As a Montessori professional, I hold myself to what sometimes seem to be offensively high standards. As such, I have had all of Maitri's products reviewed by experienced Montessori educators and/or subject matter experts. I would like to thank the following reviewers/mentors for their time, patience, wisdom, and honest feedback:

At Maitri, we make everything locally and are committed to reusing and recycling everything! Through the efforts of our innovative staff, we have been able to salvage hundreds of boxes from local schools to use for shipping and so many pounds of scrap newsprint from the local newspaper to use for packaging. None of this would be possible without the wonderful assistance of Kim Nguyen (Psychology major at U. Mass.), Tara Jacob (circus artist, performer, and circus arts teacher) and David Hyde Costello (children's book author/illustrator). I would also like to thank the many who have lent their hands in the past to keep things going as we have grown including: Erika McElwey (an animal rehabilitation therapist, part-time farmer and mom), Janet Street (artist and entrepreneur), Emma Rearick (a scholar with anthropological leanings), Sandy Skrocki (an amazing mom and entrepreneur), Kerri LaPlante (amazing mom, PTO maven, and paralegal), Joanne Lucia (an entrepreneurial art teacher and artist), Sherri Wagner (who cares and cooks for the elderly), Susan Snape (an art teacher and master of the meditative beauty of laminating), Hannah Tracy (a student of history at Penn State), Sue Froehlich (an engineer, small farmer, and mother who volunteers perpetually to teach science at her daughters' school) and Carolyn Keating (an amazing librarian who appreciates the art of the details).

The majority of the photographs in Maitri materials were taken by me. However, I need to thank so many of my friends and family members for helping me locate all the perfect objects (from nets to pools) to photograph. Also, thanks to those who sent in a photo like my friend Rolf Hanlon who contributed a photo of his pet iguana and my old college roommate Davette Harris who sent the beautiful photo of her and her son which appears in the Mammals set.

I would also like to thank my late teacher Sybil Devereux for her incredible patience and courage in transforming me into a bona fide AMI Montessori Directress. And of course, my daughter Devin (Maitri's self-appointed OEE--Odds and Ends Executive) for looking at every new draft with enthusiasm, positive suggestions, and perpetual encouragement, my son Dante who is a rather rigorous and unforgiving product tester, and my partner Adam, a brilliant chemistry professor who brings a shrewd eye and scientific context to our work. I am so fortunate!

May all beings benefit,

Julia Volkman