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Learning Commons Pano

Villa Maria Lower School: The First School in USA to Install Opening the Book Library Furniture

Villa Maria Academy Lower School held its Annual Fund program this year to fundraise for a new Learning Commons, an innovative space designed to encourage research, learning and collaboration.

After months of research, Villa’s principal, Sister Susan Joseph, IHM, chose the Opening the Book Discovery Layout for the new design. The research-based furniture, designed by Opening the Book, a company in Europe, is the “first to be installed in a school in the United States,” said Jolie Conahan, Director of Sales and Marketing for Opening the Book, North America. The Discovery Layout “creates a dynamic experience and draws everyone forward to explore the whole space,” and the “layouts offer smooth organic flows which entice people forward with a continuous sense of exploration and discovery.”

The open concept, comfy seating and small meeting spaces with white board top tables offer students more opportunities to discover, create and collaborate, encouraging them to reach out to their peers, and share knowledge. Building collaboration skills is an important part of a Villa Maria Academy education. Building collaboration skills leads to deeper learning and understanding of content and empowers and enables students’ resilience. Thank you to Villa’s many donors who have made this new Learning Commons possible.

The blessing of the Learning Commons will take place after the opening of school in September.

Villa Maria Academy empowers young women through leadership and service in the IHM tradition. As a Catholic elementary school, Villa is committed to the moral and spiritual growth of each student. As an all-girls school, Villa Maria differentiates instruction to the specific needs of girls, while integrating the latest in instructional technology.

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