From having just 5 kids in her care to now needing a wait list, Sandra Perri from the Willow Tree Montessori has come a long way. Willow Tree Montessori school, nestled just inside the Streetsville United Church, first opened their doors in 2016 due to an unfortunate turn of events that left Sandra in need of a job come September. So, she took a leap of faith and decided to open up her own Montessori, it was 2 months of hard work that included finding a location, prepping all the learning activities and becoming fully licensed. But Sandra says when she stepped foot in the Streetsville United Church she just knew it was the place for her. She credits the amazing Streetsville community for coming together and helping her get back on her feet.

You may be asking yourself, what makes a Montessori school different from a regular preschool? At Willow Tree Montessori, the teaching staff strongly believe that children learn at their own pace and they allow them to grow based on their own capabilities. This is why in a Montessori classroom you will often see children ranging in ages from 2 ½ to 6 years old, all learning together. This also gives many of the older kid’s leadership opportunities, as the teachers encourage them to support their younger classmates and help guide them if they are having difficulties. Willow Tree Montessori school takes a very holistic and hands on approach, understanding that children won’t learn how to do a task unless they do it themselves. This is why many of the exercises used in the classroom are designed to be simple, repeatable tasks so that the students will maintain their focus from beginning to end.

Running your own business is no easy feat as any small business owner will tell you, so having that strong relationship with the BIA and the Streetsville community on the whole, allowed Sandra many opportunities to promote her business. Specifically, during the well-known Bread and Honey festival, which aided Sandra in getting her numbers up and being able to continue to support the kids already in her school.

For the Willow Tree Montessori, having their students be aware of and involved in the community in which they live and learn is critical. This is why the sounds of their students playing in the pollinator garden next to the BIA, is not an unusual occurrence. This is also why Willow Tree students are actively engaged in their community, from decorating the Christmas Tree every year, to donating to the nearby Salvation Army. Children are taught from an early age to give back and respect all members of their community, which is something uniquely highlighted in the Montessori way of teaching.

In short, this quote from Sandra sums up how the Willow Tree Montessori school and the Streetsville community are working together to create an accepting environment for these students to learn in. She says, “This is our village, these are our kids, we are raising them together to be the best that they can be!”

If you are interested in enrolling your child at the Willow Tree Montessori then you can contact Sandra Perri at 647 787-8274 or at info@willowtreemontessori.com.