By Libby Rosequist
Ananda Montessori celebrates its third anniversary at the 17 E. Main St. location in North East for the month of September.
Pamela Green, founder and director of Ananda Montessori, moved the Montessori playgroup location from her home to Main Street to expand the Montessori philosophy into the community.
“I would say that moving from our home, which was in response to increased enrollment, to a storefront, has impacted Ananda in many ways,” Green said. “I wanted people to see and learn, as well as for the children to have an expanding sense of their world.
“This was one of Dr. Maria Montessori’s intentions, to have the child extend out to the community and culture they live in. To learn about those who are different, and all that is similar in us. So that has been an experience for all of us here at Ananda. As we return to small group classes, I hear families say this has offered a slow transition back into society, and they like this.”
Montessori playgroup is the first of its kind in northwestern Pennsylvania that focuses on playful learning in a calm environment.
Green is excited to open its doors again after a five-month closure due to COVID-19, with more options for interested families.
Especially after the closing, Green has seen an increase in enrollment compared to recent years.
Parents can enroll at anytime for the eight week course.
“Having to close our doors was unfortunate but I am grateful that I was able to use this time to really look at this program and reach out to the parents and see what we all can focus and improve on now that the doors are reopened,” Green said. “The community has been amazing during this process and I feel I am able to serve the parents and the children to my best abilities during such an uncertain time.”
The Montessori environment is designed to aid in the development of movement, coordination and independence for children from birth to age 5. Activities that focus on language, self-discipline and cognitive skills are set up for the child to explore with the parent present.
Montessori provides parent participation and education and creates a community for parents to create a nurturing and safe place for a child.
While Green will continue these methods of teaching and parenting, what the community seemed to need the most was parent support.
Due to the overwhelming response, Green will be offering support for parents virtually twice a month.
“Not only does Ananda Montessori offer a unique teaching model but I am happy to announce I can give parents in our program or homeschooling parents an outlet for their questions and concerns,” Green said.”
Parent-infant and parent-toddler sessions are 90 minutes and parent-preschooler programs are in two-hour sessions.
Masks are required to enter the classroom.
To enroll or for more information, call 814-440-4237 or visit anandamontessori.com.