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.
Montessori Images began over a decade ago in dedication to the joyful benefits of reading aloud to children. In support of the classroom read-aloud, and to encourage conversation around story, we developed illustrative story extensions that highlight language concepts, structures and vocabulary. Our present work, The Nature Literacy Collection, follows a peace and nature theme with suggested read-alouds and inspiring imagery for primary and elementary children.
In 2017 we began a new mission of advocacy for older adults living with dementia who want to continue to know the joys of sharing a story with others. Our Stories for Older Adults feature large-print text and high-contrast illustrations to ease participation and promote engagement.
As always, our mission is to underscore the benefts of the read-aloud with our materials, and to encourage conversation and human connection through story.
Nature Literacy Collection – Grounded in decades of Montessori teaching experience, our classroom materials build on the child’s inherent fascination with nature. Designed by school founder, administrator, teacher and read-aloud advocate, Rita Akins, these materials nourish the child’s relationship with the natural world with engaging illustrations beautifully rendered with clarity and accuracy by professional artist, Ronn Akins. All images are rendered in watercolor and pen and ink, and printed on papers certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Shelf-ready card sets are protected with durable 7 mil lamination.
Stories for Older Adults™ – These short, illustrated stories are authored by Rita and written in collaboration with a dementia care expert. Ronn’s engaging illustrations for older adults are done with bold colors and high contrast to accommodate low vision. Companion Activities and Three-part cards are finished with non-glare lamination for easy viewing.
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. These are multi-purpose and specialty trays, handmade by master craftsman, Jim North, who uses only fallen, storm-damaged trees. The story of the fallen tree used is included with each tray, offering a unique perspective to both children and adults on our setting, the life of the tree, and sustainable practices.