READING, Pa. - The Alvernia Montessori School in Reading has taught preschool and kindergarten students for the past 51 years.
"We try to prepare the children for first grade and preschool and kindergarten. We do more academics with them as well as reading and writing, and we also talk about God," said Sister Ann Marie Coll, the school's director.
But over the winter, school administrators and parents found out that Alvernia University will close the school at the end of this school year.
"We were pretty heartbroken when we heard the news. My son went to Montessori Alvernia and my daughter is a preschooler here and we had anticipated her going to kindergarten here," said parent Megan Zobian.
Alvernia officials said the school is closing because of rising costs, declining enrollment and an increase in day cares in the area.
"I was sad in a way, but I realized it was time because of the economy and everything else," said Coll.
Now, parents of the 32 children are left looking for other schools for their kids next year.
"This is an amazing school that has served the community for all of these years. It is hard to see it go," said Zobian.
And the Bernardine Sisters, who have taught hundreds of children throughout the years, said it is also hard to see it go.
"I would like to thank all the parents and children that have come to our school. It has been a pleasure working with them all these years and to see them grow up and become members of society and have their own children," said Coll.
The final day of classes is Thursday.