Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock on Wednesday, June 20th as she talks with Janice LaFloe, Connie Black, and Carol Gronfor about using the Montessori method in American Indian schools and programs. Three school projects are in planning or underway: The American Indian Famly Center, Little Earth of United Tribes, and Shakopee Mdewakatan Sioux. The projects will launch an early child program as part of an existing social services division at the Indian Family Center; transition an existing pre-school to Montessori at Little Earth; and, transition a private school to Montessori at Shakopee. Children completing three years of a Montessori program are typically fluent, with full comprehension of sentences by age six.
First Person Radio
Janice LaFloe, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, is the Director of Marketing and Development for the American Indian Family Center. She has worked for the AIFC for the past eleven years. She has worked in various capacities during her time at the Family Center, she has served in the roles of Executive Assistant, Associate Director and Interim Executive Director.
Ms LaFloe has an undergraduate degree from Macalester College and a Master’s of Public Policy from the Hubert H Humphrey Institute of the University of Minnesota. She also worked for the Saint Paul Public Schools Indian Education Program, Anoka-Hennepin Indian Education and the Elk River Indian Education Program. It was her experience working in the schools that helped inform and inspire the importance of healthy babies and early learning. ***Connie Black is an AMI Primary Trainer, requiring a rigorous eight-year “training of trainers” program qualifying her train teachers in the use of the Montessori educational method. She has also served as an AMI examiner and has 15 years of experience in Montessori classrooms, as well as 8 years in public school settings, working with children with special needs. She has over ten years of experience implementing "Montessori Year Round" as well as "Montessori All Day." Connie holds a BA in English and Theatre from the University of Tennessee at Martin as well as an MEd from Loyola University of Maryland in Montessori Education. ***Carol Gronfor is the Director of Development at the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota where she helps find start up resources for the new schools, and scholarships for teacher training. Carol served on the founding team for Cornerstone Montessori School, the first AMI public school in Minnesota. This school serves as a pilot school for the Montessori for All collaborative, launching 10 schools for children living in poverty. Carol has worked in non-profits for over 10 years, including extensive work within social service organizations in the twin cities.