Notre Dame Early Learning Center, Belmont

Enriching tiny students’ learning with art, music, gardening and Spanish.

The Early Learning Center (ELC) on NDNU’s campus was founded in 1964/65 school year by Sister Christina Trudeau, a Montessori teacher, administrator and renowned educator of other teachers. Today, the teaching staff continue to use Dr. Montessori’s educational philosophy to enrich their tiny students’ learning with art, music, gardening and an integrated Spanish program.

Children playing on the S.S. Christina.

Children playing on the S.S. Christina.

For the 2007 World Day of Peace celebration, kindergarteners joined elementary, high school and university students and Sisters of the Province Center. Singing their peace song, they were following in Dr. Maria Montessori’s footsteps. An educator for peace, she was nominated for the Nobel peace prize in 1949, 1950 and 1951.

While Sr. Christina has retired from “active duty,” she is not forgotten in this little school that she started. In 2007, in her honor, friends built the SS Christina, a pirate ship for the children’s play area. A ship is appropriate for Sister who, for over 40 years, traveled far beyond California to Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti and India to study, train teachers and open Montessori schools.


NDNU ELC
1500 Ralston Avenue
Belmont, CA 94002
Phone: 650-508-3519
Website: ndnu.edu/elc