Collier and Lee Counties Edition
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Garden School of Naples Lights a New Candle

In an inaugural moment on August 14, The Garden School of Naples will open its doors to welcome 33 children from local communities. “I believe that parents who have enrolled their child in a Montessori school, where they will learn to think critically, work collaboratively and act boldly, are lighting a candle for the next generation. The skills that our students learn via our child-centered educational approach, which views the child as someone that is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment, is critical to a better future for all of us. I also think that these skills are perhaps why more than 4,000 Montessori schools dot the American landscape and thousands more can be found on six continents,” says founder and Director Kathy Khatib.

Since 1907, the Montessori Method of education, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, has been time-tested by more than 100 years of success in diverse cultures throughout the world. The approach is recognized for valuing the human spirit and the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional and cognitive.

Montessori hallmarks include multiage groupings that foster peer learning and uninterrupted blocks of work time, as well as guided choices of work activity. Younger children learn from older children and older children reinforce their learning by teaching concepts they have already mastered. This arrangement mirrors the real world, where individuals work and socialize with individuals of all ages and dispositions.

The teacher, child and environment create a learning triangle that encourages independence, freedom within limits and a sense of order. Through individual choice, the child makes use of what the environment offers to develop themselves, interacting with the teacher when support and/or guidance is needed.

As students develop, Montessori teachers match appropriate lessons and materials to sensitive periods when learning is most naturally absorbed and internalized. Students also learn and master lessons through sensory/motor activities, working with specially designed learning materials that develop cognitive powers through direct experience—seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching and moving.

Khatib invites parents of potential students and other visitors to visit and observe while the Garden School of Naples is in session. “We have open visitation for anyone during our school hours. Visitors must ring the bell for entry, after which they are guided to the office for signing in. The children are made aware that visitors will occasionally drop by to observe their activities, and that it’s school as usual while they are there,” advises Khatib, who notes that the school can accept three more students.

The Garden School of Naples Montessori preschool is located at 6051 Bayshore Dr., in Naples. For more information and enrollment, call 239-424-9084, email Kathy@GardenSchoolNaples.com or visit GardenSchoolNaples.com.

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