East Fort Worth Montessori Academy offers its 200 students much more than a quality elementary education through an impact that extends far beyond the classroom. Founder and director Joyce Brown and her staff work hard to ensure that their K-4 students, mostly low-income and African-American or Latino, leave school with nourishment for their bodies as well as their minds. Each weekend, the school provides qualified students with backpacks full of food for these children and their families.
The school also serves as a resource for families. Parents can take classes in English as a Second Language, with an emphasis on health and nutrition, as well as literacy and Graduate Equivalency Prep courses. Childcare and meals are also available to participating families. Furthermore, to illustrate its commitment to a broader sense of community, the school opened its doors to Hurricane Katrina evacuees, offering food, clothing and other generous donations.
Both the acquisition of the original school building and the construction of the newly added kitchen/cafeteria were financed by Self-Help Credit Union loans using funds made available through the US Department of Educationís Charter School Credit Enhancement Grant program and the US Department of the Treasuryís New Markets Tax Credit program.