Bluestem Montessori Elementary

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September Community and Fundraising Update

This Sunday, September 25, we would love for you to come visit us at our Streets Alive! booth.  We will be on 30th Street.  I will be there the whole time, and I am dying to discuss Montessori education with you.  I want to hear your thoughts and ideas for the school.  We’ve got some cool Montessori sorting activities for your kiddos to help them learn about nutrition, and we’ll have all kinds of info on the school to pass out.  Why are we spending our Sunday this way?  Well, first of all, Streets Alive! is a fantastic, fun, and free family event that promotes healthy, active living in Lincoln.  Obviously we want to be a part of such a great community event.  After all, our school is founded on the principal of community!  We get to help teach kids and families about healthy eating - what’s not to love?  Second, it’s a great way for us to tell Lincoln about us - we exist!  In less than one year there will be a real live Montessori elementary school within Lincoln city limits!  

Getting the word out is important work.  Also, it’s super fun to meet Lincoln families and talk about Montessori with them.  But there’s another side to getting out there that is slightly more mundane, and just as necessary.  As much as I hate to admit it, the world seems to require money just as much as, if not more than, ideals.  At Bluestem, our ideals are plentiful - we want to offer high quality accessible Montessori education to Lincoln families, and to keep our tuition and fees as as affordable as we possibly can.  The reality is, running a Montessori (and setting up a Montessori!) is crazy expensive.  I mean CRAZY expensive.  There are the normal expenses you’d expect: rent, inspection fees, fees to file paperwork, payroll, insurance, etc.  And then there are materials.  Montessori materials are SO cool.  They are SO fun.  And they are SO expensive.  A complete value line curriculum kit from Alison’s Montessori costs $8,500 - just for the lower elementary level.  To outfit our whole school we could easily spend $20,000 on just materials. Obviously, we are searching for options to cut costs here while still providing quality.  We will make what we can.  We are searching for good used options.  We will only get what we need to start and build up as we go.  However, the point stands: materials are expensive. 

So how on earth can we fulfill our lofty ideals while facing the bitter realities of the economic world?  FUNDRAISING AND BEGGING FOR MONEY.  And how can you help?  Well, do you have $20,000 sitting around you’d like to give us?  Yes?  Awesome!!  No?  Me neither.  But if you have an extra $25 and want to wear the hottest look of the season (by which I mean a Bluestem Montessori T-shirt), that would be amazing.  You could check out our swag store, cafepress.com/bluestem.  We get a portion of every sale, you get a dandy shirt or mug or tote bag, AND you get a great conversation opener when your friends ask you about your shirt - tell them all about us! 

Also, keep your eye on our Facebook page and here on our blog.  We plan to host a lot of dine-out fundraiser nights.  We know everyone can’t come to every fundraiser night, and we totally understand.  We don’t expect you to come to every one.  But if we set up a dine-out night that works for you at a place where you like to eat, come on by.  After all everyone needs to eat, and we all have those nights where our schedules are packed with activities.  Why not let our fundraising partners do the cooking on those nights?  We’ve done two of these so far and made about $100 each time.  If we do one every month at this rate, it’ll add up to another $1000 before we open up our doors - that’s enough to give us a buffer month of rent.  We’re working to get a date set for October at Noodles and Co., and as soon as we have it set we will put an event up on Facebook and a note here on the blog. 

We try to keep our fundraisers easy.  We try to make them ways you can give while doing something you’d do anyway.  But if you want to give more directly, we would love that too!  Visit our giving page to help us get materials, fund scholarships, and help us to raise start up expenses. 

If you have a fundraiser idea you’d like to share with us, I’d love to hear it.  Email me at laura@bluestemmontessori.com, or post your idea in our Facebook group. 

Until next time,

Laura