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Published on November 1st, 2018 | by Millennium Magazine Staff



Pictured Upper Montessori students talk about the process of making the bed rolls

COLUMBIA, SC – Montessori Magnet at Pontiac students recently presented community partner Sonoco with four bed rolls for the homeless. The bed rolls were made from more than 500 plastic shopping bags and represent approximately 200 hours of community service. The bed rolls were presented to Sonoco representative Jane Hiller during a Montessori Community Meeting on October 22 attended by all magnet students.

Lead teacher, Molly Robbins shared the importance of community service for Pontiac’s Montessori students after the presentation, “Montessori was founded on the belief of creating citizens that cared for one another. This is an important tenet of our philosophy. Finding community service projects that are meaningful to all of our students from three year olds to fifth graders can often be challenging. Projects like creating bed rolls directly impact our community and students can relate to helping those around them.”

Giving back to the community and promoting peace are two central tenets of the Montessori philosophy. Each year, the students participate in a variety of community service projects. This is the second batch of bed rolls Pontiac Montessori students have donated since partnering with Sonoco, a global packaging solutions leader, last year.

From pre-kindergarteners through fifth graders, all Montessori students played an important role in the process of creating the bed rolls. Pre-kindergarteners and kindergartners took on the first step, collecting and folding plastic bags. Next, first through third grade students cut the bags into strips. These plastic strips were then passed along to fourth and fifth graders who tied the strips together to make balls of plastic yarn or “plarn.” Although our students wanted to crochet with the plarn, this task was just too big for them to do alone. Local high school, Cardinal Newman, and church partnered with us to complete the process of transforming the plarn into comfortable, weather resistant bed rolls for our homeless community.

During the meeting, Hiller shared a new weaving loom she created that will allow our students to create plarn pillows and bags for our homeless population. The students are excited about tackling this new project and continuing to help our homeless community.  The Montessori Magnet Program at Pontiac Elementary hopes to create four additional bed rolls, as well as learning to use the loom to create pillows and bags for belongings to be carried.  If community members are interested in donating to this project, plastic bags are being collected throughout the school year.

To learn more about the Montessori Magnet Program at Pontiac, visit


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