Bright Water Montessori School

Bright Water Montessori School opened in Minneapolis in 2004, and while many schools may have opened in 2004 I wanted to share this article as an example of how a school can not only establish itself, but flourish despite adversity.

Here are a few select passages to pique your curiosity…

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Bright Water… opening as a preschool … for 16- month old through kindergarten-aged children in 2004, and founding a grade 1 through 3 charter school two years ago.

Bright Water has 107 students, 45 in the preschool, 62 in the elementary school. …School demographics show that 44 percent of students in both schools are African American, 35 percent white, 13 percent Hispanic, 5 percent Asian, 3 percent Native American….More than half the students’ families, 52 percent, are low income, and eligible for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program.

“We have offered more than $300,000 in [preschool] scholarships over the past six years,” Luce said. “A third of our families receive child care assistance, a third are on scholarships, and a third pay full tuition.”

The school is partnering with the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota to co-develop 10 new schools; in North, the target is three new preschools.

The school has a small food shelf and book-share program. “Families send in food, families who need it, take it. If a book disappears, that’s okay. If it comes back, that’s okay too.” Luce said. The charter school has an environmental focus, and each classroom has its own garden of raised beds with organic soil. “We wanted to make sure they ate what would be good for them.”

The third graders recently held a fundraiser for Haiti and raised $150. Luce said, “We all went to US Bank and watched the money go through the machine. They got a money order, wrote a letter, and sent the money to the Red Cross. They made a poster for the US Bank branch manager, and he gave them a bank card for $25.”

They are in a high-crime neighborhood, she added, and recently there was gunfire at 25th avenue, close to the school playground. (No students or staff were injured.) “It was a sober reminder that we are not always safe. We stress the safety of our children.”

Read the full article for more.

You can donate to Bright Water School here.

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