Nature-based Montessori School opens doors

Samantha Hill

A new Montessori School program has opened with the aim of showing the benefits of small learning and utilizing the outdoors.

Chickadee Montessori, owned and taught by Celeste Mascari, is the second Montessori school in Livingston.

After her mother died, Mascari said she wanted to emulate her and get into child care and Montessori learning.

“I am really passionate about working with families,” she said.

To make her dream a reality, Mascari bought a house on the edge of town near Q Street with a third of an acre of land. She then converted the garage on the property into a classroom space, and the school opened its doors a couple of weeks ago.

The program, for children ages 3 to 6, allows them to learn real-world concepts as well as spend time in nature.

With her background in natural sciences, Mascari wanted to use the property for kids to pick apples, draw and go on nature walks. She said she would even have the children outside as much as possible during the wintertime.

“I want the kids to get used to being outdoors,” she said.

Mascari wants the school to be a smaller learning experience,  with only seven to eight students, as well as be homey, which she thought would help kids transition from home to school life.

Chickadee Montessori will hold an open house from noon to 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday for people curious about the school or who want to enroll their children.

The school is located at 1516 E. Lewis St. For more information, contact Mascari at 223-6557 or visit