Columbia Community Montessori preschool moving to location closer to students

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | 7:48 p.m. CDT; updated 6:06 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 2, 2013

COLUMBIA — Columbia Community Montessori's preschool, Community Montessori, is set to move early next year to 705 N. Providence Road.

The new location was chosen for its proximity to the families it serves, said Ellen Wilson, president of the school's board of directors. She said it is important to be in the families' area because it makes it easier for parents to get their children to school.

The new location can also be a community gathering place for the people of the First Ward, she said.

Wilson said that there are still many low-income children in Columbia in need of quality schooling, and that the Montessori preschool teaches students for a lower cost than the public preschools in the area. Tuition costs $450 to $500 per student, and families who cannot pay that amount can receive scholarships as well as state and federal subsidies to help make up the difference, she said.

The new building will allow the school to double its enrollment from 10 students to 20.

"Our goal is to eventually build more buildings to expand the school even more," Wilson said. "Eventually we want to have two buildings and 40 students."

The aim is for the school to open by Jan. 1, in time for the new semester, she said.

The Montessori preschool method, developed by Italian educator Maria Montessori, focuses on child-centered, self-directed teaching philosophies, according to a previous Missourian article.

In January 2013, the Columbia preschool received a five-year Community Impact grant from United Way to help fund seven scholarships per year, Wilson said.

The preschool has seen a lot of success with improving early literacy and kindergarten readiness, she said.

Supervising editor is Margaux Henquinet.

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