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Montecito, has been around for longer than the Carden Curriculum. In the 1970s the school adopted Carden as its method of instruction. By then, the unconventional education method was sweeping through communities in the Southwestern United States. Today, about 65 percent of students are from


Carpinteria families and typically about a quarter of the families qualify for financial assistance. As a non- profit, the day school uses fundraising drives to help cover expenses. By 2000 property issues forced the school out of its Montecito home. A handful of parents took over, con- verted Howard into a nonprofit, and looked for a new home. Girls Inc. of Carpinteria used the Foothill Road


The marriage of the two youth-serving nonprofits


under the same roof has gone better than hoped for, says Reed. His charges enjoy the gymnasium, audito- rium, art room, playground, and lawn. Now Howard is looking for a more permanent home in Carpinteria, hopefully in the form of finding vacant land to build a schoolhouse that can accommodate 100 students. Teachers feel fortunate they only have to keep


track of less than half the students of an average public school classroom. “It’s amazing what you can do with only 10 students in a classroom,” says Jen Gonzalez, kindergarten teacher. She can quickly learn the needs of each child.


At the end of the day, students and teachers demon-


A key philoSophy of cArDen iS to encourAGe Joy in leArninG, So StuDentS Will come to WAnt to enrich themSelveS.


center after school, so the two entities struck an agree- ment to have Howard occupy the space during the day.


strate just how close of a bond can be formed with a smaller classroom. Unlike the familiar anticipation of the final bell and an immediate exodus once students get the signal, a Howard day ends with one-by-one dismissal. Students line up and thank their teachers for an enriching day of instruction. “That way a student understands they’ve received


something of value,” Reed says. Often, the day’s goodbye comes with a big, warm


hug. ¢


ABOVE, Andrew Ziehl, 4th grade, shows imagination at work in the classroom.


LEFT, lining up for learning are, from left, Kaelen Peters, Anna Sung Park, Mary Jane Bailey, Olivia Miller, Zoe Castiglia, and Coby Gonzalez.


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