Monday, August 21st, 2017

Dreamy All Vegan Montessori Preschool Opens In Cincinnati

Published on June 16, 2017 by   ·   No Comments Pin It
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Imagine a kinder world—a world that is free of violence and greed, a world that is free of poverty, homelessness, hunger, and war. Imagine a sustainable world where people treat each other and all beings with empathy and compassion, and everyone is able to live a healthy, purposeful and fulfilling life. As parents, Heärt Montessori founders Caroline Caldwell, Anna Ferguson, Brett Hornberger, Nayana Shah, and Mark Stroud envisioned this kind of world for their children and considered how they might begin to create this reality.  In their vision of a peaceful world, they imagined a vegan permaculture farm school—a holistic educational experience that connects children to the natural world and that is rooted in empathy, compassion, and peace. Thus was born Heärt Montessori.

Dreamy All Vegan Montessori Pre-School Opens In Cincinnati

Dreamy All Vegan Montessori Pre-School Opens In Cincinnati

As more people are becoming sensitive and aware of their own health and well-being, as well as the health of others and the planet we are seeing a growing number of vegan restaurants, products, and services. What remains is a huge gap in our education system. Vegan-centric practices of empathy and compassion are not being taught as part of core academics. Heärt Montessori is being created to fill that gap.

It’s little wonder that this team of five, all with diverse backgrounds, connected through World Peace Yoga studio have been inspired to open this vegan Montessori farm school. The founders believe this school to be a model for the future, making a meaningful difference, both locally and globally. At Heärt Montessori learning happens in an environmentally friendly and non-toxic classroom as well as outdoors in natural landscapes. Teachers, students, and families will all be united around the same goal—encouraging students to manifest the most exquisite version of themselves. By nurturing the unique nature of each child, the founders believe students will have the tools to thrive in an ever-changing world. Woven throughout the rigorous inquiry-based curriculum rooted in Montessori pedagogy are lessons in vegan-centric empathy and compassion, yoga, meditation, conflict-resolution, permaculture, and sustainability.  As part of the permaculture curriculum, students learn to grow organic fruits and vegetables at the school’s offsite farm and are served plant-sourced organic vegan meals provided by the school’s in-house chefs created around the harvests from the school farm.  Click here to learn more about their curriculum.

Why are families choosing Heärt Montessori?

Renee Pope-Macedo, mother of four year-old Sebastian enrolled in the school shared, “There is so much appealing about Heärt Montessori that we knew immediately this was the school for us.  The nature and permaculture focus, the teachings of mindfulness and compassion, the healthy plant-based meals, and the Montessori core philosophy all make this school a dream come true.”

The Montessori method developed by Dr. Maria Montessori is a child-centered approach to education that seeks to value each child’s natural interests as they develop physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively. Heärt Montessori is unique in that they interpret Dr. Montessori’s emphasis on peace education to extend to all beings.  Thier goal is to provide children with the skills necessary to make the world more beautiful than they found it.  By practicing non-harming in daily life, the children develop an intrinsic sense of empathy and compassion, which empowers them to manifest the most exquisite version of themselves. Initial ages to be served are 2.5 to 6 years old. In Montessori this is known as the Primary level, more traditionally known as pre-school and Kindergarten. They imagine expanding the age range over time with a dream of accommodating students all the way through high school.

  • Their teachers are Montessori trained and integrate the teaching of all core academic subjects, not as isolated disciplines, but as part of the whole.
  • They emphasize a child’s role in the universe and how they are able to contribute to their surroundings, both globally and locally, such as through community service.
  • They foster a deeper connection to the natural world through sustainability, permaculture, and direct experiences in nature and they have dedicated a significant portion of the curriculum to time outdoors.
  • They incorporate mindfulness, meditation, yoga postures, and peace education into their academic curriculum to provide children with a holistic education.
  • They teach through project-based education and there is no daily homework. They believe that because students spend all day learning in a hands-on and interactive way that their late afternoons and evenings are best spent pursuing personal interests, connecting with family members, and relaxing.
  • They serve healthy, nourishing, and compassionate organic plant-based meals to students and accommodate for any food sensitivities.

The classroom is divided amongst the following academic areas: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, Art, Science, Geography, and Culture.  Interwoven into these academic categories are lessons in peace education and a seasonal farm curriculum. Heärt Montessori graduates solution-oriented critical thinkers and independent, collaborative, and compassionate leaders that are clear about their role of service and place in society. Their hands-on experiential approach, and environment of cooperation and creativity allow for a deep understanding of the material and the wide-ranging integration of the knowledge and skills necessary for life in the 21st century.

According to Heärt Montessori co-founder, Brett Hornberger, “This school is important because it teaches children empathy and compassion amongst one another and to all beings. By emphasizing time spent in nature, children develop a deep passion for the natural world. Not only will students leave academically strong, they will also be nourished with a love for all beings and the planet.”

The founders of the school, like five fingers of a hand, have worked tirelessly to collaboratively create and organize this compelling school intended to empower and delight parents and children alike and bring their vision of peace to a nearer reality.

How you can be involved and help:

Get involved in making the world a better place; For $27 you receive an awesome beautiful organic cotton or bamboo Heärt Montessori T-shirt.  Proceeds are earmarked for purchasing Montessori materials and student tuition via scholarships in time for the first class of the first school year starting in the winter of 2018 guided by lead Montessori teacher Danielle Roberts.

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