Alder Montessori, a tuition-free Montessori preschool serving families in poverty, will receive approximately $110,000 in Preschool Promise funding this coming school year.
Alder Montessori, located within Title I high-poverty Alder Elementary School in the Reynolds School District, is an innovative partnership between the district, Montessori Northwest, and “I Have a Dream” Oregon. Alder, which opened in the fall of 2015, serves 25 three and four year olds from a population experiencing high levels of poverty, food insecurity, and homelessness. Well implemented Montessori education has been shown to improve reading, vocabulary, executive function, and social problem solving, giving these children much-needed support for kindergarten readiness.
Preschool Promise is a new state-funded early-childhood program supporting high-quality preschool for 1,300 low-income children ages three and four. The program will significantly narrow the low-income opportunity gap before kindergarten. Children who lack access to high-quality early learning can be up to 18 months behind their peers by age four, while children who arrive ready for kindergarten are much more likely to meet third-grade benchmarks, the best measure for predicting high school graduation. Preschool Promise funding goes only to programs with standards and practices shown to have the greatest impact, including full-day classes, well-educated and adequately compensated teachers, culturally responsive pedagogy, a proven curriculum, and family engagement.
Montessori education is internationally recognized as a time-tested, developmental, and research-based educational approach that attracts families from all races, classes, and cultures. Public Montessori programs have doubled in number in the past ten years, and the growth rate continues to rise. Fully implemented Montessori education has achieved impressive outcomes for high-need students, including gains in literacy, numeracy, and self-regulation needed for academic and lifetime success from early childhood onwards.
Montessori Northwest (MNW), a leader in the national and international Montessori movement, has trained teachers, offered outreach and professional development, and advocated for children in Portland and around the world since 1979. MNW offers rigorous, practical, and internationally recognized adult education in affiliation with the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI).