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New collections have filled Fayetteville Montessori School’s award-winning new elementary building in 2014, in its second year of existence after opening in 2012 on Colt Square in Fayetteville.
Designed by Marlon Blackwell and built by Nabholz Construction, it won the Associated Builders and Construction Award of Excellence. It is also a silver LEED building.
The concept of education at Montessori stems from the belief that human being learn critical thinking skills through discovery. Children grasp abstract concepts literally by putting their hands on them.
Teachers, parents and volunteers help children understand the guidelines of social interaction and focus on positive reinforcement of individual characteristics and talents.
“We teach a diverse curriculum to expose the children to their many gifts,” said Vicki Butler, director of education.
The organization of mixed-age classrooms instills a sense of community among the children, she said. The interest of the younger children inspires those a year or two older, and naturally the older children step up to be role models. As a result, the older children gain confidence and master the skills that they themselves are still learning. That understanding was the doctrine for construction of the new building.
Plans for another new building have been made and are in progress. The new building will include large open spaces to compensate for bad weather and will have a bridge connecting it to the new elementary building so students won’t have to cross the street, making parents’ lives less worrisome.
Teachers have been working on immersing Spanish students into the Montessori system of learning, helping them master both languages.
The old infant and toddler building is being adjusted so that it will just include infants from now on, with the toddlers moving to the building on Township Street.
Butler said anyone is welcome to see the school’s architecture, exhibits or Montessori programs. Appointments can be made by calling (479) 443-7812. More information on the school is available online at fayettevillemontessorischool.com.

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