St. Anthony School expands Montessori program
St. Anthony School in Bunkie has taken a big step this year. The Pre-K through eighth-grade school expanded its Montessori program into first and second grade at the beginning of the year.
This changes the way these little students learn, taking them out of a traditional classroom setting and into a more hands-on learning experience, tailored to fit the needs of each child.
"It drives your own self-motivation, it drives adding responsibility into our students," said principal Aimee Hayes.
"They're able to go after their own passions, so if we have a student who is excelling in Math, they can get more math jobs and reading jobs. Or if we have a student that enjoys reading they can get more reading jobs, it really goes by their interests...A job is what Maria Montessori called her activities the kids like to think that its fun and that's the purpose of it, is learning should be fun"
The school is the only school with a Montessori program in Avoyelles, and teachers say the benefits are endless.
"The more senses you involve the easier it is to learn it, so its a lot of hand-on where they actually get to feel things," said teacher Sister Judianne. "It teaches them how to be independent, they learn how to do self-discipline, they learn how to control their own bodies and their own jobs."
"I'm real proud of them," said Thomas Roque, superintendent of Catholic schools with the Catholic Diocese of Alexandria. "It's just awesome to watch kids learn in a different environment."