Imagine Community Awareness Luncheon
Submitted photo

For an event usually drawing nearly 400 parents, education and business leaders, Desert Garden Montessori in Ahwatukee Foothills encourages residents to learn more about the school.

With the mission and curriculum of teaching the “whole child,” Desert Garden aims to build connections and relationships within the community for the Imagine luncheon coming up on Tuesday at the Fiesta Resort in Tempe.

“It’s really about making the right connections,” school spokeswoman Lecia Michels said.

This year, Sen. John McComish, Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio, and other local leaders are scheduled to attend.

Desert Garden, which will implement a 10th-grade level this fall, has served Ahwatukee, Tempe and nearby areas for more than 15 years, and prides itself in a different kind of education.

With the intent to give the community the chance to learn about the school’s programs and non-traditional courses like gardening, among others, Michels said the luncheon is more than a fundraiser.

Students will perform musical pieces and guests will hear from school officials about their methods and progress.

In teaching children from infantry to high-school aged, the school aims to instruct the individual while asserting life skills.

“It’s trying to touch every aspect of their life instead of just reading, writing, arithmetic, and just passing a test,” Michels said.

The school, just off Warner Road at Interstate 10 in Ahwatukee, has about 250 students enrolled from diverse backgrounds.

With the yearly event, Desert Garden is able to sustain its programs like organic lunches, music, Spanish, and music.

“When you come to our school and see it, it’s very much like-minded people that want their children to have an opportunity to unfold,” Michels said.

The Fiesta Resort is located at 2100 S. Priest Drive in Tempe. The March 26 luncheon is free to attend and will begin at noon.

Desert Garden Montessori is located at 5130 E. Warner Road. For more information, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or Follow her on Twitter @dmartinezAFN.

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