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Making Montessori Education Accessible

There are certain moments in time that change the trajectory of your life, for me there is one moment that comes immediately to mind. In 1986, when I was 3 years old, I started attending Arbor Montessori School.

I think of my time at Arbor consistently; it shaped the person I am today. I attended from the age of 3 through 6th grade, as did my brother. My sister was lucky enough to be the first class to go through 8th grade. When I think of my schooling, it wasn’t somewhere to go sit and listen to someone lecture and tell me what to do.

It was a home. It was a place where I was safe, and the teachers, my peers, and their families were extensions of my own family. I was free to follow my interests, to create, to explore, to revel in the absolute joy of what it means to be a child and to be curious and want to learn about everything.

My time in Montessori and the impact that it made on my life would not have been possible without a scholarship to attend. My two siblings and I all attended Montessori school because we qualified for a need-based scholarship. We all received tuition assistance (over 50% of three students’ tuition was paid for through school scholarships) from primary through elementary school and the adolescent program for my sister.

Arbor Montessori School helped shape my view of the world, guided me to celebrate differences and similarities amongst my friends, and showed me what it means to be a peaceful steward of this Earth. I have friendships that have lasted three decades now, and of course, I have to credit my school experience with coming back to Montessori as an adult and becoming a Montessori teacher myself.

— Erin McKay, Head of School at Wildflower Montessori

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