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Minimbah

Location: Armidale, New South Wales

Website: www.montessorifoundation.org
Program Established: May, 2006
# of Children: 20 Ages Served: 6-9
Immediate Needs:
  1. 1. Funding for training and mentoring staff.
  2. Donations to purchase Montessori Materials.
  3. Funds to expand the library.
Contact Person: Megan Tyne, Executive Director MCF
Contact Information: montessorifoundation@bigpond.com
Minimbah is an independent Indigenous school in Armidale, New South Wales that began as a pre-school in 1961. In May 2006, Peter Erskine, a Montessori teacher, worked closely with the school community to establish a Montessori elementary classroom. The purpose of Minimbah (which means a place of learning) is to give young students the opportunity to learn in a safe and stimulating multicultural environment.

The children come from disadvantaged backgrounds, so many of the children entered the classroom unable to read, write or count up to 20. A year later children are avidly reading age appropriate books and the older children happily read to the younger ones. Through use of the Montessori math materials, they are more confident in their numeracy skills. These elementary students are also becoming familiar with computers.

The Montessori approach meets the children’s needs. It focuses on individualized learning, community contribution and affirms the indigenous culture and the multiple languages of the children and their families. Educational focus is placed on cultural understanding and contributing to society. Overall attendance is now regular and the children are happy to be at school.

Trained Montessorians are encouraged to volunteer.

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