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Wadja Wadja High School

Location: Woorabinda, Queensland

Website: www.montessorifoundation.org
Program Established: 2003
# of Children: 20 Ages Served: 13-15
Immediate Needs:
  1. Funding for ongoing training and mentoring staff.
  2. Donations to purchase materials.
  3. Funds to cover the cost of on-site consultations.
Contact Person: Megan Tyne, Executive Director MCF
Contact Information: montessorifoundation@bigpond.com
Wadja Wadja High School is an independent indigenous Montessori program in the remote community of Woorabinda, which has a population of approximately 1000 inhabitants. The Montessori teachers, Jenny and Joel Rioux, face many challenges but continue to invest in this new generation of children.

The daily challenges faced by the staff include low literacy rates, truancy, staff shortages and language barriers. The health and isolation of students from mainstream society affects their overall life learning experiences as does their hearing and vision impediments. Their diet, which is high in fats and sugars and low in nutrients, adversely impacts their ability to learn and results in students being tired, forgetful and anxious in class.

The Montessori program is now in its fifth year and has resulted in greater attendance at school, higher academic achievements, a calmer atmosphere and more positive attitude toward staff and family. There are fewer students wandering the streets at night and they are taking better care of themselves and the school.

The long term goal is to establish programs for 0-3, 3- 6 and 6-12 year olds, recognizing that the underlying issues facing the community will only be addressed by working with families and children from birth.

Trained Montessorians are encouraged to volunteer.

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