Q: What are the benefits of encouraging adolescents to be more involved in their surrounding communities?
A: “We do encourage children to find a role and be part of their community in many different ways,” says Tina Schneider, executive director at Cleveland Montessori. “They have the smaller community within their own classroom to practice some of those skills of how to be empathetic, compassionate, helpful and considerate of one another’s needs, as well learning how to take care of themselves. This is part of being an independent person. It allows you to go out and be more helpful toward others. Some of this is just figuring out what is their role within their community, starting with their family community as younger children and then realizing what they have to offer to others and what their interests are, so they start following their passions.”