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Todd Covert, co-founder and Head of School at the Montessori School of the Berkshires, addresses gathering at the 'Go Beyond' Campaign kick-off, which took place at the school on Friday, April 15.
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Montessori School Kicks Off $2.95 Million 'Go Beyond' Capital Campaign

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LENOX, Mass. — The Montessori School of the Berkshires, a school that serves toddlers through grade 8 in Lenox Dale, has launched a $2.95 million capital campaign called “Go Beyond.”

The campaign kick-off, which took place at a school-wide event on April 15, is part of the school’s 10th anniversary celebration. The “Go Beyond” Campaign is raising funds for a 7,300-square-foot expansion to the existing 9,000-square-foot building. Students, families, teachers and MSB board members attended the event.

In addition to a large space for whole school gatherings and indoor sports, the campaign will fund MSB’s expansion, including a second elementary classroom, a larger adolescent classroom, a visual arts studio, a music and performing arts space, and offices, as well as added outdoor play areas and an athletic field. Construction is scheduled to begin in June 2016 and to be completed by September 2017.

Prior to its kick-off event, the school reached 86 percent of its campaign goal through contributions from the board and early donors. With the full support of its community and outside donors, MSB plans to raise the remaining $411,000 over the next five years.

“Our growth over the last 10 years has required the flexibility and creativity of staff, students, and families to fully realize our potential,” said Todd Covert, co-founder and Head of School. “This campaign promises that MSB will continue to flourish and provide an educational offering that remains unique in a competitive market.”

Since opening its doors 10 years ago with 24 Children’s House students ages 3 to 6, MSB has more than quadrupled its enrollment. Over the years, MSB has expanded beyond the initial early childhood program to a whole-school Montessori approach, which encompasses toddlers through eighth grade. With this growth and expansion, the existing building that was designed to accommodate 125 students in five classrooms is now nearly at full capacity, and the school maintains waitlists for some programs.

The “Go Beyond” campaign also includes funds for improving staff benefits and professional development.

“The success of MSB resides in the quality and growth of the school’s faculty. A growing, collaborative faculty ensures the school can continue to live its mission,” said Meagan Ledendecker, co-founder and the school’s Director of Education. “At its very core - and for over 100 years - Montessori education has been helping children develop as independent human beings, think critically, and become productive members of a community."

In his opening remarks at the April 15th kick-off, Churchward Davis, chair of MSB’s board of trustees said the 10th anniversary year has been "one of reflection."

“In cooperation with the school’s board of trustees and community, Todd continues to think strategically about how to build on the school’s success to date and secure its future,” said Davis, grandfather of three current students and one graduate.

Chairing the campaign committee are current parent Daniel Neilson and board member Elizabeth Neale.

“This campaign will help give our children and their teachers room to grow," Neilson said. "We're starting from the hard work everyone at this school has done over the last 10 years, and adding space and resources so we can go even further, as individuals and as a community, in the next 10 years.”

Those interested in learning more or making a donation to the “Go Beyond” can visit


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Mass Audubon Schedules Vacation Week programs

LENOX, Mass. - Mass Audubon has scheduled programs for both February school vacation - Winter Adventure Vacation Week - and April school vacation - Spring Explorers Vacation Week.

Winter Adventure Vacation Week will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday, Feb. 17, through Friday, Feb. 21, at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, 472 West Mountain Road, in Lenox. Instructors will be Max Galdos-Shapiro, the Berkshire Sanctuaries education coordinator, and naturalist Zach Adams. Suitable for children ages 7 to 12, the week will help children learn about wildlife that stays active in the cold and snow, and the adaptations that enable them to survive. Depending on the conditions, kids will build snow shelters and snowshoe or hike to "secret" parts of the sanctuary. Children should dress for the weather, with warm outerwear and waterproof boots required, and bring a lunch and two snacks each day.

Spring Explorers Vacation Week will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 20, through Friday, April 24, also at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary and with the same instructors. Spring is a great time to experience the natural world as plants and wildlife awaken, energized and full of life. Explore our forests, ponds, and wetlands for new plant growth, early bird arrivals, and emerging amphibians and reptiles. Children should dress for the weather; mud boots are a must. Bring a lunch and two snacks each day.

Families can sign up for one, two, three, four or all five days in each session; registration fee is $240 member or $320 non-member per week or $50 member or $65 non-member per day. Register online or call for daily registration at 413-637-0320. Space is limited; early registration is recommended.


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