Alexandra Tsamis founded Sunflower Montessori in 2005 at a time when the Oakwood Village community lacked a holistic alternative in childcare and early education. As a longstanding advocate of Maria Montessori’s methods and with a background in early childhood education, Alexandra envisioned a space that placed equal emphasis on the child’s intellectual, psychological, physical, moral, and spiritual development; in other words, the whole child.
Although Sunflower began as a small space, over time parents wished to continue their journey within the community Alexandra had created. The only problem was that Sunflower’s age limit was 6 years. Around this time, Alexandra met Nirmala Shettigar, a holistic nutritionist/chef and owner of Guiltless Delicious, a holistic food service in Toronto.
Nirmala has a deep connection to the nurturing power of food and believes in the importance of eating mindfully. For children, this is especially important because they are encouraged from a young age to listen to their bodies, seek balance, and nurture their physical and individual wellbeing.
Together Alexandra and Nirmala had a vision of alternative education connected with holistic nutrition. As mothers, they shared a desire to create a place where children were respected, given a voice, and supported in growing as whole individuals. It was through this connection that a second school, Oakwood Village Montessori Elementary, came to be.
Today Sunflower Montessori Schools are a place where the whole child is supported holistically – inside and out.
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