Bauso: Teaching gratitude to children by giving, by volunteering | Lifestyles


Diane M. Bauso special to the citizen

“The child is both a hope and a promise for humanity.” – Dr Maria Montessori

Giving to others and learning to receive graciously are all part of the inherent goodness and spiritual development of the child that we, as teachers at the Creative Minds Montessori School, are honored to witness and encourage. When adults and children nurture a principle of benevolence, generosity becomes unconscious. It is the very bond that exists between all the children in our school. It is not a set of rules, but an attitude that is recognized as the product of everyday life experiences.

Our CMMS students learn that there is something to be thankful for every day of the year, and that there are ways to help those in need every season. As our students learn respect and kindness in their daily interactions and lessons at school, they also learn civic responsibility and see how everyone can play an important role in making the world a better place.

At Creative Minds Montessori, our students are ready to discover how their actions (and interactions) outside of the classroom can have a positive influence. Simple things like sharing a smile or saying hello while walking down the street are ways to be kind to others. Small acts of kindness like these have a big impact. Our children quickly realize that there are many things they can do to contribute to the world in a positive way; they realize that there are many different types of needs among people in and around their own communities.

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Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday our children witness the need for food in our community as the Episcopal Church of the SS. Peter & John is hosting a soup kitchen in the same building as our school. We have partnered more than once in the past with the Soup Kitchen to bring food, books and toys to those in need. This year, with support from Wegmans, we’re kicking off our giving season early by hand-painting pumpkins to brighten up tables for those in need most. Our students will be painting nearly 100 pumpkins over the next week!

Diane bauso

On Homey’s website, I read, “Like many life skills, children must learn to look at the world with eyes of gratitude. They need to understand that the people they are helping are not fundamentally different from who they are. They have just been treated a lot harder in life. Helping them develop empathy at a young age can help them become the great people you want them to be. I am 100% sure that Maria Montessori would agree.

At CMMS, our students learn that every effort to help others, big or small, is valuable. They become empowered and see that they can, and do, make a positive difference in our world. They realize that when people work together, anything is possible. Working together to improve the lives of others is at the heart of Dr. Maria Montessori’s vision for peace through education, and Creative Minds Montessori strives to keep this spirit of gratitude and giving alive every season of the year. .

Diane M. Bauso is principal of Creative Minds Montessori School, 169 Genesee St., Auburn. She can be reached at (315) 406-9495 or

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