Our History/Our Mission

Reading a story aloud to another human being is an experience that brims with love and language and discovery. This deeply human exchange converts the ordinary things in life – a book, a voice, a place to sit, and a bit of time – into fuel for the heart, the mind and the imagination as relationships are built and community grows around story.


ontessori Images began over 15 years ago in dedication to the joyful benefits of reading aloud to children. In support of the classroom read-aloud, we developed illustrative story extensions that highlighted primary and elementary language concepts, and encouraged conversation around story. These activities gave new focus to reading aloud in the Montessori classroom.

Then in 2017 we began a new mission of advocacy for older adults living with dementia. Working in collaboration with award-winning dementia care expert, Jennifer Brush, we began writing and illustrating the series, Stories for Older Adults™, to facilitate reading for those with dementia. Our present work includes short stories for those with dementia, and other reading therapy materials to promote the joys of reading for a lifetime.

Our mission, as always, is to underscore the benefits of reading aloud for all ages, and to encourage conversation and human connection through story.

Rita Akins
Company founder

Our Materials

Working in many capacities as a Montessori professional for over 35 years, I have learned the importance of seeing the whole person, and of focusing on strengths to enable success. My collaboration with dementia care expert, Jennifer Brush, has given me new perspective on the value of these Montessori tenets.

As a preserved ability in dementia, reading can become a strength for older adults. Stories for Older Adults™ are fictional short stories designed to facilitate reading by making it possible to read aloud without assistance, even in the later stages of disease. Each short story features an engaging large print narrative and colorful, full-page, high-contrast illustrations in a predictable format for optimal reading success. Illustrations, by artist Ronn Akins, serve to directly interpret and support each page of the story for the reader, while also engaging the non-reader.

Themed Three-part cards provide another avenue for reading success. Each set features large print and stunning illustrations, and is finished with 5 mil non-glare lamination for easy viewing.

Our Setting

The shores of the Chesapeake Bay provide an inspirational setting for our M’Images art studio. We are situated on 23 forested acres which have been voluntarily placed in Forest Stewardship to insure the protection of plant and animal species. We follow a guided plan for sustainable use that includes our Fallen Tree Wooden Trays. Our trays are handmade by master craftsman, Jim North, who uses only fallen, storm-damaged trees. A tree history and identification card is included with each tray, offering a unique perspective on our setting, the life of the tree, and sustainable practices.