Cypress Junction Montessori (CJM), a public charter school in Winter Haven, is pleased to announce the launch of a school-wide music program plus enhancements to our arts and science education thanks to the legacy of Homer and Annette Thompson. We’re excited to share how music, arts, and science will be expanded in each of our classrooms and show our appreciation to the Thompsons.
Meet the Thompsons
Homer and Annette Thompson were both born in east Polk County and graduated from Haines City High School. Homer also graduated from the University of Florida. They married in 1939. Homer went on to have a long and distinguished military career including receiving the Legion of Merit Medal, the highest award for non-combative service. Homer also worked for the Federal Communications Commission for 30 years while Annette was involved with the Ponce de Leon chapter of the DAR. The Thompsons lived in more than 25 locations during their marriage but settled in Winter Haven for their retirement. Their hobbies included: travel, golf, folk dance, amateur radio operation, attending church at Beymer Memorial United Methodist, and actively participating in our community. Click here to learn more about the Thompsons.
Bringing Music to CJM
Thanks to the Thompsons, instruments will be added to our Primary Classrooms (ages 3-6) so students can explore rhythm, timbre, and pitch. This includes instruments such as the tambourine, triangle, sand and tone blocks and rhythm sticks. Montessori Bells are already ordered. This unique instrument, developed by Maria Montessori, is one of the only materials available for ear and note training of very young children. It features a bell for each note of the chromatic scale and curriculum that progresses to note reading including the ability to play a song. We look forward to using music to develop a love of work and a joy of learning in our youngest students.
Our Lower Elementary classrooms (ages 6-9) will use rhythm, timbre, and pitch instruments to learn to read rhythmic print music and perform as an ensemble. Building on that, Orff Instruments (wooden xylophones) will move the students into pitch reading. Altogether, the students will work toward performing music for an audience.
Students in Upper Elementary (ages 9-12) and Middle (12-15) will form a steel drum band ensemble under the direction of teacher Jill Clark. With a bachelors and masters in music education, Ms. Clark is excited to teach the students about music during the school day and after school. The band will include steel drums, percussion, drums, keyboard, and guitars. After practicing together, the ensemble plans to perform throughout the community so look out for the CJM Homer & Annette Thompson Steel Drum Band aka the HAT Bands.
Learning from the Community
CJM will also use the generous donation to invite guest artists to share their expertise with the entire school and lead the students through lessons in their art form (e.g. sculpture, painting, acting, dance).
Science education at a Montessori school must be student-directed and hands-on. The donation will be used to purchase science kits and supplies for every classroom so experiments are available to students at any time. From aquaponics to geyser cars to butterfly kits, our students will be eager to carry out each experiment and expand their love of science in the process.
Become a Student
If your family or friends are interested in attending CJM, we are still accepting applications for the 2017-18 school year. We will be enrolling students up through seventh grade! Please click here and fill out the simple application by February 15, 2017! Applicants have an equal opportunity to be selected for enrollment through a random lottery drawing. We are accepting applications for 3 and 4 yr olds. Click here to learn more.
Join Our Staff
CJM is seeking dedicated, creative, passionate and talented people to join our team! Click here to learn more.
About Cypress Junction Montessori
Cypress Junction Montessori offers an authentic Montessori education, the first of its kind to K-8 students in Winter Haven. Our mission is to set children on a path that embraces creativity, builds self-awareness and helps them develop the academic skills, physical tools and personal confidence necessary for lifelong success.
Cypress Junction Montessori is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization operating a public K-8 charter school and non-profit preschool located in downtown Winter Haven. As a charter school, our K-8 students are selected through an equal opportunity random lottery process and attend CJM tuition-free. Though our preschool must charge a tuition to cover operating expenses, our team works hard to maintain accessibility to our diverse community through a scholarship program.