Kindergarten Readiness for Homeless Children in South Bend
2016July Cfhbw Center For The Homeless 4

For 23 years, the Montessori Classroom, a flagship program of the Center for the Homeless, has served as a hallmark of the Center for theHomeless Early Childhood Intervention Center. Providing a certified Montessori preschool and kindergarten option to the Center’s youngest guests opens a door they might not otherwise experience. The Center feels strongly that treating a child’s own educational pace and independence is critical in a young child's life, especially those who are living in poverty. Often, the children who participate in the preschool have experienced significant trauma as well as instability in their homes. Consequently, a traditional classroom setting may not provide the right setting for early childhood learning. A Montessori education is invaluable to homeless children because it responds to the individual learner through creative approaches to pedagogy.

The Center's Montessori classroom, a satellite campus of The Montessori Academy at Edison Lakes, is for homeless children ages 3 - 6. This unique program creates an environment that cultivates the child's intellect and love of learning, instills responsibility, fosters respect, and inspires care for the community. Through this partnership, the Center and the Montessori Academy at Edison Lakes share both the financial responsibilities and resources of providing this program. Through this collaboration and with financial support from The Pokagon Fund, the Center shares the responsibility of paying for a certified teacher, stocking and maintaining the classroom, supporting training of staff, and utilizing volunteers.