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The Ave Herald

Serving the community of Ave Maria, Florida


Pre-School Opens in Ave Maria Town Center

The town of Ave Maria now offers an educational environment for children as young as three months with the opening Thursday of the Casa de Bambini Montessori pre-school.

casa4a"It's an extra-special treat to have the school in town," said Roseanne Buccheri who moved to Ave Maria with her husband and five children last year.

Casa de Bambini welcomed 30 children at its opening Thursday. There are two half-days of orientation, then the school's full schedule begins Monday, Feb. 21.

The school's premises are divided into three areas -- one for infants, one for toddlers and one for the "primary" ages 4-6. There also is an outdoor play area (seen at right getting a workout). The staff of three teachers and three teaching assistants is supervised by Director Pheroza Madon, who has 40 years experience as a Montessori school teacher and director. Below left, Ms. Madon with teaching assistant Grace Littleton, holding one of the toddlers in her charge.

casa3a"I had the joy of being a Montessori child myself," Ms. Madon said, adding that her mother was trained in India by the creator of the Montessori method, Maria Montessori.

The school's current enrollment of 30 comes entirely from Ave Maria residents but Ms. Madon said there is interest from the surrounding areas from parents who were waiting for the school to open. The school can accommodate 47 children. There are limited pre-school options in the area, and the nearest Montessori school is in Naples.

Maria Montessori, an Italian doctor and educator who died in 1952 at age 81, pioneered the method of hands-on, individualized development for children in a friendly environment. Schools following the Montessori method believe in the full development of a child intellectually, physically and spiritually.

More information on Casa de Bambini is available at the school's website here.


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