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.
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.
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 nike.com.
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.