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Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v16n19)
Village Montessori School Fall Market
by Mario Morone
posted: Sept. 20, 2019

Village Montessori School invites the community to their Fall Market at 6535 Ferguson Street on Friday, September 27th, 2019, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Food and drinks will be available. The children will sell their "schoolmade" foods and crafts, salsa from the school garden, bath bombs and greeting cards. Mr. Daniel (Daniel Paquette) will provide the musical entertainment. There will also be crafts, games and glitter tattoos.
New director and lead teacher Maria Leeman, said, "It is my life mission to be an encouraging, compassionate and devoted Montessori teacher. I believe that Dr. Montessori's educational philosophy - having teachers co-learning with children to encourage and feed children's natural desire to learn - embodies a true partnership between teacher and student that enables learning through trust and respect."
Emily Watson shared a personal story about her son who attends there. "Five years ago, I visited half-a-dozen preschools before deciding that Village Montessori School was where I desperately wanted our three-year-old to learn. It was just across the White River from our house; for a year we walked by it almost every day. My son would beg to play at "the chicken school" - in the yard there was a coop for the school's three hens, a huge sandbox, rope swing and picnic tables where the children ate lunch, even on snowy days. When I first met the teachers, I was almost intimidated by their positive energy and peacefulness they always seem to have infinite time to wait and help the children learn to do things for themselves," she recalled.
"After just a few months, everyone noticed the difference in our son. His grandfather always noted that he was like a pinball, frenetically bouncing from one idea and activity to another - 'It makes me tired just to watch him.' This didn't seem to faze his teachers. He was given the job of collecting eggs from the hen house and he broke several that first week. But soon he learned to walk slowly, to ask a friend to help open the door. He shifted toward a more measured, methodical way of doing things. At home he showed me the right way to wipe crumbs from a kitchen counter and he was adamant that we put all our backpacks and shoes away as soon as we came in the house, no matter how busy or tired we were. One night he spent ten minutes wiping the mug he uses for milk, his only explanation was that 'this was the future of cleaning.' Finally satisfied, he pronounced it 'shiny as a diamond,' " she noted.
"A lot of schools claim to be Montessori, but Village Montessori truly embodies the ideals of an educational philosophy that prioritizes self-directed learning, creativity, order, consistency, and self-sufficiency. I learned to be a better parent watching the teachers interact with the children - I learned to show my children how to do difficult things and then give them the support and time and space to practice until they could master new skills. I was ecstatic when they opened the school to older two-year-olds and my younger son was able to begin his Village experience a year earlier than I had hoped. He was just barely two-and-a-half but when I picked him up on his very first day, he was already familiar with at least one new routine, busy making himself a snack, putting his dish and banana peel away, wiping up the crumbs from his table. He's still learning to talk but he's also taking part in lessons where he identifies and arranges felt models of plants." Ms. Watson explained.
Their website ( mentions: "The overall goal of Village Montessori is to introduce the child to reality and attempt to bring out their very best qualities. We aim to propel our students into a bright and vibrant future by providing a rich curriculum, extensive outdoor experiences and a strong sense of community." More information is available at: or by calling (317) 257-7477. [Former VMS director Rachel Goodburn was interviewed by the Gazette for Volume 7, (Issue) Number 15 when they opened in August of 2010.]
The Village Montessori School's Fall Market re-introduces the school to the local community, offering parents unique educational opportunities for their children, as Ms. Watson and her son have successfully discovered. New VMS Director Maria Leeman continues Ms. Goodburn's and Maria Montessori's scholastic mission in Broad Ripple.
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