H is for hurricane, M is for Maria: Supporting literacy in Vieques

Kutasha Bryan-Silva, Stephanie C Sanders-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The case study, H is For Hurricane and M is For Maria explores the public Montessori System of Puerto Rico as an educational philosophy of resilience. The authors present a counternarrative to early literacy development on the island by focusing in on two public Montessori schools from Vieques, Puerto Rico. The study was conducted one year after the passing of Hurricane Maria. Data collected, highlights the strong effectiveness of combining children’s home life experiences together with foundational early literacy development. Through this piece, teachers and parents share how they teach early literacy by making the absolute most of what surrounds them physically and culturally. Puerto Rico is poorer than the poorest state yet has had the fastest growth of public Montessori schools, than anywhere else in the United States. Major conclusions state that access to public Montessori education in Puerto Rico offers children an advantage in early literacy development.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-140
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Literacy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • Latino children
  • Montessori
  • Puerto Rico
  • Vieques
  • asset based
  • early childhood literacy
  • family engagement
  • pedagogy of liberation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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