Montessori Northwest Collaborates to Bring Montessori to At-Risk Children

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.

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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 jennifer@montessori-nw.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!**

**INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING? Click here.

Posted on May 30, 2014 and filed under Relief Nursery.