Sunday, April 10, 2011

How to turn a Restaurant into a Montessori School.

How does this.....

turn into this?

All it requires is a group of committed parents and teachers willing to do whatever it takes to make a dream come true.

It all started about 2 months ago when one of Oceanside Montessori School's parents drove by this place....

saw the "For Lease" sign and realized it might be the perfect new location for the school.

The school's original location was adequate but not perfect.  It was in the basement of St. Mark's church in Qualicum B.C. The ministry team were the best landlords one could ask for but we soon outgrew the space.

 As you can see in the following picture, the windows were too high, the room couldn't accomodate enough children for a proper Montessori classroom and there was no easy access to the outside. 

However, the teachers made it work and everyone  kept an eye out for a better location.

The work took place over the two weeks of our spring break and was ready for the children on April 1.  Every single parent helped out either by volunteering their skills (plumbing, countertops, carpentry, etc), donating much needed money, childminding,  sourcing materials, or by providing big machinery.  It is truly inspiring to see what one small school community can accomplish in a short period of time.  And I don`t want to forget the teachers who gave up large chunks of their time off to come in and help out.

The walls came down.

The booths came out.

A new floor went down.

The whole place got new paint.

The sink was lowered to child height and a new countertop was put in.

 Next came the sinks.


Our dedicated teachers were always on hand to make sure everything was just right for the children..

 Lots of big machines were donated to move plants and dig post holes.

The final product!

The new classroom

The new play space.
The garden area awaiting raised beds.

And this is the woman responsible for all of it. In fact, without this woman, there wouldn't be an Oceanside Montessori at all.  She wanted Montessori for her child so badly that she found the original location and rallied the community to get it up and running.

Unfortunately, this is the only picture we have of Karin at the new location. (I think she knew I would post it.).  Many of you may know her as G`s Mum from the other blog.  Without Karin, this project most likely wouldn`t have happened.  Not only did she find the spot, but she organized all the volunteers and materials and was at the site every day.

Every Montessori school needs a Karin and a dedicated group of parents & teachers such as those at Oceanside Montessori. 

Congratulations, OMS!

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