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MEPI February Blog – By Mary Helen Cline, MEPI Board

The MEPI Hands for Peace conference will soon be upon us! For me, it is a highlight of my “Montessori year”. It offers a chance to reconnect with friends, some of whom I see only during the conference weekend. As well, each year I meet new people and broaden my network of individuals pursuing the Montessori Way.

This year we will have a remembrance and celebration of the life of Dr. Sheryl Sweet Miller, who passed away earlier this fall. “Sherry” was a leader in the Montessori world, and one who is dear to many in the MEPI family.

The Opening Ceremony and Closing Ceremony encircle our gathering in a profound way, setting our energies on coming together for the weekend, and then offering closure as we part our ways, with beautiful content in between. Workshops and keynotes often present new ideas and insights, and opportunities to reflect on knowledge, beliefs, and practices.

The Silent Auction offers many attractive and useful items, some related to Montessori and classroom, and some of a more personal nature. The proceeds of the auction support the Shirley Plath Fund, designated to address humanitarian needs affecting the Montessori community. A generous donor has provided a matching funds grant for our Silent Auction this year, so come ready to find something for your classroom or yourself, and support a good cause!

The exhibitors are also an attraction at the conference. We have a variety of purveyors of Montessori materials, as well as other educational materials to support our work – all of high quality.

The conference is a good opportunity to see the MEPI Board of Directors at work. You will see their presences throughout the conference –on the stage at large gatherings, introducing presenters in workshops, welcoming attendees each morning, staffing the registration area, etc. They are instrumental in ensuring the conference runs smoothly and are also there to “put out fires” when necessary. The Board oversees the operations of MEPI. Input from members is important and appreciated.

The Friday night dinner will be superb! If you can’t make the dinner, be sure to join us afterwards for DANCING! We have a Montessori mom DJ, who provided lots of fun last year, and a cash bar. “Put on your red shoes and dance the blues…Let’s dance!”

The amenities of the Kiawah Resort are fantastic –at Kiawah we do receive superior accommodations and food. Bring groceries, and take advantage of the kitchen in each unit, if you want to save money on food. Many lovely locations in the resort offer themselves for a picnic, as well as dining areas and porches provided in the units.

There are so many wonderful components to our conference, which provide substance and fodder for renewing our spirits. The MEPI Hands for Peace conference is a welcoming and inclusive gathering of Montessorians and others interested in education and peace. Can’t wait to see you! Peace!

And then, there’s the beach… the glorious Kiawah beach. Make. Time. For. It.