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Portrait of Anna Liuzzo in her school classroom.

UB alumna Anna Liuzzo in a classroom at Roots of the Future, the Montessori preschool she founded in Clarence, NY. Photo: Douglas Levere

Published January 30, 2018

Roots of the Future

UB-trained educator realizes her dream school

Anna Liuzzo (PhD ’11, Science Education), has started “Roots of the Future,” a local Montessori school in Clarence, NY. She teaches children between the ages of 2½ to 6. She left her job at Lewiston-Porter Middle School where she taught sixth-grade for 12 years because of a core educational belief: All children learn differently and shouldn’t be held to the same standard.

Liuzzo has created a unique learning environment for children to learn in a different way from traditional methods. Her focus on the complete development of her students has made Roots of the Future a well-desired elementary school within the local community.

The Montessori approach is based on the idea that children have an innate desire to learn and are best able to learn in a supportive and free-range environment. It focuses on each child as a whole, taking into account cognitive, emotional, physical and social developments.

Every subject or concept that children learn is done through hands-on, play-based activities. Liuzzo doesn’t stop what the students are doing to teach something to the class as a whole. The idea is to allow the children to learn at their own pace, focusing on a child’s individuality and independence.

By emphasizing a child’s individuality and independence, children learn the concept of responsibility at a young age. This ties into the practical life concept, which is a staple in Montessori schooling.

"We are committed to fostering the spirit of children while providing a safe and nurturing environment," said Liuzzo, "thus enabling children to reach their fullest potential, now and in the future." Liuzzo hopes to broaden the age range of her school in the coming years by expanding into the elementary grades.

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