In our second feature of the “What Inspires Us” campaign we are thrilled to showcase the Fitzgerald Community School located in Northborough, Massachusetts. We had a chance to talk with the Head of the Fitzgerald Community School, Erin Fournier, who explained some of the amazing programs their school offers, as well as the other initiatives they take part in the community.
For more information on enrolling your child in the Fitzgerald Community School or learning more about the programs they offer, visit www.fitzgeraldcommunityschool.com
Interview with Erin Fournier from the Fitzgerald Community School:
What does your company do?
We are an independent elementary school and preschool. We provide nature based education through a project immersion approach.
How Long Have You Been In Business?
What makes you different from other companies?
We provide nature based education through a project immersion approach. We create a warm and home-like learning environment. We build strong and lasting relationships with our community members. We make sure every child is visible, valued and supported in their own ways. We do not have testing or Homework. We apply knowledge to real life settings.
What are some things you value as a business owner?
Joy, collaboration, community, child honoring, relationship building.
What kinds of things do you want to hear from clients or customers?
How we can continue to grow and become accessible for all families!
What’s your personal story?
As an educator, I began my career in the public schools. After two short years, I knew I could not get behind the work I was doing. Authentic needs of children were being suppressed for the benefit of test scores, politics, data and money. It was evident that education today is no longer about kids. This is not at the fault of educators, but the system. So we decided to create our own! A place where children can learn and grow in authentic ways.
What’s the biggest factor that has helped you achieve success?
Word of mouth. Our families share what makes Fitz special and that drives others to us. We also have a fantastic team who is very dedicated to the vision and brings it to life!
What is the best advice you can give to others?
If you see a problem and you can’t change it, create what you wish existed! Take the risk.
If you could start all over again, what would you do differently?
Starting a business from scratch without a business background can be tricky with a lot of “learn as you go” moments! I would have partnered with someone who is more savvy in that area.
At the end of the day, what puts a smile on your face?
Seeing children thrive and knowing that we have a truly caring community.
BONUS QUESTION: Describe a way that your business helps your community in a positive way? Why is this important to you?
Through Project Based Learning we are always looking for ways to help the community and effect change.
Creating a community fridge to help those in need, or a free library, or planting pollinator gardens around town are all ways that FCS learners and educators have worked to support the growth of our community!
And of course, raising respectful stewards will always provide a positive impact on our community!
We need your help to nominate businesses that go above and beyond to support the community and others in need.
Our goal is to showcase these individuals by offering them a collaborative experience by featuring their story in our “What Inspires Us” campaign.
Help us promote inspiring stories for others in our network to see!