Senior Director, Policy & Programs Trust for Learning Washington, DC
Trust for learning is supporting Premier Academy – a Head Start program in Atlanta, GA – to plan adoption of the Montessori approach in multiple classrooms.
As part of its strategy to expand ideal learning for underserved communities, the Trust is offering planning grants to Head Start programs that wish to implement an ideal learning approach as part of their commitment to continuous, program improvement and positive change. Premier Academy received the first planning grant, which will provide high-quality Montessori education for low-income, primarily African American children in Atlanta. Premier Academy’s Head Start Montessori Pilot Program is the first collaboration of its kind in the State of Georgia, and we hope it will inspire and provide a roadmap for more programs serving low-income and diverse communities to adopt Montessori or another ideal learning approach.
The main goal of the pilot program is to offer Montessori to low-income, primarily African American children to reduce the opportunity gap and ensure they are prepared for Kindergarten and lifelong success. Premier Academy will transform two classrooms into Montessori environments; provide educational workshops and training for parents to facilitate increased parental engagement; implement a classroom quality assessment; and train and provide ongoing support and coaching to teachers. Secondary goals for teachers include increasing the number of Montessori teachers of color in Atlanta, reducing job burnout, and increasing job satisfaction.