DOMINIC AGUILERA, a seventh grade student at the California Montessori Project on Buckeye Road in Shingle Springs, left, hands poppy seed and cinnamon muffins to sixth grade student, Alyssa Renfrew while eighth grader, Nicholas Kontonickas looks on. The middle school students sell hot chocolate and muffins for $1 each, in the parking lot on Fridays from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., to raise money for their adventure trip. Also pictured, 8th grade student and cashier, Marissa DeVille. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene


Learning is an adventure

By From page B2 | February 27, 2013

The middle school program at California Montessori Project is like no other. Located in Shingle Springs, these seventh and eighth graders get to do many of the things many other students could only dream of.

At the end of every cycle, which is a learning period roughly six weeks long, the students go on an immersion trip. On the trip the students are “immersed” into a completely new environment, such as a city or a farm. The latest endeavor is internships.

Each student must pick a job or career they might want to do, then intern at that place for three days.

There are a wide variety of choices, including things that have to do with journalism, cooking, hair styling and much, much more.

These internships give the students a chance to see what it is like to be a working adult. But the biggest event is at the end of the academic year.

At the end of the year, is the adventure trip. The entire class plans where they want to go and they pay for it all with the money they earned.

This, for many students, is the most anticipated trip of the year. Former classes have been to many places and done many things. Such as house-boating, camping and spelunking.

All throughout the year, there are special fundraisers and events that raise money for the adventure trip. Such as “Quoia Café.” Every Friday, a group of students wakes up at 7 a.m. and goes to school to serve muffins, hot chocolate and croissant sandwiches all for only $1 each. The money completely goes to the middle schoolers to use for the adventure trip.

All this wouldn’t be possible without the small army of parents. They are the ones who chaperone immersion trips, volunteer their time to work with the kids and provide supplies for the classroom. Together with the teachers, the parents work together to make the best possible experience happen for the students.

The immersion trips are truly unique adventures. It gives students the chance to learn on their own, while at the same time being able to be helped when they need it. The bonds that are forged on these trips last well beyond middle school graduation.

The alumni are always coming back to say hello and eighth graders watch out for the seventh graders. These relationships last a lifetime.

For more information about the California Montessori Project or the adventure trip go to or call the school at 530-672-3095.

Democrat Staff

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