Our Children’s Center Montessori School is conveniently located in State College, Pennsylvania, just minutes from the Pennsylvania State University. Our facility is situated within the Education Wing of the University Baptist & Brethren Church in the borough of State College.
Our Children’s Center (OCC) is a private, non-profit corporation governed by a board of directors composed of parent volunteers and community members. OCC is licensed by both the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare. OCC welcomes families from diverse religious, cultural, and economic backgrounds.
OCC offers early childhood programs for children from 12 months through six years based on the Montessori Philosophy and Method of teaching young children, which encourages individual, whole-child development. Using this approach, we strive to achieve a balance in each child’s physical, social, emotional, and academic development.
Respect is at the core of the Montessori philosophy– respect for oneself, for others, for life, and for the environment. Ground rules and behavioral expectations for both children and adults in Montessori settings are based upon these tenets. Our aim is to aid the children in their development of order, coordination, concentration, and independence. These are the basic principles of a Montessori education, and are achieved through the use of the Montessori Materials in a prepared environment.
In keeping with the Montessori Philosophy, we strongly encourage families to offer their children the opportunity to complete the full Three-Year Cycle in the Primary Classrooms. The third-year at OCC offers children a unique and wonderful opportunity to learn and develop across all developmental domains with activities such as the Bank Game, the Bead Cabinet, the Farm, and the Sewing Baskets.
The Montessori Philosophy stresses the importance of the interactions between the child, the teacher, and the prepared environment. This prepared environment has the aim of rendering the child independent of the adult. Through the use of both didactic apparatuses and orderly, sequential materials, this is achieved. Montessori primary environments include the following areas of focus: Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language, Science, Geography, and Art.
Montessori classrooms are designed to appeal aesthetically to the child. The shelving, furniture, and activities are constructed in proportion to the children and their needs. The walls are decorated with fine art, photographs of children, child-made quilts, and the children’s own work. Materials and activities abound on the shelves throughout the classrooms. All of our classrooms offer opportunities and materials to stimulate the children’s age-appropriate exploration and development. Our emphasis on prepared environments extends outdoors as well.
Our Children’s Center offers an enclosed natural Playscape, allowing for safe, enjoyable outdoor play. Here children learn through play with natural elements such as dirt, sand, water, rocks, wood, and living plants.
Whether reading books under the pergola, pretending on the stage, building with large blocks, watching butterflies in our garden, making castles in the sand, or serving dinner in the “dirt kitchen,” the children at OCC extend their learning through their outdoor play!
OCC is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to programs, admissions, and employment without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability or performance. OCC does not discriminate against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, or veteran status.
The American Montessori Society (AMS) is the foremost advocate for quality Montessori education, an innovative, child-centered approach to learning. AMS sets the high professional standards that inform Montessori education as practiced in AMS-accredited schools and taught in AMS-affiliated teacher education programs.
A not-for-profit organization based in New York City, with nearly 13,000 members worldwide, AMS is also a hub of all things Montessori: an information center for its members, the media, and the public; a voice in the public policy arena; and a mobilizing force for the global Montessori community, through support services, research, and professional development events.
Montessori educators believe that high-quality standards are just one part of an excellent education program. Exposure to a variety of topics, people, and adventures, in addition to working with each child’s individual strengths, interests and learning styles all contribute to an exciting, stimulating and effective program. This site offers information and additional resources regarding the Montessori Philosophy and Method.