Collaboration, Optimism and Community
On Monday, December 17, 2012, the Montessori School of Raleigh shared holiday songs in the local community. Their first stop was another local Montessori school in urban Raleigh, Oak City Academy. In an effort to bridge the Montessori community and diversity of the schools, the visit is just the beginning of a growing relationship of collaboration between the two schools. Oak City Academy (OCA), a private Christian Montessori school located in the heart of Raleigh, aims to end generational and situational poverty by offering a transformational education. This approach to education blends the Montessori approach with the classical method of learning and instruction. The founders of the school, Danny and Kari Breed, believe that offering a transformational experience to their students will develop OCA students into innovative and competitive thinkers and servant leaders. An even more compelling extension of this educational community, ingrained in the culture and presence at OCA, is the commitment to cultivate a community of justice. In this context, this community looks like parents, teachers, administration, community organizations, churches, businesses and other schools coming together in community, seeing a need, and leveraging their resources to meet that need.
The diversity and mission of OCA–that all children demand the right to flourish–is supported by bringing together students from urban and suburban communities in an educational community through a 90% scholarship program. Upper Elementary III Director, Justin Tosco was also attracted and intrigued by this idea of justice and equality. After meeting with Oak City’s Development Director, Tosco presented the idea to collaborate in caroling in the community at local soup kitchens. Ultimately,The Montessori School of Raleigh (MSR) offered their holiday songs as a gift and initial engagement. MSR is an independent school designed in its every detail to create confident, self-motivated and prepared children. Currently, OCA has Primary to Lower Elementary classrooms with plans to add a grade level every year. MSR offers classes ranging from toddler to Middle School. The two schools are optimistic about a growing relationship and robust discussion in their Montessori community.