Hershey Montessori Farm School
In 1996, the Montessori Teacher Education Collaborative (MTEC) sponsored a seminal event, The Adolescent Colloquium, in Cleveland, Ohio, bringing together eminent teacher trainers and adolescent practitioners of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI, based in Amsterdam). One outcome of this first Colloquium was the founding of Hershey Montessori Farm School in northeast Ohio in 2000 by David Kahn, Debra Hershey Guren, and Hershey Montessori School. Hershey Montessori Farm School is the only Montessori adolescent program in the world that has developed a complete prepared environment as described in Maria Montessori’s writings (the Appendices to her book From Childhood to Adolescence), with a full boarding component. The Farm School is the only existing Montessori adolescent project with an “Erdkinder prepared environment,” including a youth “hostel” (dorm), a bed-and-breakfast, an operating farm, and a functioning micro-economy with a community farm market (shop). Hershey Montessori Farm School model proved that the Montessori Syllabus is workable and able to provide structure that is comprehensive and uniquely connected to the psychological characteristics of the adolescent.
The Farm School was assisted by considerable outside philanthropy, including four major donors: The Hershey Foundation, Mrs. Orcillia Oppenheimer (capital), The Dekko Foundation (capital and research), and the O’Shaughnessy Foundation (research).
Visit the Hershey Montessori Farm School web site for details on environment, program, and community life.