For Yinan An her long term goal of opening a school got accelerated in 2012 when she and a partner, Sandra Bo opened AnRic Little Montessori Room. Don’t let the name fool you; this has grown to be more than a room, literally. The two moms were brought together through their children’s extracurricular activity where they gravitated towards each other. An is a certified AMS teacher and holds a dual masters degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education from New York University (NYU). She is the head of school and lead teacher for the Toddler Class (TC). Bo holds a PhD in Economics and handles the finances.
AnRic LMR is a full international member school of the American Montessori Society (AMS) and has an interesting tale of how it began before moving to their new swanky location.
Their humble abode was in Tower C at the Global Trade Mansion near The Place, beginning with just one classroom. As the years passed and the demand for classrooms grew, they expanded to three classrooms. In their new building space in Tower D, AnRic has maintained three classrooms, and added facilities including a library, gym and kitchen.
It took three years to pick the new location because of a number of variables that An and Bo weren’t willing to compromise on. The most important variable was the location. They wanted to stay in the same general area because of the diverse community that matches their values of a diverse and multicultural-school, the accessibility of an outdoor play area, and also because many of their students are from around this area.
When An and Bo started the school, all they wanted first and foremost was to create a healthy and safe learning environment. However, year-on-year as the numbers kept growing the circumstances about taking it slow changed and they had to adapt to accommodate their growing popularity. The school had grown from a mere two students to over 40 and the founders always strived to provide an ideal learning environment for AnRic children. When it was time to move, they engaged an expert interior designer to bring to life their concepts of having nature, light, and simplicity as the main themes.
“I wanted the designer to have their own ideas and to get in touch with the environment. When they design something original it’s truly a work of art and I wanted something unique. Nobody tells you how a school should look like, “ said An.
The most noticeable feature after entering the new location is something that is absent greatly from Beijing, high ceilings. Yes, this space has very high ceilings and windows. The windows as well as the school’s walls are covered with translucent blinds, which display the students’ artworks to give it an added personalized touch.
An shared that the students find it much easier to visit one another. Also, the children love sharing the library and gym. The teachers were equally ecstatic about the new location because they often use it as a learning tool, for example, the second-floor children’s toilets are used to teach about varying perspectives, such as the top view (or bird’s eye view).
The school has two Daikin central air purification systems that clean out over 90 percent of particulate matter, carbon dioxide, and much more, making the air clean and fresh. The location’s interiors are also covered by a photocatalytic coating, that’s an “Advanced surface coating technology designed to self clean the surfaces, remove air and water contaminants, suppress microbial growth, degrade hazardous organic pollutants into a harmless substance, producing a safe and healthy living environment,” according to Green Millennium.
The new location has the following cool new spots.
Library: This area is currently in the filling stages since this is going to be one of the most important areas for learning and exploration in the years to come. The curation of the books is being carefully done with a focus on arts and science books in different languages such as English, Spanish, German, Korean, Japanese, and much much more. The main idea of this area is to have books that aren’t easily found in bookstores in China and to encourage a love for independent reading.
Gym: The student’s favorite place to play is the gym with plenty of fun inducing equipment including a dome climber, net climber, swings, large soft blocks, a triangular mirror tent, and much more . Another really unique feature of the gym is the ballet and yoga studio that is created when the curtains around three sides of the gym are drawn to minimize distractions while classes are run.
Kitchen: The cuteness factor is above measurement in this area as all the materials are specially made for children including their very own child-sized food grade 403 stainless steel kitchen islands, oven, and stove. Children have small group cooking sessions and experiment with recipes that are updated regularly.
Parent’s Room: Doubling as the waiting room, the parent’s room has a unique function and that is to help new school students go through a smooth separation process. In most schools, parents drop off their children then head off on their merry way until it’s time to pick them up. This isn’t the case at AnRic, as parents may stay in the room and their children can go back and forth to look for them as necessary. This supports the transition process and eases children into the school routines and general environment.
Should you be interested in going to check out the school, please call 6591 8169, text (only) 186 0082 6958, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment. Please visit www.anricedu.com for more information.
This post is paid for by AnRic Little Montessori Room.
Photos: AnRic Little Montessori Room