This academic year, Grace Montessori School (GMS) is celebrating 30 years of providing Montessori education to children of all economic, racial, ethnic, religious, and social backgrounds. The private school was established by the vestry of Grace Episcopal Church at 5th and Linden Streets in Allentown in 1992 as a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem.
Since its inception, GMS has strived to educate the whole child, including cognitive, spiritual, and physical aspects of their development, in large, inviting, and well-equipped classroom environments. By providing toddlers through elementary-aged children with an inclusive atmosphere that features full and half-day classes, extended care hours, and summer camp programs, GMS has provided thousands of children with a foundation for academic and social success leading to lifelong learning for over 30 years. Additionally, enrolling children allows families to demonstrate their willingness to embrace both the Montessori Method and the school’s mission to improve the lives of children living in Center City Allentown.
“The practical life skills and knowledge a student acquires at Grace Montessori stays with them far after they leave,” said Radhika Hoshing, director at GMS and teacher in the elementary program. “Our mission is to nurture children’s spirits and their natural love of learning. We strive to generate a citizenry of creative thinkers and community builders who will carry their Montessori skills with them to aid in creating a better world.”
“Grace Montessori began as a single room in the basement of Grace Episcopal Church. A Morning Call article from 1992 reads it, ‘was specifically designed to excite the creative spirit of children,” comments Diane Cimorelli, business director of GMS. “This focus has remained prominent over the decades, and we are proud to have added many more to our mission, which values our community of teachers who are prepared to support each child’s learning, and respects children as individuals.”
For decades, parents from all over the Lehigh Valley have sent their children to GMS for high-quality early childhood education. GMS reserves 30 percent of enrollment for students of low-income families to whom financial assistance is given, made possible by generous funding received from foundations, government, corporations, and individuals.
Grace Montessori plans to commemorate their 30th anniversary with various events and activities throughout the year.