We believe that the core work of Montessori Northwest to prepare and support Montessori practitioners has never been more urgent than it is now. Schools across the nation are contacting us with a universal concern: the demand for Montessori education is growing faster than the supply of well-prepared teachers.
MNW proudly announces a new collaboration with the Volunteers Of America Oregon Family Relief Nursery, pursuing our goal to improve families’ access to high-quality Montessori education.
The Family Relief Nursery, a program of Volunteers of America, strengthens fragile families at risk of abuse or neglect; serving around ninety families at a time for an average of eighteen months. The Nursery provides therapeutic classrooms for children ages six weeks to five years and respite for parents to make progress on personal goals. Children are provided meals and transportation to and from the Nursery, and parents receive home visits, education, and support services—all at no cost.
Last year MNW’s Community Networking Coordinator met the Program Director of the Relief Nursery, Anne Rothert, only to discover that she has a background in Montessori education and incorporates several key principles into the program. Through some follow-up conversations and visits, a partnership was established for Montessori Northwest to provide some additional training and professional development to supplement their great work. Several Relief Nursery staff members will begin by taking the AMI Assistants Course this summer and will have ongoing support throughout the year from Montessori Northwest teacher trainers and community volunteers. Gently used Montessori materials for use in the Nursery classrooms will also be collected.
Here at Montessori Northwest, we are thrilled by the opportunity to contribute to the work already being done by the Family Relief Nursery. Originally designed over a century ago for children living in the tenement neighborhoods of Rome, Montessori programs take an approach to developmental learning that is particularly well suited to the needs of children in at-risk populations. Montessori has a track record of preparing children for success in school, career, community and life—producing smart, well-rounded and successful individuals regardless of socio-economic status, learning differences or physical disabilities. (More information about Montessori outcomes can be found HERE)
A recent evaluation by Portland State University documented that families who received Relief Nursery services had fewer child welfare reports and also fewer foster care placements, compared to before entering the program. We are confident that the synergy of these two stellar programs will have tangible results for Oregon families.
If you are interested in supporting this partnership with a donation of time, Montessori materials or funding, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
**UPDATED INFORMATION--Due to an overwhelmingly positive response to this announcement we are taking a few moments to organize the many generous offers of time and resources. We still need your support. Additional information will be announced via our Email newsletter. (Sign up here.) Thank you all!**
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On Tuesday March 11, 2014 Montessori Northwest hosted a reception for school leaders in order to communicate some updates and to discuss streamlining our partnerships within this incredibly supportive Montessori community. A summary of current projects and exciting developments that were shared at this meeting can be found below.
Montessori Northwest recognizes the invaluable partnerships that we share with schools for training teachers, providing community education and outreach on behalf of Montessori. One of our best examples is that we rely on school administrators and teachers to open their classrooms to students to complete their essential observation and practice teaching tasks. During the gathering MNW board member Jackie Cossentino was able to speak to the incredibly high demand for trained teachers around the country specifically in the public sector.
As the number of students in our courses expand, school that open their doors for observation and practice teaching make it possible for MNW graduates to fill positions around the globe where a well-prepared Montessori teacher is urgently needed. We are so grateful to the schools and teachers who consistently support us in this work and encourage anyone interested in assisting to contact us with any questions. Our students can learn so much from visiting classrooms "still in progress" and we encourage all teachers and schools to participate.
Our organization has set some lofty goals for growing teacher training programs, advocating for more accessible Montessori education, and providing greater public understanding of Montessori education. Schools are essential partners with us in this work and we are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support that is offered. We also strive that our community education, professional development, model classrooms, and web resources are valuable to schools. If you have suggestions or ideas of how MNW can better meet the needs of the community, please let us know. Our doors are always open.
Montessori Northwest is pleased to launch
The Learning to Leading Fund
The Learning to Leading Fund offers tuition assistance to teachers in training at Montessori Northwest. This fund will prioritize applicants who intend to work in tuition-free Montessori programs. By offering financial assistance to these teachers, this fund will help provide highly qualified teachers to the Montessori programs that are actively serving communities in need.
Montessori Northwest currently trains more than 100 teachers per year in one of the following three course levels:
- Infant & Toddler (birth to age three)
- Early Childhood (ages three to six)
- Elementary (ages six to twelve)
Financial aid for Montessori teachers in training is limited and the training is not currently accessible to all students. Your contribution to the Learning to Leading Fund will support up to 15 teachers annually in completing a teacher education program at Montessori Northwest.
Montessori Northwest has received a generous matching donation of $25,000 per year for three years to launch this fund. All contributions up to this amount will be matched dollar-to-dollar.
Join us in supporting these teachers in training. They are our future leaders - working to make quality education available to all children.
More information about how you can contribute to this exciting fund, as well as how to access the support, will be announced soon. In the interim, please make sure you are enrolled in our online newsletter so you will receive the most up-to-date information. Enroll HERE.
Montessorians have had over 100 years of “product development,” but our outreach, communication and visibility has not received the same attention...