Carson Montessori students serve up tea to promote understanding |

Carson Montessori students serve up tea to promote understanding

Teri Vance
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

After learning about Afghanistan last year, students from Carson Montessori School shared their knowledge Tuesday with the community as part of Capital City Reads at the Carson City Library.

Fifth-grader Patrick McAllister, 11, told of the Pennies for Peace project, established by Greg Mortenson to benefit schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“My Nana and I are still raising money for the schools,” he said. “I will carry on the Pennies for Peace and tell my son about Greg Mortenson so he can carry on the tradition.”

Principal Jessica Daniels said the school picks a different country each year to research and the students host a tea in the tradition of that country as a way to familiarize themselves with the culture.

“We’re a school that has a global curriculum,” Daniels said. “We learn tolerance through understanding.”

Students shared poetry they wrote from choosing meaningful words from Mortenson’s book, “Three Cups of Tea,” telling the story of his failed attempt to climb Afghanistan’s K2 that resulted in his pledge to return to the area to promote peace through building schools.

Madison Johnson, 10, read from her poem, “Expedition Gone Wrong.”

“The food scarce. Strayed from the path. Wind blows,” she read. “Neck hairs bristle. Steered by flowing wind.”

Teachers who had been to the area shared their experiences and artifacts from the region.

First-and second-grade teacher Fred Wilcott attended high school in Kuwait, and said the area is often misunderstood.

“What you see in all of their work is a lot of symbols of hospitality,” he said. “What we see on the news isn’t always accurate.”

The presentation was part of a series hosted by the library as part of the community reading project where everyone in the city was encouraged to read “Three Cups of Tea.” The initiative concludes April 15 with a broadcast of Mortenson’s appearance in Carson City.

At the end of the presentation, students served tea along with traditional foods such as dried apricots and stuffed figs.

Library Director Sara Jones said she was happy to get the children’s point of view.

“It’s so much more meaningful when you share it with all ages,” Jones said. “Seeing kids realize they can help a kid clear across the world is very exciting.”