Fish Fry Rakes In More Than $4,000 for St. John Montessori School


St. John Montessori School students and friends enjoyed a great day at the school’s John’s Folly site. While raising $4,000 for the school, kids enjoyed donkey rides and the school’s playground.

The second annual fish fry fundraiser brought in more than $4,000 for the school, which teaches 20 young children.

More than 100 plates of food were sold, and $2,400 was raised through the raffle alone, which featured 26 different prizes. Money was also brought in via various game and craft tables, where kids created their own jewelry and original works of art.

“I like the diversity of people who came out from all over the island,” said school founder Debra Polucci. “The purpose is to show off this lovely campus. Not only did all our families participate, but the community members did as well.”

Indeed, St. John Montessori’s windswept John’s Folly campus, which overlooks the island’s dramatic south shore, was alive with students of the school, as well as kids from across the island and their families.

Laurel Brannick-Bigrigg and her husband, Marc Bigrigg, attended the fish fry with their young son, a Gifft Hill School student, in the interest of supporting Montessori’s unique approach to education.

“It’s a great school, and it’s such a nice environment for kids,” said Brannick-Bigrigg. “It’s an individual style of learning, and they get to go at their own pace.

This event is a fun non-beach thing to do for families, and the fish was delicious.”

“If you don’t help out the schools, what do you have?” added Bigrigg.

Parents of students who attend Montessori raved about the school and its student-centered focus on learning.

“We love it,” said Ingrid Ott-Zucker, whose two young daughters attend Montessori. “It’s the best school on the island, and we’ll do what we can to support it.”

Julie Lonski, who helped man the ticket table at the fundraiser event, praised the school, which has been up and running for three years.

“Montessori is an outstanding educational option, and we’re really blessed to have it,” said Lonski, whose four-year-old son Cruz is in his second year at Montessori. “The one room school house with a breathtaking view inspires the kids to learn.”

The money raised at the fish fry will be put toward materials for the children, according to Polucci. The school also has an annual fundraiser dinner at Aqua Bistro, and hopes to implement a fundraising gala sometime this fall.