On Monday afternoon, as the moon began making its transit in front of our nearest star, better known as “the Sun,” the children at Montessori Academy of Valparaiso donned their protective eyewear and prepared for the big show.
Teacher, Monica Glass, secured the glasses, which the school provided, in the back with rubber bands to assure they stayed on snuggly and did not let through any harmful light from the sun as it reached totality. The children also practiced putting them on inside so they would know what to do.
“It’s just so cool, and I remember when I was a kid if you didn’t have the special glasses you had to stay inside. And, I thought, ‘We are not missing this one,’” said Glass, preschool teacher at Montessori Academy of Valparaiso.
The children of Montessori were loving the spectacle and a chance to see the Cosmos in action as the moon gobbled up more and more of the sun, millimeter by millimeter. Clouds occasionally put a damper on the event towards the end, but there was no doubt that these kids were loving every minute of it. Some stared up in wonderment with their parents at their side (eyes safely shielded of course), and one young boy even wore his father’s welding mask for added protection.
“I feel like I’m in space. This is so cool!” said Elianna Krivas, 4, excitedly.
Those that didn’t want to participate were, of course, permitted to stay indoors, but most children wanted to take a peek at some point during the eclipse. Some children even stayed out for nearly the entire event.
“I see the moon!” said Calista Urschel, 4, pointing exuberantly at the sliver of remaining sunlight.
“Valparaiso Schools weren’t really doing anything, and we thought we would invite the parents out to take part with their kids. I think it’s really cool, and maybe we’ll be an example for the community schools. We need to trust these kids. Ages three through six are out here, nobody had an incident, nobody is staring at the sun without the glasses on. It worked out really well, and everyone is having a good time. It’s just too big of an event. It’s too cool for us to miss, and of course being Montessori we’re different anyway,” said Glass on why the event was so important for the school to take part in with its students.
“I just love that we can come out here and experience science, live and in action, with our kids. It’s too cool of an astronomical event to let fear stop you from enjoying it. As long as you have the right glasses there’s nothing to worry about, and the kids are having a blast,” said one parent at the event.