History & Mission
The Montessori Center Room opened on November 1, 1966 as a preschool located in an inner city neighborhood at the base of Price Hill. The Center Room was founded by Sister Jeannine Schmid of the Glenmary Order to be an experiment in cross-cultural, preschool education. The first funding was made possible through a grant given to the Glenmary Sisters and one session per day classes were conducted by Sister Jeannine and Sister Laura Ostendorf in a room provided by the Bible Center at Eighth and State Avenue.
In the summer of 1967, following Sister Jeannine’s resignation from the Glenmary Order, a group of dedicated parents reorganized the Center Room into its current status, that of a non-profit, charitable organization. The school remained in its original rent-free quarters in the Bible Center.
The need for a larger classroom, plus plans for expanded activities at the Bible Center, necessitated a change in location for the Center Room. During the summer of 1968, following an extensive renovation by volunteers, the classroom was moved to rented quarters at Oyler Public School, three blocks from the Bible Center. That September, classes began to operate on a two-session per day basis.
During the 1968-69 school year, the Central Planning and Budget Commission of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati approved a grant to the Center Room. For the first time, this gave the Center Room a measure of financial stability and security and allowed the Center Room to focus some of its attention to a further expansion of its operation.
After thorough research, the Board of Trustees approved the establishment of a second Center Room on Eastern Avenue, in the East End community. After complete remodeling of the St. Rose School, involving approximately 2,000 hours of volunteer labor, the new classroom opened on January 6, 1970. In September of 1970 operations at Center Room East were expanded to two classes per day.
With the addition of a second school, the Center Rooms East and West were incorporated in the state of Ohio as a non-profit corporation, to be known as the Montessori Center Rooms, Inc. In the mid 1980s, Center Room West was closed, and the Center Room East began to operate as Montessori Center Room, or MCR.
The purpose of Montessori Center Room is to provide young children with a quality Montessori learning experience, in order to promote intellectual, physical, and social/emotional growth. The school was founded to offer preschool education to children of low-income families and continues to seek families of all races, religions, ethnic backgrounds and socio-economic groups.