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1110 College NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Why a Farm School? Parent Education Event with Hershey Montessori's Laurie Ewert-Krocker

Katie Powell

As Montessori families, you understand the importance of the prepared environment, which provides optimal conditions for the development of the whole child by meeting his or her social, emotional, cognitive, and physical needs. At our event, Impossible Without Me, Dr. Steven Hughes described how modern neuroscience is validating what Dr. Maria Montessori observed over 100 years ago--that brain development does not stop at adolescence. In fact, adolescence is characterized by big changes in the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical state of the child as he or she becomes a young adult. Like children, young adults can only develop to their full potential if we prepare an environment that meets their unique developmental needs.

As we think about the prepared environment for our middle school program, we are always evaluating our choices in this context. Before moving forward with any decision, we must be able to say, with confidence, “This is what we provide because these are the aids to development that adolescents need.” Maria Montessori envisioned adolescents building a community on a farm, because she believed that a farm environment provided the aids to development that adolescents need for their natural human tendencies to unfold across the third plane.

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The model for a Montessori adolescent community organized around the principles Dr. Montessori puts forth in her book, From Childhood to Adolescence, is Hershey Montessori’s adolescent community in Huntsburg, Ohio. Laurie Ewert-Krocker was instrumental to starting this exceptional program, where she remains on staff as the Upper School Program Director. We are thrilled to be working with Laurie to develop the curriculum for our middle school, and we want to provide you with the opportunity to benefit from her expertise on adolescent Montessori education as well.


Please join us for a parent education event featuring Laurie Ewert-Krocker on Saturday, October 7 from 4pm to 6pm at our school. Laurie will be speaking about her 25 years of experience at Hershey Montessori School and will be available to answer all of your questions about why Montessori adolescent education works best on a farm.

We are planning to host a community event for our families on River Ridge Farm, where our middle school will be located, in late November. We want to make sure you get all of your questions answered by Laurie while she is here, so we will be hosting this event at our main campus and we would prefer for this to be a parents-only event.