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Bushwick Montessori School Opens in Brooklyn

Bushwick Montessori School Opens in Brooklyn

Bushwick Montessori takes a “holistic view of the child,” says head of school Becky Simkhai.

Bushwick Montessori opened Sept. 20 in Brooklyn and follows the Montessori method. Registration for Bushwick Montessori is open and ongoing for children ages 2-5.

The Montessori method is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. In addition to scholastic learning, a Montessori education focuses on nurturing the development of the whole child.

“We are concerned about academics, but equally if not more concerned about the social, emotional, and physical growth of the child,” says Becky Simkhai, head of the school. “So we're taking a holistic view of the child and making sure they are supported in all of those different areas.”

Bushwick Montessori has five major areas of curriculum: practical life that teaches children how to be independent, language, math, sensory lessons that teach refining of the senses, and culture.  

The school has a strong focus on the environment and is housed at the Julie Dent Learning Center, an energy efficient green building in Bushwick. Children also learn to care for and raise animals in the classroom, including fish, chicks, and ducklings. Simkhai, an experienced egg farmer, brings the chicks and ducks home to live in her coop once they are fully grown.

While a Montessori education can traditionally be expensive, Bushwick Montessori is striving to make the school accessible for all parents by offering tuition assistance in the form of scholarships and financial aid. Also, families identified as low income by New York City can use child care vouchers to register their children at the school. 

“We're really working very hard to make sure this program is accessible to a wide range of families of different socio-economic backgrounds, so that's something that I think sets us apart. Our mission is to have a very diverse community here,” Simkhai says.

The school's parent company is Labor & Industry for Education, Inc., a nonprofit social services company that works to provide educational opportunities to low-income families. LIFE’s mission is to help children and families traditionally most underserved.

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Main image: Registration for Bushwick Montessori is open and ongoing for children ages 2-5.
Courtesy Nicole Mayhorn Photography