Hilltop Montessori School receives grants for school programs

By JENNIFER BAILEY / Staff Writer

MT LAUREL – Hilltop Montessori School in Mt. Laurel recently received two grants to help further the education of their children.

The first grant is an extension of the Whole Kids Foundation grant that the school received last year. Last year, the grant was geared toward the school’s gardening program. The extension is geared specifically to the school’s apiary (bee hives).

Hilltop started their apiary about three years ago, and since then they have expanded. Michele Wilensky, the Head of Hilltop Montessori, said, “The apiary is in view of the driveway and the students love to check the status of the bees upon their arrival each day.”

Wilensky went on to say that the kids love the bees. In an email, Wilensky wrote, “We have a small “observation” hive that gives us the flexibility to pull out a hive at various stages to show the children in their classrooms what is going on.”

The $1,500 grant that Hilltop Montessori was given for the bees will go to buy more equipment and hives to expand the apiary.

The second grant that Hilltop received was a $1,500 grant from Action for Healthy Kids. This grant will assist in the schools goal to become a healthier campus.

“We are working toward breaking ground and starting the construction process for a new gymnasium and community center that will benefit not just our campus, but the local area. We plan to hold children’s yoga and exercise classes before and after school, sports activities and it will give us more opportunities for fitness,” Wilensky wrote in an email.

An update on the school’s website said, “Our children and honey bees will benefit from these generous gifts!”