Montessori for Aging... We're Going to Ireland...

We are so pleased that our colleague, Jennifer Brush, will be part of an important conference to be held soon in Dublin. We know this is one of many upcoming opportunities to build momentum for the work we are developing at the National Center for Montessori and Aging at Crossway Community. We are thrilled and excited to see this work taking hold, and we know our new friends in Ireland will be inspired by what they learn.

Creating a Prepared Environment to Age in Place A Community Conversation

We all applaud the efforts of care workers to ensure that dignity and respect is afforded to those in their care, whether this takes place within the home, community or more formal care settings. Innovative approaches are being constantly explored. This applies in particular to the care of the elderly, and more specifically, to those experiencing dementia.

One such innovation draws upon the experience of the well-established Montessori approach. More commonly associated with education, the goal of the Montessori program is to support people living with dementia by creating a prepared environment, filled with cues and memory supports, that enable individuals to care for themselves, others, and remain in their community. The Montessori approach enhances quality of life for people living with dementia by creating an environment in which they can succeed. Roles, routines and activities are developed for each individual, which are meaningful to that person – giving each person the opportunity to enjoy an enriched life. Individuals living in a Montessori community do as much for themselves and others as possible, rather than having things done to them or for them.

Saint Nicholas Montessori College Ireland and the Ignite Programme at Trinity College Dublin have come together to host a community conversation about ageing in place, but also more specifically, how resources within the Dun Laoghaire community can be deployed and used as an example to other communities.

Date: Time: Location:

Montessori and Aging: A Community Conversation

Saturday, 24th March 2018
0930hrs to 1245hrs
National Maritime Museum, Haigh Terrace, Dun Laoghaire

The conference will be addressed by Ms Jennifer Brush who is one of the leading practitioners in this area, as well as Dr Sabina Brennan, Trinity Brain Health and the ADAPT Centre at Trinity College Dublin, and Mr Patrick Doherty, ALONE. The conference is free and open to the public and relevant to those interested in the care of the elderly. Spaces are limited to 100. If you are interested in attending this conference, you must register with Erica Roche at 01 280 6064 or email Erica at


09.30 Opening Address: Ms. Mary Mitchell O'Connor, T.D., Minister of State for Higher Education

10.00 Montessori & Aging: Ms. Jennifer Brush
10.30 Dementia Risk and Protective Factors: Dr. Sabina Brennan, ADAPT Centre, Trinity College

Dublin and Trinity Brain Health
11.00 Aging & Loneliness: Mr. Patrick Doherty, Head of Strategic Development, Housing and

Funding, ALONE 11.30 Tea & Coffee Break

11.45 Panel Discussion: Montessori and Aging - Creating a Prepared Environment 12.45 Conference Close



Creating a Prepared Environment to Age in Place A Community Conversation


Ms. Jennifer Brush, MA, CCC/SLP is an award-winning Dementia Educator, author and consultant. With her 25 years of industry experience, including leading countless live national and international trainings, facilitating ground-breaking research, and managing innovative person-centred care projects for The Mayer-Rothschild Foundation, Jennifer flawlessly bridges the gap between care communities and the individuals they serve. Jennifer serves on the Association Montessori International Advisory Board for Montessori for Aging and Dementia and is the only person in the US teaching this international program. Jennifer is the author of 5 nationally recognised books on dementia including the silver-medal winning Creative Connections in Dementia Care and I Care, the gold-medal winning work that also received a 5-star rating as a Reader Favourite. Jennifer is widely known for her revolutionary work in the Spaced Retrieval memory intervention, pioneering this area of study and publishing 2 books on the subject.

Dr. Sabina Brennan (PhD., C.Psychol., PsSI.) is founding director of Trinity Brain Health and Adjunct Assistant Professor, ADAPT Centre, Trinity College Dublin. Her scientific research at Trinity College Dublin has focused on understanding dementia risk and protective factors to establish how decline in cognitive function might be prevented or delayed. She is passionate about engaging people in an educational, preventative context. In recognition of her immense contribution to the popularisation of science, Professor Brennan won the Science Foundation Ireland Outstanding Contribution to Science Communication Award 2016. She currently serves on Trinity’s Equality Committee and Chairs the Age Friendly Trinity Working Group. Prof Brennan received an award from the Provost in Trinity College in recognition of her work for social impact in 2017.

Mr. Pat Doherty is Head of Strategic Development, Housing and Funding with ALONE, a national charity working to support older people to age at home, here in Ireland. Prior to this, Pat held senior positions within Age Friendly Ireland, the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland and Depaul International. Over the past 30 years, Pat has built up extensive knowledge and understanding of the needs of older people and is committed to ensuring the voice of older people is heard by service providers and policy makers. This includes consultation with services users for service development and innovation, as well as quality standards




A Clean, Well-Lit Closet...

A Clean, Well-Lit Closet...


Getting our heads, and our spaces clean, clear, neat, organized and beautiful. At Crossway, we have found this attention to our environment, and to the way it both mirrors and impacts our mental and emotional worlds, to be so very important. It matters for children, for parents, for the elderly. It matters for all of us. We believe that by paying attention to the way our internal and external environments are organized, we are able to prioritize, stay focused, and be the best version of ourselves. It's a process.  


But then again, aren't we all a work in progress?


Please join us at Crossway Community to declutter, and make space for your own best self...

Holding hands around the world

Crossway Community has always been a place where people could come together, in safety, in collaboration, with respect, and in order to learn. It is through this steady commitment to working together, and creatively building community, that we are able to evolve and endure.

We are so honored to be part of international efforts to apply what we have learned and to share best practices and philosophies with others who have common purposes.

This is one of our original, and most important inspirations, and we are grateful to be in such company.

And so we continue the work, at Crossway Community, and always in the context of our mission, to promote learning, creativity, and community, for ALL families.

Thrilled to be recognized by the MD Dept of Education!

Crossway Community is so pleased to announce that our Crossway Community Montessori School has been awarded accreditation by the Maryland State Department of Education. The accreditation is the culmination of a year-long review of our curriculum,  indoor and outdoor classroom environments, teacher and administrative credentials, school operations and parent involvement.  Our organization is always honored to be recognized for educational excellence, and we congratulate everyone involved in furthering Crossway's mission of promoting learning, creativity, and community for all families!"

Letter from Kathleen Guinan, CEO

As founding CEO of Crossway Community, I want to thank you so much for your interest in Crossway Community.

Crossway Community is an entrepreneurial nonprofit organization that has been promoting learning, creativity and community for all families since 1990.

We are located on a tranquil campus in suburban Kensington, Maryland. Because we are Montessori-inspired, you will notice the beauty and calm of our prepared environments. As you will see from exploring our website or visiting us in person, families come to participate at Crossway Community from all over the metro DC area, and from all over the world!

I encourage you to take a tour of Crossway Community Montessori School, The Intergenerational Learning Center, and The Apartments. Our award-winning Family Leadership Academy put us on the innovation map. We are always learning and adding new initiatives. Check out the organic garden cooperative! Consider hosting your next meeting or family event with us. Join us for professional training. Move in to a cozy apartment where your family will thrive as a part of a vibrant village. As we like to say, “the sky’s the limit.”

Our new web site gives you a glimpse at what we do, featuring beautiful images by Kristen Franklin of Storybox Photography. We are always open to the ideas and contributions of artists, teachers, thinkers and activists who keep Crossway Community humming with activity and creative energy.

We look forward to hearing from you, and to working with you.  

Kathleen Guinan
CEO, Crossway Community