Montessori for All is a multi-sector collaborative to co-develop 10 community based schools in Minnesota. The goal of the project is to ensure high educational outcomes for children living in poverty. These schools will provide quality Montessori programs for over 500 children, age 3-6, from low-income and diverse communities. This will result in the training and certification of approximately 70 teachers, administrators, and assistants to support the programs.
All children are born eager to learn. Too often, children face barriers to learning – especially children of color and those from low-income families. The Montessori Center of Minnesota works tirelessly to reach out and partner with communities to bring high-quality early childhood education to our most vulnerable children.
Over one hundred years ago the Montessori approach to helping children learn, develop and grow proved incredibly successful with low-income Italian children. But today, in the United States and Minnesota there is a misperception that Montessori is only for the affluent. The Montessori Center’s Montessori Partners Serving All Children initiative was launched as an ongoing effort to demonstrate the effectiveness of Montessori education starting in early childhood, and its viability for all income levels, all races, and all cultures.
We have evolved over the past 10 years from a visionary idea to a vibrant collaborative of 7 programs. We are beginning to see a ripple effect of our work as we break out of the metropolitan area of Minneapolis and St. Paul to expand our collaborative across the state of Minnesota. We have other programs in the development phase as we work toward our goal of 10 affiliate programs across the state.
Cornerstone Montessori School
Our pilot program, Cornerstone Montessori School, is an exemplary early childhood program fully recognized by AMI and with the highest possible rating from Parent Aware, our state’s quality rating improvement system. Cornerstone serves an economically and culturally diverse community in St. Paul under the guidance of the Montessori Center of Minnesota.
Cornerstone’s ethnic demographics:
- 36% African/African American
- 8% Asian
- 34% Caucasian;
- 22% Latino
- 16% County/ *MELF
- 42% Scholarship
- 42% Full Pay
*Minnesota Early Learning Foundation
Free and Reduced Lunch:
- 48% Free
- 8% Reduced
- 44% Economically Stabe
Montessori Partners Serving All Children reaches out to existing non-profit groups already serving specific communities, each with unique strengths and needs. Our other affiliate partners include:
Siembra Montessori Children’s House (2012)
More than a multi social service agency, Centro Tyrone Guzman is a partnership with Latino and Chicano families. Centro is a place where the community is offered respite from troubles, understanding to solve crises, education and encouragement to make change, nurturing and healing to strengthen families, art and culture to reaffirm Latino identity and value, and resources to build a better future. Transitioning an 18-year running traditional preschool program to Montessori created Siembra Montessori Children’s House, serving 30 children on a sliding fee scale. Most of the families enrolled in Siembra receive full scholarships through several sources of aid.
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Children’s House (2012)
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) is a federally recognized, sovereign Indian tribe of Mdewakanton Dakota people, indigenous to North America, located southwest of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Mdewakanton means "town of Sacred (wakan) Lake (mde)". Educational disparities are great for our indigenous people, and SMSC has partnered with us to establish their Children’s House in an effort to ensure a better start for their youngest, leading to better educational outcomes and secondary school graduation rates for their youth.
Casa de la Bella Montessori Children’s House (2014)
The Family Place, located in St. Paul, is a day center for families living without a permanent home. The Family Place assists families in shelter to gain more confidence in building future goals that will lead to success of the entire family. Traditionally serving approximately 1,000 people each year, The Family Place is the only day shelter for families with children in Ramsey County, MN. The prepared environment of Casa de la Bella is truly an oasis for children living in crisis.
Montessori American Indian Montessori Childcare Center (2014)
MAICC’s mission is to address the early childhood needs and the academic achievement gap of American Indian children through revitalization of their native language and culture. Staffed entirely by indigenous people, their Children’s House provides children the opportunity to experience their language and culture within the rich setting of a Montessori prepared environment.
Hmoob Toj Siab Children’s House (2015)
Hmong American Partnership (HAP) is the largest Hmong organization in Minnesota. Based in Saint Paul, HAP provides Hmong and other refugee communities with services and support to help them adjust to life in the United States and to maximize available opportunities. Since its inception in 1990, Hmong American Partnership has steadily grown from offering just a few programs focused on providing refugee resettlement services, to several hundred persons, to becoming a full-fledged social service agency with programs serving several thousand community members each year. Hmoob Toj Siab Children’s House serves members of the local Hmong community, most receiving full scholarships through a variety of sources of aid.
Bright Water Montessori Schools (2004)
Bright Water Montessori is a tuition-based preschool program serving children 16 months to age 5. Bright Water Elementary is a free, public charter school serving children kindergarten through grade six. The campus serves a diverse Montessori community in North Minneapolis. Donors help to sustain the preschool scholarship fund, which helps the school to maintain affordable tuition rates. Bright Water is AMI recognized and has a four-star Parent Aware rating.