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Pioneer Valley Montessori Receives MassMutual Foundation Grant

SPRINGFIELD — Pioneer Valley Montessori School (PVMS), a not-for-profit organization cultivating children’s natural desire to learn, has received a $10,000 grant from MassMutual Foundation Inc. PVMS is one of only 17 organizations nationally to receive an award as part of a national Community Service Award (CSA) program. The MassMutual Foundation made the grant as a tribute to the volunteer efforts of Erik Skar, financial professional with Charter Oak Insurance and Financial Services Co.

“Our Community Service Awards program aims to encourage and recognize those financial professionals who are active members of their community,” said Alison Mathias, MassMutual’s director of Charitable Giving and vice president of the MassMutual Foundation. “Erik’s volunteer work reflects our steadfast commitment to supporting organizations in the communities where MassMutual financial professionals live and work.”

Skar, who currently serves as president on PVMS’s board of directors, has dedicated countless hours of his time and talent to help the school grow and flourish. His passion and advocacy for the mission of PVMS inspires others to do the same. He has championed the efforts of the staff and volunteers, and has done everything for the organization from strategic planning to maintaining the facility to directing traffic at events.

“I am delighted that my work with PVMS has been recognized by the MassMutual Foundation,” Skar said. “This grant will provide much-needed funding to continue its improvement efforts after the tornado of 2011.”

PVMS provides Montessori early childhood and elementary education to children between the ages of 18 months and 12 years. The school enrolls students from 21 towns in Massachusetts and Connecticut, with approximately half of its students living in the city of Springfield. PVMS will put MassMutual’s grant to work by providing permanent shade structures to replace the trees it lost in the 2011 tornado, and to replace flooring and security doors.

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