Free to Fly: Education to Elevate Appalachia

Montessori is education that elevates...lifting children to go as high as they can! Your gift frees potential and creates a better future for Appalachia.

A fundraising campaign for Mountaineer Montessori School

At Mountaineer Montessori School, children are free to fly!

Our child-centered approach to education fosters learning without limits, offering students the time, space and inspiration to go as far and as high as they can.

Since our school’s founding in 1976, we’ve given wings to an estimated 1,000 children, freeing them to discover their passions, fulfill their unique potential and create stronger communities and a promising future.

Mountaineer Montessori serves 135 students ages 3-14 in Charleston, West Virginia -- the heart of Appalachia.  Our mission is to elevate our students and region with forward-thinking, 21st century-aligned education that nurtures tomorrow's problem solvers, creators, entrepreneurs and community builders...a new generation that will lead the way to a brighter tomorrow and a better world.

MMS is a community-based non-profit organization created to unlock the potential of West Virginia's children through the scientifically-based, time-tested, child centered approach to education pioneered by Dr. Maria Montessori. We receive no government funding. Our operations are funded solely by tuition, foundation and business partnerships, and personal donations.

Community support helps keep our program accessible to the growing number of families seeking access to high-quality alternatives to one-size-fits-all schools. Enrollment has grown 83 percent over the past five years and we are currently unable to enroll all applicants due to space and financial constraints.

Our "Free to Fly" campaign provides critical funding for financial aid, teacher training and classroom materials and programs, and helps us continue to grow a world-class education option in our region.

Learn from students, families, teachers and alumni what Mountaineer Montessori School means to them:

Inspired concern

"The Montessori method for a child's development as a whole always inspires me. It teaches them how to be a productive member of the society no matter what profession they choose. In today's world, which is so self-centered, when you see your 11-year-old taking initiative to help the poor and needy and show concerns for the environment, you know that you have made the right decision!" 

Kiran Faridi, M.D., mother of four MMS students

A mind full of ideas

"I want the students to come away with their minds full of thousands of ideas and opinions. I want my students to care about the world, to have strong feelings about the world, to abolish their apathy. I hope to model moral courage and a strong work ethic for them, and I hope that they come away with a love for work and the satisfaction it can bring. I try to instill in them a healthy skepticism, without it curdling to cynicism. In the end, I want them to be able to say that they experienced freedom at MMS." 

Jason Winesburg, Upper Elementary Lead Guide, former Montessori student

Read Jason's story here

Lifted me up

"Montessori has impacted me in so many ways, from the nonrestrictive work schedule to the one-on-one teaching methods, it has pushed me to do my best without the structured and confined atmosphere of a regular school program. MMS has helped me 'fly' by letting me work the way I need to work and helping me the way I need to be helped."

Shannon Rogers, Eighth Year Student

Read Shannon's story here

Instilled at an early age

"Mountaineer Montessori allowed me to be part of a unique situation early in my life that promoted and facilitated my academic growth. I was a little ahead of schedule in mathematics and having a mixed age classroom essentially allowed me to learn at my own pace. I distinctly remember doing basic algebraic equations in kindergarten, which kept me interested and motivated. This desire to keep up with and perhaps even complete a little with the older students is what drove me at the time and the rest of my life. I have to believe that my ambitious spirit was instilled in me at an early age at Montessori and this stuck with me throughout the remainder of my academic career and remains with me today." 

Nilay Shah, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Hematological Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation, West Virginia University/MMS Alumnus

Read Nilay's story here

Welcomed and included

"We relocated to the Charleston area from Georgia over the summer.  Connor had been attending a Montessori school there and we wanted to continue in a Montessori environment to help him transition to our new hometown and because he was thriving in the classroom.  We were thrilled to find a well-established Montessori school here. We sense that when the concept of an 'MMS community' is discussed, it is not just lip service.  In our short time at the school we have all felt welcome and included.  Connor loves going to school at MMS and looks forward to going to school each day." 

Daniel Malone

Read the Malone family story 

Sky's the limit

Propel possibility....empower the promise... and lift up the future with a tax deductible donation to the Mountaineer Montessori School "Free to Fly" campaign. With your help, the sky's the limit! 


Share this Campaign!