Stories are at the heart of FSA, moments that we feel seen, places we’ve been, the people we’ve loved and who have influenced us. This month’s Alumni Spotlight is about just that, meet Morgan Phillips-Spotts, Class of 2001. Morgan, seen here with her brother, shared about her experiences at FSA and how that has shaped her company, Momo’s Book Club.
Momo’s Book Club is a subscription book club for kids that’s designed to make a child’s home library as diverse as the world.
How do you think FSA helped you find your voice? As weird as it sounds, silent meetings. I started attending silent meetings when I was 5 and I remember there were a couple that went off the rails (I think there was one where we talked about frogs for a while). There was a lot of joy and laughter in those but the biggest thing is that the teachers didn’t course correct. I kept waiting for an adult to tell us to stop but that didn’t happen. They let us have this moment about frogs. Silent meeting gave me the courage to express my thoughts and my teachers gave me the space to do so.
What is your favorite memory from FSA? Most of first grade. Linda and Diana made that whole year so great. This was the year we found Shelly and she became our class turtle. We had a leprechaun come to visit and the classroom got turned all around and then we got extra recess and then a scavenger hunt to find the treasure left for us. I think this year was part of the reason I really love the storytelling aspect of theater. We were reading “The Witches” and at the beginning the narrator is describing what a witch looks like and then adds “it may even be your teacher reading this to you right now.” and then Linda looked up at us and then went back to reading and we immediately ran down the list she just gave just to confirm. I remember us complaining that we were tired in the afternoons after lunch (no more naps for 1st grade) and they added a quiet time with carpet squares if you wanted to rest or read at a table. It felt great to be listened to. Little things like this made that year really fun for me.
The SPICES (Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Stewardship) are deeply ingrained into all aspects of teaching, helping kids build empathy, understanding, and allowing them to build what each of these is to themselves and their community.
How did the SPICES come into play in that mission? I think equality and community have the biggest impact on Momo’s Book club because true equality would be seeing all types of people on your bookshelves, showing kiddos that other people who aren’t exactly like them can be the heroes of a story too. And that we’re all part of a global community so let’s take the time to walk in someone else’s shoes for a bit.
What is your favorite book in the club/ or a book that had an impact on you as a child? It’s hard to pick a favorite but I think City Green is one of my favorites. It’s about a little girl who brings her block together by creating a community garden in the vacant lot next door. It’s a good read!