Students and staff members at North Little Rock Montessori School, 900 Mission Road, North Little Rock, are busier than ever this week as they put final touches on a special event planned for the week long observance and celebration of Montessori Education Week, Feb. 24 to March 2.

The North Little Rock Montessori School will be joining more than 5,000 Montessori schools across the U.S. and around the world, including over 200 sponsored by public school districts. The school is inviting members of the Pulaski County and surrounding communities to come take a firsthand look at the child-centered, individualized approach developed 106 years ago by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman physician in Italy.

"The Montessori system may be one of the best-kept secrets in education," says school Administrator Donna McNew. "We believe all parents should know about this education option, and paying us a visit during this special celebration will give them a good opportunity to find out."

Montessori Education Week is an annual event designed to promote increased awareness and respect for all children, our most precious natural resource, Donna McNew explains.

North Little Rock Montessori will celebrate this special week with an open house Sunday from 2-4 p.m.

Multi-age groupings, a rich and extensive curriculum implemented with hands-on materials, cross-discipline learning, and care of the global environment are just a few of these innovative characteristics, according to McNew, all in a school setting with a "family atmosphere." From their original early childhood classes for ages 3 through 6, many Montessori school have now expanded to serve infants, toddlers, elementary, and middle school children, with a few continuing through high school. North Little Rock Montessori starts at the age of 3 years and continues through the 6th grade. To schedule a visit or obtain information, McNew advises parents to contact the school office at 753-5157.