A Montessori school isn’t a typical approach to prep kids before grade school, but one here in the Wabash Valley hopes many parents will learn all that it has to offer and soon.

We last checked in with the Terre Haute Montessori School in September, they were struggling to attract students to their program. This type of non-profit school relies on word of mouth to see more students.

Most of the children seen here at Terre Haute Montessori school are around the age of four already they’re learning how to read and count to a pretty high number.

“I believe that if you have the strong foundation for education then it will be easy for them when they grow up,” Mayra Belfi said.   

Belfi is the last teacher remaining at the Montessori school as the number of students has declined. That’s why the school hosted an open house so parents could see for themselves why the school is so special.

“The class is more student led, so students can go and choose what they want to work on and it sort of helps them fine tune their interests,” Laura Beth Zollner, parent and board member said.
The school sees a mixed age group from two to six year olds. The learning is hands on, demonstrative and sensory based.

“When it comes to reading, we introduce first the sounds, instead of like saying, ‘oh, this is letter A, so we introduce and say, this is ah,”” Belfi said.

The school’s recently seen an increase in three additional students and their parents have become board members.

Mayra’s daughter formerly attended the school, she’s now in fourth grade, but according to her mom, the impact Montessori had is significant.

“I’m not helping her with her homework right now, she’s doing it by herself,” Belfi said.   

When I was at the Montessori school earlier today no parents had yet come by to check it out, but the three new parent board members are a positive inspiration to the school to spread the word to more people, the Montessori school has been in Terre Haute for 40 years. Their goal is to see 17 students to one teacher, right now they have 11.