Student-led Outdoor Education Project Comes to Life at Dater Montessori


Students in grades four through six at Dater Montessori School celebrated the grand opening of their fellow students’ latest project during a recent Earth Day celebration. To make the school’s Meadow Maze more educational, Ms. Brenda Kortekamp’s students in the school’s gifted program researched plants and animals often seen in the maze and created signs to educate fellow students and visitors of the maze. Students were able to accomplish this thanks to a Disney Youth Service grant secured by Clark Montessori High School Student, Tony Reynolds.

Sign creators stood by their work and shared with their peers what they can expect in the Meadow Maze as plants grow. Most classes at the school took time to walk through the maze throughout the morning.

The new signs offer scientific and historic information about the ecosystem and its inhabitants, as well as open-ended prompts and suggestions for activities written by Gamble Montessori High School students. Staff and parent volunteers coordinated printing and mounting the signs.

“With the activity prompts and suggestions, visits to the maze will remain fun and fresh for all ages for years to come,” said parent volunteer Susan VonderHaar, who often helps in the Dater Montessori Nature Center.

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The Meadow Maze is part of the Dater Montessori Nature Center, which includes an arboretum with trees planted by each class, a wetland, vegetable garden and more. Parent volunteers and students help take care of all aspects of the nature center throughout the year. In May, Crossroads Church will add a greenhouse to the nature center as part of its GoLocal Initiative.

Keep up with all events at Dater Montessori at


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