitas” is a Latin term representing the importance of citizenship and community and has become a key value of the Montessori School on Whipple Road.

On Friday, April 25, the school will host its last Civitas Lunch for the school year.

“There are about 60 to 75 orders each time,” said Ruth Hurwitz, Montessori School’s director of communications.

“At first we had parent helpers to do the shopping and cooking, then about six years ago, we let the students be in charge of the entire process.”

Students selected a date for the lunch, created flyers, sent out invitations, and used the RSVPs to build a grocery list.

“The greatest challenge is to find food that most students want to eat,” said Abigail and Marcus.

Mrs. Green’s Natural Market has teamed up with the school to help with the upcoming lunch.

On Thursday, April 24, Mrs. Green’s will welcome Montessori students into the store and offer a 10% discount on all items purchased for the lunch.

“We’re excited to have a neighborhood grocery store where we would not be strangers while shopping,” said Marcus and Abigail.

Mrs. Green’s hosted Montessori Shopping Days, April 9-10, when people could turn in their Mrs. Green’s shopping receipts to the Montessori School and, in turn, Mrs. Green’s donated 10% of proceeds from those sales to the Civitas Lunch.

Abigail and Marcus said it takes about two weeks to plan and prepare for the lunches and the goal is to get as many people to participate as possible.

All proceeds from the lunches go to charities selected by Montessori students, who have selected Ben’s Bells in Newtown as the recipient of the April lunch.

Abigail and Marcus said that just as Ben’s family suffered a loss, so did the Montessori School when one of its students died.

Marcus and Abigail said, “Ben’s Bells want to spread kindness, because you never know what people might be going through.”