by Bonnie McNett
Children's Meeting House Montessori School (CMH) is ecstatic to celebrate forty years as a Montessori school serving 1000s of children ages 3-12. Known for it’s enriched hands-on learning, the school began in 1972 as a parent initiated preschool. In the late 1970’s, CMH moved to Grailville Retreat Center in the Oratory. With the support of an extraordinary parent community, the school secured funding for a school building in 2003, which now houses a thriving community of 160 students from preschool through sixth grade. With four decades of experience, the school is now seeing CMH alumni sending their own children to be educated by the same Montessori method that has given them life skills such as critical thinking, strong communication and dynamic problem solving.
As part of the 40th anniversary celebration, CMH held a commemorative quilt reunion. Each year, every class community creates a one-of-kind quilt to be raffled as part of the school's fundraising efforts. Through a massive alumni outreach program, the school was able to showcase 45 of the quilts in a stunning display throughout the lobby and hallways of CMH. Each quilt held a unique story and history from CMH’s rich past.
Montessori, which has been an education tradition in the United States for over 100 years, is exceptionally strong in Cincinnati both in private and public schools. This is due in part to two Cincinnati based organizations: Xavier University's Montessori Teacher Training Program and Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program (CMSTEP). Marta Donahoe, Director of CMSTEP and former teacher at CMH says, "CMH is known for its strong Montessori program both in preschool and elementary; consistent, quality faculty; and enriched learning environments both inside and outside."
Situated on an eight-acre campus with woods, ponds, flower gardens, nature pavilion, star lab and an eco-learning lab, the setting makes CHM one the most beautiful Montessori schools in a natural setting in the greater Cincinnati area. Thoughtfully prepared classrooms are equipped with learning stations and hands on materials that facilitate curiosity, independent work and stimulate discussion and collaboration. In addition to a solid core curriculum, the school offers Spanish, music, environmental education, and fitness. The school also brings in specialists such as artists and poets, ensuring children receive a balanced, well-rounded education.
Veronica Brannen, the CMH naturalist states, "Every child deserves a learning environment that is beautiful inside and out. It is a gift to teach here every day, where students can enjoy learning in a place that is geared to children's needs and to learn by doing. Children learn to identify native birds and trees, know where maple sugar comes from and have a sense of how they fit into this world."
CMH is conveniently located less than a mile from downtown Loveland. For more information, please call the CMH office at (513) 683-4757 or visit: www.childrensmeetinghousemontessori.com.