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Montessori of Marion celebrates first graduation
by Alyssa James Correspondent · June 15th, 2017

The Montessori School of Marion opened its doors in August, 2016, as Marion's very first and only Montessori School. School Director and Founder of the Montessori School of Marion, Aurora Costache, has been a Montessori teacher since 2004 and received her American Montessori Society (AMS) diploma in 2005. Aurora Costache has used her Montessori training in many different countries including Japan and Italy. It had always been a dream of hers to open her own school, so she did!

On May 26, 2017, she and her students celebrated the end of their very first school year. The Montessori School of Marion hosted a concert for parents and incoming families with a graduation celebration for the 3rd year students to follow.

"The children who graduated from our program this year are all the 6-year-olds who will be going into first grade in the Fall," says Costache. The graduation was attended by special guest, Mayor Nick

AbouAssaly, who not only watched the concert, but helped hand the Class of 2017 their first diplomas.

"We had a successful first year. Our students learned numerous things and even though it was the first year in a Montessori environment for almost all of them, they all adjusted and grew leaps and bounds," says Costache. "Many learned to hold their pencil correctly, read, write, add, subtract, learned about different continents and cultures, how to take care of their environment and themselves, learned grace and courtesy, and so much more."

For those new to the Montessori approach, the Montessori education is a method of learning that is self-guided, and hands-on. In a Montessori classroom, children have the ability to be independent in making decisions in their own learning process, while the carefully designed classroom and teachers guide them through the age-appropriate Montessori curriculum.

The Montessori curriculum is made up the following areas: Peace Education, Grace and Courtesy, Practical Life, Language, Sensorial, Math, Geography and Cultural, Science and Nature, Art, Music, and Foreign Languages. Each area grows in difficulty as the children progress in their learning.

Children are able to learn at their own pace and face new challenges along the way. The lessons are self-correcting, process focused, and allows for children of all learning styles to thrive.

"Among the many things they learned this year, they worked on an-end-of-the-year project. Our topic was the Solar System; they each choose a planet of their choice, they studied it, built a model of it and then presented the information in front of an audience (parents and classmates) - this was their first public speaking engagement," says Costache.

Big news for next school year! The Montessori School of Marion will now have two programs beginning this Fall. In addition to the Casa Program, the school will also be opening a Toddler Program for children ages 1 to 3 in the Fall.

The Casa Program will continue to be offered to children ages 3 to 6. This next school year, Montessori School of Marion is adding art, music and gym teachers to their Casa Program to offer the students art twice a week, and music and gym once a week.

"Montessori is a three-year program, it is essential for a child to finish the whole three years for a complete Montessori experience and learning," says Costache.

Not only is the school growing for it's students, the Montessori School of Marion will soon offer a training program for its teachers. "We are excited to announce that our school will be the host of the first Montessori Teacher Education program in Iowa, starting in the summer of 2018 (our state licensing is pending approval)," says Costache. "Keep an eye out for that if you are interested in becoming a Montessori Teacher."

Marion is an amazing place for its citizens to dream big, reach higher, and make a difference. Costache is an amazing example of hard work and determination to make her dreams come true. She is a passionate and inspirational teacher and person. Her students and their families have all truly loved their experiences in her classroom and are looking forward to another fantastic year at the Montessori School of Marion.
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