We have some great news!
Hilltop Children’s House will begin to offer an elementary program beginning this fall!
Get the registration and details about costs, dates, and other information on our website »
Let’s take a look at how this unexpected and momentous day came about.
When we started in 2018 we had no intention, nor a desire, to offer an Elementary program. We knew that the most important time for a child to have a Montessori education was in the 2-6 age range, which is the demographic served by the Primary program.
But then some of our present students began to age out of Primary. And their parents asked us if we intended to start an Elementary. Then, very unexpectedly, parents of children who have gone to other Montessori programs inquired also.
So there was demand, and we began to wonder if we could offer a supply.
To do so, we’d need three things:
- a space
- a lead guide
The space was tricky, because our current building is only big enough for Primary.
And then our neighbor offered us his building for just $10,000.
So with an answer to the space question a possibility, we set about raising the money, and we told parents we’d make a decision about Elementary for this fall by May 1.
Well, as of this writing, we have raised a total of $11,420 toward the purchase and renovation of the building!
So, thanks to so many of you, the purchase will happen!
Next we had to be sure we could acquire the materials. We have some funding mechanisms in the works to make this happen, plus other arrangements. However, we’re still accepting donations to make this process even easier! If you missed out on the fundraiser to buy the building and still have Easter Alms to give, we’re still accepting! But the point is, we will have the minimum materials necessary to open a quality program in the fall.
And lastly, well, we needed a lead guide. This was the tricky one. This isn’t just budgeting for compensation and figuring out where to get the money. No, this meant a person had to commit to our program here in Steubenville — perhaps move to town. And not just any person. The person had to be the right fit, be committed to our mission, and be committed to sticking with a program as it becomes established and grows.
We put out feelers and an application, and we had some conversations, but nothing jumped out of the weeds.
Until about a week ago.
Our co-founder and president, Tom Crowe, suggested that, should the perfect person not come along, he would do what it took to lead the Elementary program at least for its first year.
The more we looked at the possibility, the more the idea made sense.
He has been serving as the assistant in the Primary program this whole year. He is obviously a mission fit, and committed to the growth of the organization. He knows a few of the kids who are ready to rise up to Elementary, because he’s been working with them in the Primary. He hasn’t had the formal Elementary training, but he is well-acquainted with the philosophy of Montessori.
Also, importantly, he has a number of intangibles that are actually better suited to an Elementary environment than a Primary: he has a great interest in getting involved in a wide variety of topics of study, he loves leading long-term study projects, he is an adept storyteller, and he has a broad range of knowledge and interests. All of these things fit very nicely with the method of education that prevails in an Elementary Montessori program.
We are very confident that as we begin our Elementary program, Tom will be a great fit at least for this first year. And who knows: maybe he’ll be so taken with the classroom it will become a new passion for him!
So, lead guide: Check.
And now we’ve got ourselves a Montessori Elementary Program in the works!
So again: THANK YOU to those who prayed and donated to make this possible!
And if you’re able, please consider supporting our need for materials as we near this momentous occasion!
May God continue to bless you this Easter season and always!