Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Montessori teachers to meet

1,500 will gather in Covington

By Maggie Downs
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON - The region that helped spawn the Montessori movement will welcome the education system's teachers and parents from across the nation next week.

About 1,500 Montessori educators will descend on Covington May 1-4 when the American Montessori Society holds its 43rd national conference at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

Unique this year will be a series of workshops for parents on May 3.

"It's refreshing to meet with other Montessori people," said Diane Fee, publicity chair for the conference and a Montessori teacher at Summit Country Day School in Hyde Park. "You leave with new ideas for the classroom and new information about research and child development."

Montessori schools use the methods created by Italian doctor Maria Montessori.

She opened her first school in Italy in 1907, where she used materials designed to help children learn by doing.

Cincinnati's first private Montessori was opened in 1925 by the Sisters of Notre Dame - the "Alpha School" where Summit Country Day is now.

The nation's first public Montessori school opened in the Reading Community School District in 1967, with Sands Montessori in the Cincinnati Public Schools coming on line in the mid-1970s.

More than 100 workshops will be held during the conference, ranging from cooking, storytelling and art to discipline, fund raising and moral education.

Attendees can also tour area Montessori facilities and participate in social activities, such as a riverboat cruise.

Costs for the workshops vary, depending upon AMS membership level and status. Parents can only register on-site for those workshops. Others can register online at www.amshq.org.

E-mail mdowns@enquirer.com

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