NJ Ferrari Maserati

Around Town
Sharon Robinson Addresses Middle Schoolers at RCDS Diversity Summit
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School as National STEM Showcase School
Fall Guide 2014 - The Art of Wine
Ask The Experts
AskThe Experts - Lawrence Durso
Ask the Expert - Richard W. Clift
Ask The Expert - Staci J. Greenwald, Esq.
Bay Wellness
Bay Wellness - Don't Forget
Bay Wellness - Health After Menopause
Bay Wellness - Making Weight Loss a Family Affair
Best Bets
Best Bet - K9 Resorts Daycare & Luxury Hotel
The Guide 2015 - LPA Strategic Capital
The Guide 2014 - Athena Learning Center
Black Book
Cover Story
And Then There Was Pat Light
PIX11 Anchor Sukanya Krishnan
Sheer Genius
Daytripper
Day Tripper - Atlantic City
Day Tripper - USMA at West Point
Day Tripper - Old Barracks Museum
Eats
Monmouth EatBeat - Beach Tavern Restaurant
Oceanfront Restaurants New Wine Program Creates Big Waves in Jersey Shore Wine Scene
Monmouth EatBeat - TAPEO
Etc
ETC - Beach Bias
Etc - Aspirin...please.
Etc - Walking through Monmouth County
Fall Guide
Fall Guide - Performing Theatre
Fall Guide - Kids Party Entertainment
Fall Guide - Kids Activity
Featured Artist
Featured Artist - Carol Bruno
Featured Artist - Elyissia Chinchilla
Featured Artist - Franco Minervini
Gift Guide
The Guide 2015 - Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation
Gift Guide - David Burke Fromagerie
Gift Guide - The Sport Spot
Health Talk
Health Talk - Michael R. DAgnes, FACHE
Health Talk - Gym Spa
Health Talk - Atlantic Eye Physicians
Health, Wellness & Beauty
Health - The Lombardi Plastic Surgery Center
Health - db Orthopedic Physical Therapy, PC
Health Blog - Vito Mazza Salon & Spa
Holiday Buzz 2015
Give a Little - Get a Lot
Holiday Buzz: Out & About in NYC & PHL
Dining Out For The Holidays
Homes
The Meeting Place - The Del Dottos
West Meets East - Namazi
Backyard Bliss
Letter
Warm Winter Wishes
Letter to Colts Neck: Falling Into Good Times
Spring has Sprung!
Living in Colts Neck
Montrose Schoolhouse
La Bella Vita!
The Triple Crown
Newsletter Articles
Eats: The Colts Neck Inn
The Home - JFS Interiors
The Home - Rosen Decorators
Our Picks
Our Pick: Visual Impact Decorating
HWB 2014 - Marshall P. Allegra
Our Pick - Kitchen and Bath Station
People On The Move
People On The Move - Lillie Hendry
People On The Move: Dr. Phillipa Woodriffe
People On The Move - Dr. Susan Field
Summer Guide
Summer Guide 2014 - Our Jersey Shore
Summer Guide - The Beach is Back
Where Heritage Meets The Sea
The Bay
The Bay - A Body In Motion
The Bay - National Stroke Awareness Month
The Bay - One Stop Womens Health
The Guide
2016 Guide - Pelican Shops
The Guide 2015 - Kim's Jewelers
The Guide 2015 - Dr. Abraham Biegeleisen
The Home Guide
The Home Guide - Ron Youmans, Jr.
The Home Guide - Garage Floor Coatings of Greater NJ
The Home Guide - Pietra Bella
Weigh In
Weigh In: What subject do you wish they taught in school but dont?
Weigh In - Castaway
If you had a crystal ball...

People On The Move - Kari Mentonis
06/27/2010 - By Chad A. Safran

People On The Move - Kari Mentonis

MIXING LEARNING AND FUN



For five years, Kari Mentonis taught elementary school in Marlboro. After leaving the classroom to start a family, she  missed the environment of education and working with young children. As her three children got older, Kari found herself  with free time during the day and needed something positive on which to focus her energy and creativity. The result? She  created Common Threads, a hands-on program designed to teach children about different cultures around the world through  cooking, art, and music.

Kari, who has a holds a masters degree in education and is a certified reading specialist, spent a year creating over 35  different lessons. Her goal is to help teach children to work cooperatively with others, follow directions, read simple  instructions, practice listening skills, interact independently in a social environment, and gain an understanding of the  worlds diversity. Each class is developed around a story or fable from another country. Kari then incorporates a recipe  from that country and either an art or music project from that same locale to go along with reading the particular story  aloud. Social studies, math and science often become part of the recipe of any particular assignment.

Cooking is the lure, but once theyre here and in the classroom theyre learning so much more through cooking, says the  Brooklyn native who has spent the past 13 years in Marlboro. They are having so much fun cooking and creating that  they do not realize how much they are learning.

While she has done classes after school for kids up to 13 years old, including both the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, the  majority of her participants are 3-6 years old. Upwards of six children come to her Morganville house during the week for  sessions which last an hour, sometimes a bit longer. Not only are kids exposed to the cultures of various nations, but Kari  also makes sure to include five or six facts about each one as the kids sit on their magic carpet while she discusses where  they are traveling to during that particular lesson. To complete the adventure/travel idea, Kari gives each student a  stamp/sticker in their passport from the days country. At the end of each six week session, students receive a  personalized parting gift as well.

The parents love that the kids are coming away with creating something, says Kari, who willingly accommodates any  food allergies that the kids might have. The parents love that the children are trying things that theyve never eaten before.  They like that they have new recipes to try. After the class is over, Kari sends an email providing an overview of the experience and posts photos of the activities on the Common Threads website. This way the children and parents can  review the information together at any time during the week.

Eventually Kari would love to move the program to a location where she could have a facility with a full-functioning  kitchen, an art room, and a music room so the children could rotate to the different classrooms. However, until that moment occurs she revels in the fun and enjoyment of teaching and being with children, while at the same time making  improvements to Common Threads. The first year was a good trial for the program, she says. Now I know what  lessons work well and which ones could be better, and some that need more than an hour to teach.

The program has not only helped teach the children about different cultures, but it has also given Kari back a great deal. I  have gained a lot of knowledge about my community, about my neighbors, and about the differences around me, she says.  I love seeing the children create. I will give them all the same supplies and direction and I will get six different projects. It always amazes me. Thats always rewarding.

While she does miss being in the classroom on occasion, Kari continues to have so much fun with her program that she will  continue with it for the foreseeable future and watch it grow, perhaps even some day doing classes every day. For now  though she just takes a cup of learning and some tablespoons of fun to make Common Threads a rewarding experience for  everyone.

For more information about Common Threads, you can email Kari at kmentonis@yahoo.com or visit  commonthreadsnj.ning.com.


STATS
FAVORITE RESTAURANT

Kathys Kafe, Marlboro

FAVORITE MUSICAL GROUP
Foo Fighters

FAVORITE MOVIE
Home for the Holidays

PET PEEVE
People who talk with their mouths full

FOUR PEOPLE YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH
Chris Van Allsburg, Mario Batali, and my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Fogel




Advertisers

The Grove At ShrewsburyEagle Oaks




Powered by eDirectory™