A Hauppauge preschool has been busy settling into a new home for the 2010-2011 school year.
has begun its second year of business in a Wheeler Road storefront, relocating from nearby on Townline Road. Owner and teacher Jackie Krumm said the new space has allowed the unique program to flourish.
"If you want daycare, I'm not your girl. If you want dittos or coloring, you won't find it here," Krumm said.
She started Montessori Minds Preschool in September 2009 in Temple Beth Chai's rented basement. The preschool's program is guided by the educational principles of Dr. Maria Montessori, the first female physician of Italy, who believed children teach themselves.
"It's hands-on work in a Montessori classroom. Whether you are in India, Europe, Nassau or Suffolk, if you walk into a Montessori school you will see children doing the same things," Krumm said.
On a Friday visit to the classroom, children has set out activities on bamboo mats such as sorting and transferring colored stones to the corresponding bowls using a spoon and assembly geometric blocks in patterns. Montessori schools have four primary learning areas: practical life, sensorial, math and language.
Krumm said she was originally inspired to start the pre-school because her younger son had attended a Montessori program and she saw a difference in his early comprehension and cognitive skills. Having 10 years of experience in child care, she said opening a school was a way she could share its learning techniques to benefit more children.
However, in April 2010, the new business owner was faced with an unexpected challenge. Heavy spring rains caused Temple Beth Chai's basement to flood, leaving her classroom in complete disarray.
"I had to physically pull my stuff out of the water and let it dry," Krumm said. At the time, she was unsure how much could be salvaged.
Montessori Minds Preschool relocated to a Ronkonkoma program site temporarily, until Krumm found the available space at 908 Wheeler Road.
"I'm more visible here and I'm on a ground level," Krumm said, feeling its led to a stronger ties to the community.
Montessori Minds offers a variety of full-time and part-time classes with 12 to 15 students in the classroom at any given time. Although studies following a yearly schedule, the school offers open enrollment provided space is available.