Archive for News – Page 2

Tutu Desk Campaign Update

Five Oaks Academy Upper Elementary student, Magdalene, created this amazing video to support and raise awareness of the TutuDesk Campaign.

Thandi Tutu-Gxashe, CEO of Desmond Tutu’s Tutudesk Campaign “Tutudesk Campaign 2020,” visited Five Oaks Academy in the Fall of 2018. She spoke to our students about the shortage of over 90 million desks in sub-Saharan Africa and her Campaign’s mission to provide 20 million Tutudesks to 20 million children by 2020. Thandi Tutu-Gxashe is the daughter of the highly influential leader of the antiapartheid movement in South Africa, Desmond Tutu. Her passion for education and drive to address the vast shortage of desks in sub-Saharan Africa was an inspiration to our students.

Since her visit, FOA has been heavily involved in raising awareness and funds throughout South Carolina for the “Tutu Desk Campaign.” As a school, FOA students have raised $3,226.11 over the past year and a half through lemonade stands, bake sales, and specially-designed T-shirts that have helped raise awareness and funds. FOA also played a role in recruiting both public and private Montessori schools throughout South Carolina via the South Carolina Montessori Alliance to participate in reaching a goal of $20,000. 

The Tutudesk is an environmentally-friendly, light, portable desk that children can use at school or at home, in regular classrooms or outdoors. The organization’s goal is to improve the lives of African children, their communities and countries, and to make Africa a more globally competitive continent by impacting education and literacy.

To donate to the FOA student campaign, visit…/tutu-desk-campaign-2020.

For more information about the global campaign, visit

Día de Los Muertos Celebrations at Five Oaks Academy

Maria Montessori was a strong advocate for peace education. At Five Oaks Academy, students build their cultural competency by learning about the many cultural traditions around the world and appreciating their differences. Promoting diversity and understanding of other cultures teaches the Five Oaks Academy Spanish Program’s core value of offering the children a real-world impression of the Spanish speaking cultures worldwide.

As part of the Spanish curriculum, students at Five Oaks Academy will explore the holiday Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, through stories and activities in class such as making alebrijes, cempasúchiles, and papel picado! This holiday, recognized by UNESCO and with origins in Mexico, is celebrated globally with colorful costumes and decor, singing, dancing, and more.

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Community Day Success!

Thank you to all of the Five Oaks Academy parents, alumni, and community members who came out to help during our Fall 2020 Community Day! Together we accomplished so much and had a lot of fun along the way!

A special thank you to FOA parent Hilary Bean, of Hilary Bean Photography, for taking these beautiful photos!

A Letter of Support from our Curriculum Council

Internationally Known Artist, Eva Oliver-McGill, Explores Her Creative Process with FOA’s Upper Elementary and Middle School Students

Creativity is woven through the entire experience at Five Oaks Academy. It begins on a sprawling 11-acre campus with a hiking trail that runs alongside a bustling creek. It then winds its way into classrooms filled with hands-on materials and a process-based learning experience that engages each student.

As a S.T.E.A.M accredited school, skills such as creativity, problem-solving, empathy, teamwork, and critical thinking are infused into every aspect of the classrooms at Five Oaks Academy. The Academy hosts special guest artists and innovators throughout the year as part of their rich creative curriculum. Recently, local artist Eva Magill-Oliver took students on an artistic journey of discovery. Known internationally for her design collaboration with Nike, Anthropologie and a French linen company, Eva gets her inspiration from the natural world. With her guidance, students gathered images of interesting colors, textures, and patterns to create personalized inspiration boards. She then demonstrated different techniques with liquid watercolors, allowing students to experiment with color and collage papers together in new and unexpected ways.

This nurturing and inviting atmosphere is an environment that stimulates students’ natural curiosity and invites them to explore learning in a meaningful way.

Five Oaks Academy’s welcoming natural environment, research-based curriculum, and hands-on materials engage all learning styles, appeal to the senses, and cultivate the perfect setting for critical thinking and the creative processes.  

Five Oaks Academy’s Middle School Receives 2020 Best of Simpsonville Award

SIMPSONVILLE March 23, 2020 — Five Oaks Academy, Inc. has been selected for the 2020 Best of Simpsonville Award in the Middle School category by the Simpsonville Award Program.

Each year, the Simpsonville Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Simpsonville area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2020 Simpsonville Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Simpsonville Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Simpsonville Award Program

The Simpsonville Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Simpsonville area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Simpsonville Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Simpsonville Award Program

MPIA Focusing on “The Adolescent Brain: The Emotional Years”

Please join the PTO on Tuesday, January 14 at 8:30 am for an informative MPIA focusing on the Adolescent Brain featuring special guest Dr. Caitlyn McLear with Synergy Psych, LLC!

Dr. McLear looks forward to sharing her expertise in the adolescent brain that will give great insight into these self-conscious and emotional years. She will also discuss the effects of Social Media on the brain and its effect on risk-taking behavior at a time when reasoning and risk-taking don’t align. 

We will provide coffee and treats in the main house prior to her presentation. This event is open to the public. If you are not a current parent, please call the front office if you would like to attend this educational event. We hope to see you on January 14!

MPIA Featuring Guest Artist Eva Magill-Oliver

We are excited to welcome local artist, Eva Magill-Oliver, to our Montessori Parents in Action (MPIA) on Tuesday, December 3 for a special guest artist event.

Eva gets her inspiration from the natural world. She creates delicate, meditative collages, drawings, and paintings that reflect and explore different elements in nature and organic environments. Eva’s earthy, fluid brushstrokes channel plant life, the flow of water, and the horizon and they caught the eye of athletic gear giant Nike in 2018. Since March of 2019, her artwork has been featured on their women’s running apparel and footwear. Her dynamic patterns are intentionally soft and bold and serve to connect runners with the environment around them.  “Running is the time when I can focus my ideas and decompress while connecting with nature,” McGill-Oliver says. “I wanted my designs to demonstrate that feeling.” Nike promotes Eva Magill-Oliver’s designs by touting that her designs “give running apparel a meditative vibe.” Her designs are available for purchase at        

Join us to learn about Eva’s art, her process, her journey as a rising woman artist, and how she caught the eye of one of the world’s largest suppliers of athletic shoes and apparel.    

Exploring Global Citizenship in the 21st Century

Five Oaks Academy has partnered with other educational institutions as well as the Greenville business community for a special community-wide educational event, “Global Citizenship: Preparing Students for Success in the 21st Century” featuring Dr. Derrick Gay. Dr. Derrick Gay, an internationally recognized consultant to organizations both domestic and abroad, will address the importance of this generation’s understanding of our interconnected global society. To address this topic, he will focus on issues including Cultural Competency, Inclusion, Diversity, and Global Citizenship that will help prepare students for success in the 21st century.

Dr. Gay has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, 60 Minutes, and on New YorkPublic Radio just to name a few. His Ted Talk “Why Elephants Hold the Key to Success in the 21st Century” has enlightened audiences around the world on the challenges facing students today. He collaborates with thought leaders to cultivate cultural competency, promote empathy, and deepen inclusion in educational and business settings. Global citizenship is a key factor in creating successful businesses and in basic everyday interactions in an ever-changing world.  

We hope this “Synergy” event will inspire and educate our fast-growing international Greenville community. It is free and open to the public. Please join us for this empowering community event!  Seating is limited to less than 300 at the Greenville One Center. To register, go to

Primary Parent Workshop Exploring Sensorial and Practical Life

The Five Oaks Academy Primary Teachers will hold an educational workshop exploring the Montessori Practical Life and Sensorial areas of the classroom on Thursday, September 12 from 6:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. They will demonstrate works from both areas as well as discuss Dr. Monotessori’s philosophy in regards to these areas of the classroom.

If you are interested in attending this workshop, please call the front office by Thursday at noon so we will have the appropriate number of handouts and chairs.