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Students at the Countryside Montessori School Enjoy a New Playground This Summer

Students at the Countryside Montessori School Enjoy a New Playground This Summer

The playground, finalized this Spring, is safer and more conducive to having fun, according to head of school at Countryside.


This past spring, the Countryside Montessori School in Great Neck decided to give its playground a new look to be safer, more functional, and to help kids have more fun. The school replaced the playground’s previous wood chip flooring with green rubber mulch, which provides extra cushioning in case kids fall. Playground equipment was also rearranged to utilize more space and to centralize all equipment, so kids don’t have to go far to play on every piece of equipment they love. The head of the school and director of the program, Mary Ann Pastorelli, said the kids have been playing in the new space for two weeks–and love it.

Countryside decided to revamp the playground for safety reasons, and because the previous arrangement didn’t maximize the space. The new playground will play a role in the school’s 8-week-long summer camp, which will feature different themes each week. Kids can also participate in a soccer program once a week throughout the summer.

According to Pastorelli, Countryside is unique compared to a traditional school because of its Montessori designation. Unlike typical schools, “kids learned in mixed age groups. Education is based on what individual kids want to concentrate on, and they learn at their own pace,” she says. Independence and good collaboration are cornerstones of the Montessori program. Children work with their peers or in small groups with a teacher.

This fall, the school will operate on its normal schedule. After-school options will include programs in science, art, soccer, and the Jump Bunch. Kids will have the opportunity to enjoy their new playground throughout.

Image Courtesy Countryside Montessori

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Jacqueline Neber

Author: Jacqueline Neber is a social journalism MA candidate at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. When she’s not reporting, you can find her petting someone else’s dog. See More

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