Established in 1992 with seven children of food pantry clients as an outreach of Grace Episcopal Church, Allentown, Grace Montessori School is a not-for-profit, urban school and childcare center, licensed by the Department of Public Welfare and registered as a private, non-public school with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
In keeping with its historic roots as a social ministry of the church to help provide quality early childhood education for the children of poor families in downtown Allentown, Grace Montessori School continues to provide scholarship assistance, based solely upon financial need, to approximately 30 percent of its student body. This commitment allows children of families who cannot afford to provide a private school education the means to do so and helps broaden the diversity of the student body to include more socio-economic, racial, ethnic, religious and cultural diversity than most Montessori programs which, while typically culturally and religiously diverse, are predominantly middle and upper middle class economically.
The school’s new state-of-the-art facility in what had been the administrative offices of Hess’s Department Store on the ground level of the store’s parking garage was dedicated in December of 2004. In partnership with the Allentown Parking Authority, the church had secured state and local funding to construct this purpose-built school for its early childhood program. Continued growth and the addition, in 2006, of an early elementary program, required additional expansion.
Download the Oct. 2008 newsletter of Grace Montessori School
Grace Montessori School has worked to build what Dr. Montessori has called a cohesive community for children and their families. We are a richly diverse student body and faculty, and our children learn in a prepared Montessori environment with professional teachers. We strive to educate the whole child - cognitively, spiritually, and physically, and our classroom environments are large, inviting and well equipped. Learn more....
Each year the school has grown, as planned by administrators and the board of directors, which is made up of community representatives, members of Grace Church, and parents of children attending the school. Currently our program features: •Enrollment of approximately 115 children, •12 faculty members, • Early childhood academic program for children ages 3-6. •Before and after school extended childcare for children ages 3-6, • Lower elementary program for children ages 6-9
Some key alignments of our school are: •Full member of the American Montessori Society, •Membership in National Association of Episcopal Schools, •Continued outreach program of Grace Episcopal Church with social justice goal to provide scholarships to 30 percent of enrolled students based upon financial need.
Early Childhood Program: Grace Montessori Preschool provides children with a caring, safe environment that encourages the child's inner curiosity and love of learning. •Multi-age classes, 3 to 6 years of age, •Five-day program, either 1/2 days or full days, •Children must be toilet trained, •Children must be able to speak their needs, •4 Montessori classrooms
Lower Elementary Program: Children that are academically, emotionally, and socially prepared will be working in an intensive elementary environment specifically for this age group. The program offers students enriched lessons in math, reading, language, and a wide range of lessons in science, geography and other cultural areas. •Must be eligible for 1st grade in the school district they reside, •Children 6 to 9 years of age (1st - 3rd grade), •Five day program, •Full day program
Extended Care: We offer childcare outside our academic hours of 8:30 am to 3:00 pm to children ages 3-6 years. Early morning extended care hours are 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Afternoon extended care hours are from 3 to 5:30 pm. Monday through Friday It is our goal to provide a high quality childcare environment that respects the unique nature of each child and complements our Montessori educational program. Our program offers a happy, nurturing atmosphere for active learning.