Mother Earth

'Mother Earth' Scarecrow created by The Premo School in Roswell.

The Premo School in Roswell shines a spotlight on its “environmental awareness side” with its submission to Alpharetta’s Scarecrow Harvest.

‘Mother Earth’ scarecrow was created by students, with the direction and guidance from Art Teacher Deb Weidinger, using upcycled materials from students’ basements and attics.

“Our students learned the importance of creating something new, in this case a work of art, from what would have been overlooked and discarded,” said Headmistress Evera Grace Premo.

She estimated “over 50 hours” was spent creating the scarecrow, which also features a real birds’ nest and feeder.

The small private school participates in many Environmental Education activities, including Roswell’s Adopt-A-Stream program.

It is just one of the scarecrows featured in downtown Alpharetta and can be seen at the Scarecrow Harvest on Sept. 29.

The family fall festival is open to the public and plans to feature “live music, quirky face painting, festival food, artsy activities, stimulating story-telling and engaging inflatables,” according to the website.

“Mother Earth” is on display in front of Alpharetta Outfitters at 79 South Main Street.

Headmistress Premo described the decision to open The Premo School as “a huge leap of faith.”

“I felt a strong need to create something different for children, so I left public school with no money and one student,” said Evera Grace Premo.

The Premo School derives its methods from “a child-centered perspective.”

Classrooms look and feel different from those in traditional public school.

“Our curriculum is developmentally appropriate, meaning that each child is introduced to new ideas and skills at a pace appropriate to that child’s readiness to learn,” said Premo.

She describes “children who learn when they are ready are naturally enthusiastic and love learning.”

The Premo School engages in “multilevel teaching, along with the Kindergarten through 8th grade framework.”

According to Premo it “places an emphasis on the continuum of learning, rather than maintaining grade differences.”

“Students are placed in classes that allow them to reach their highest personal potential,” she said.

Premo noted “research has shown that students in multi-age classrooms strongly outperform students in single-grade classrooms.”

“We encourage students to enthusiastically participate in developing their own abilities and identities,” she said.

Premo recalled “when creating the school, I thought not solely about what students need, but about what humans need in order to thrive.

Students also participate in extracurricular classes, including but not limited to: Yoga, Meditation, First Aid/CPR Training, Home Economics, Community Service and Newspaper; with the goal of “helping them become a well rounded individual.”

Premo’s intent was “to create a school where children could ‘Be.’”

The Premo School encourages students to “work hard and play just as hard” and “actively care their environment and fellow human.”

Students spend time during the school day outside in nature and at recess.

According to Premo, the school strives to offer “an environment where teachers could have the freedom to honor childhood and place value on the importance of time.”

She highlighted “time to think, daydream, research, reflect and get lost in an activity.”

“Where teachers were excited to learn with students and students were inspired to push themselves,” said Premo.

The Premo School is also intended to be “a place that allowed exploration and allowed opportunities to fail; and then to try again.”

She describes her “sweet school” as being “supported and loved” since its start.

The Premo School remains a small, private school.

More information is available at www.thepremoschool.org.

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