Video slideshow: What did we learn in the 2017-18 school year?

It’s been an incredible year of learning. Watch this short video and see just a few of the many field trips, areas of study, collaborations, and friendships that happened this year. Thank you for being an important part of the Mustard Seed community! Have a wonderful summer.    

Whose story deserves to be told? Art as historical storytelling

  Panel 58 of Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series: collaborative collage reproduction by fourth and fifth grade students To study the works of prominent African American painter Jacob Lawrence is to study history. Lawrence used his art to tell the stories of important historical figures and events that were less likely to be found in history […]

Mini-term: a time to delight and try something new (or teach!)

    Ask any middle school student to name a highlight of the school year and you’re sure to hear two words: mini term. During the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the “regular” school schedule shifts to allow for special course offerings two hours a day. Faculty and staff, parents, and community members offer courses […]

How do you teach students to be designers from the very first days of school?

Who’s a designer? As early as preschool, children can learn to be designers. Design is an application of creativity and critical, higher-level thinking. Designers are innovators and agents of change. At Mustard Seed School, teachers value creativity and the design process. They build these concepts into the curriculum. The Coleman Fung Chair for Creativity and […]

Holy disruptions continue with gospel artist Trey McLaughlin

  Back in October, we told you about a Vital Worship Grant that Mustard Seed School received from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship with funds from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. The grant funds a one-year program to shake things up in Middle School worship. Create some holy disruptions by exposing students to different styles of Christian worship, including worship […]

$250,000 gift from entrepreneur Coleman Fung establishes new endowed chair

I am overjoyed to announce that Mustard Seed has received a gift of $250,000 from entrepreneur and philanthropist Coleman Fung. The gift will establish and fund the Coleman Fung Chair for Creativity and Design. The endowed chair will provide an annual budget to further develop the school curriculum in areas that promote creativity, problem-solving, and innovation. This is the […]

MSS Founder Joan Litman Joins Staff as Artist-in-Residence; NEH Scholar

Joan Litman is a part of the very fabric of Mustard Seed School. Along with Shanna Pargellis and Larry Litman, she founded Mustard Seed in 1979. The school culture that they built together has endured over the years. If you know Ms. Litman, then you know that she is a community-builder and a wildly creative, […]

How can an artist make a difference in the world?

How can an artist make a difference in the world? What can they teach us about ourselves? About history? In January, the middle school considered some of these questions through the work of artist Jacob Lawrence. We began by reading the book The Great Migration, written and illustrated by Lawrence. This book and its 60 […]

Early childhood: observational drawing as a science tool

If you stopped by the Liberty Science Center on October 27, you could have visited MSS teachers Emily Sytsma (Lead Preschool Teacher) and Clara Buckley (Lead Preschool Teacher, Upper School Art). They participated in a poster session at the New Jersey Association of Independent School (NJAIS) conference. Their presentation was called Drawing on Science: Observational Drawing […]