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The Light of the Child Montessori School begins school year in new location

By Staff | Sep 7, 2018

Three-year-old Addie Frund plays with some sensory tools at The Light of the Child - Montessori School. Photo by Tabitha Johnston.

SHEPHERDSTOWN — The Light of the Child Montessori School, LLC, returned to its original home at 110 North King Street on May 31, and, according to founder and principal Suzanne Frund, is excited to be back in the center of downtown Shepherdstown.

Although the preschool has been located in at least two other buildings in town, Frund believes this location, which is in the basement of St. Peters Lutheran Church, allows the school to offer more opportunities for its students.

“It’s a smaller space, but I like being in the middle of town, because we’re close to all the community activities, and we can walk right to the library,” Frund said, mentioning the school, which accepts 12 students ages two-and-a-half to five-years-old every year, also goes on field trips to local farms, local businesses — like LellyBelle Cafe, Orr’s Farm Market and the Discovery Museum in Winchester — and to local parks, including Cullison Park and the Rumsey Monument.

According to Frund, TLC Montessori School bases its education style on Dr. Maria Montessori’s Montessori Method, which encourages teachers to help their students “learn by doing.” The classroom is separated into several interactive areas for students to learn in — mathematics, foreign language, geography, sensory, vocabulary and life skills areas. The students learn at their own pace, as they listen to group lessons and personalized lessons, all while doing things related to the concepts being taught. They also learn about music, yoga and nature through interactive lessons.

“My goal is to serve the students and serve their families,” Frund said, mentioning she has tailored the curriculum to help new students get used to the Montessori Method, while also incorporating some of the public school system’s method, to prepare students for elementary school.

“We follow the American Montessori Society’s methods, but because we have a lot of students who go to public school after they graduate, we prepare them for both Montessori and public schools,” Frund said, as she watched her student and three-year-old granddaughter play with some of the school’s sensory learning tools.

Frund, a registered nurse, is also a certified teacher with the North American Montessori Center, which is part of the American Montessori Society. Along with the school being part of the AMS, it is also a member of the International Montessori Council.

Although not all four of her fellow teachers have completed their AMS certification, they have been carefully vetted and are all college educated. At least three teachers are on location at all times during the school day.

According to St. Peters Lutheran Church’s Pastor Karen Erskine-Valentine, the church enjoys partnering closely with the preschool.

“The preschool is an opportunity for us to minister to the children, and to be ministered to by them,” Erskine-Valentine said. “We’ll enjoy having the children around more.”

To learn more about the school or see if room is available for students this year, visit www.thelightofthechild-montessorischool.com/index.html.