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Haircut fundraiser to benefit Montessori school expansion

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The South Dakota Barber College in Rapid City is offering free back-to-school haircuts for kids from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 22.

Nine students currently enrolled in barber college programs will give the haircuts. No appointments are needed. Walk-ins are welcome. Donations are encouraged but not required.

Donations will benefit the Children’s House Montessori in Rapid City to help with costs of playground equipment at its new location.

“The hope is that some of the parents will donate $5, $10, $20, and whatever we raise, we’ll (give) to the Montessori school,” said Donnie Joseph, founder and director of South Dakota Barber College.

Joseph said the barber college likes to partner with local schools and organizations for events such as fundraisers, and Joseph said he instills in the college’s students the importance of being active in their community as well as being skilled barbers.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn the importance of their role as barbers and giving back to the community they work in. Likewise, it’s a great opportunity for us to support CHM with their fundraising goals,” Joseph said.

Michelle Kagarmanov, director of Children’s House Montessori, said the school is expanding and relocating its preschool and kindergarten classes. She said the school hopes to raise about $10,000 for playground equipment for the new preschool-kindergarten facility. The Children’s House Montessori serves children ages 3 to 12 in preschool, kindergarten and first through sixth grades; students in elementary grades will remain at the school’s current campus.

Children’s House Montessori has grown over the past two or three years as the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of new residents in the Black Hills has resulted in more parents seeking education options for their children.

Children’s House Montessori has had an enrollment of about 65 students, Kagarmanov said. The addition of a separate preschool and kindergarten location will allow it to nearly double its capacity and serve up to 120 students. Kagarmanov anticipates the school will likely reach full enrollment by next year.

“We have seen a huge demand for our school,” Kagarmanov said. “A lot of people are seeking alternative routes to education and with the … people moving to our town, we’re getting a lot of people from out of state who are coming from bigger markets. They already know about Montessori and they want to enroll their child in a Montessori school here.”

“We use hands-on learning to teach, and we are state accredited so we use Montessori curriculum to teach to state standards,” she said.

Based on the demand Children’s House Montessori is experiencing, Kagarmanov believes the school is poised for even more growth in the near future.

“I do foresee, maybe five years from now, we’ll probably be in a similar position of needing more space. It seems like more and more families are seeking alternatives to public education – something other than one size fits all,” Kagarmanov said. “People aren’t just assuming they’re going to send their child to public school anymore. The pandemic really shook things up in that regard. A lot of families changed their viewpoint.

“We’re trying to be thoughtful about the growth. We have a great school and great teachers and great families,” she said.

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