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Pagliaro to reopen Montessori Children’s Corner despite loss of YMCA funding

Date: 8/15/2011

EAST LONGMEADOW — In March of this year, the Montessori Children’s Corner (MCC), a private preschool and kindergarten, learned that their doors would be closing. The owner, the YMCA of Greater Springfield, was no longer willing to fund this program.

Many looked at this situation as dismal, but one parent looked at it as an opportunity. Tara Pagliaro, a parent at MCC since 2006, was not willing to see this long-standing, reputable program wither away.

A certified speech/language pathologist (with special interests in language development, literacy and autism spectrum disorders) and an elementary education teacher, Pagliaro had a plan. She decided that she would take over the ownership of the school, and revitalize the program to incorporate a unique curriculum, one that follows the Montessori philosophy, but adds cutting-edge work in many areas. She started a non-profit organization called Links to Learning Inc.

The mission of this organization is “to empower children to develop a love of learning. To acknowledge individual learning styles, support and enhance social-emotional and academic growth, and partner with parents to provide a foundation of learning that teaches the whole child.”

For more than 20 years, MCC has been helping young people to acquire the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to grow as students and succeed in life. They realize that every child is unique. The experienced, Montessori-trained faculty is committed to nurturing the inherent qualities of each student. They are a small, vibrant community, where strong relationships are forged between teacher and child and between home and school. With teacher help, MCC students stretch themselves academically and develop a healthy sense of self. They recognize not only the need for academic growth, but the important balance of social skill development.

MCC classrooms offer each child a carefully prepared Montessori environment with materials and activities designed to develop the personality of the whole child. They seek to develop in each student cultural and environmental appreciation and respect for themselves and others. Subjects include, but are not limited to practical life, sensorial, language, literacy, science, geography, math, art, music, gym, Spanish and yoga.

Pagliaro will be offering speech and language evaluations, therapeutic services, and co-teaching language-based activities that focus on enhancing and developing oral language skills including vocabulary development, receptive, expressive, and pragmatic language skills, phonemic and phonological awareness, articu-lation and literacy development.

All of the school’s enrichment and extra programs are at no additional cost to the tuition. MCC offers flexible schedules that meet the needs of working parents, provide before and after school programs, and welcome and encourage parent involvement.

To learn more, visit, call 525-8305 or schedule a visit at 215 Somers Road on the lower level of United Methodist Church.

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