Montessori Inclusion Project
I am writing to introduce you to the Montessori Inclusion Project; a program that we hope will bring greater socioeconomic diversity to One World. Our school has been dedicated to the manifestation of Montessori’s vision since its inception in 1979. Over the past thirty years, we have welcomed children from diverse cultures and backgrounds with differing levels of mental and physical ability, but we have not been able to provide services to students whose families cannot afford private education. Although many Montessori schools, including One World, sustain active financial aid programs to help our families bridge the gap to make a Montessori education possible, few opportunities are available to expand the vision of Dr. Maria Montessori in the service of low income students. As the Montessori Method itself was developed in a public housing project in San Lorenzo, Rome, over 100 years ago, where her methods were created to serve the children of factory workers in an impoverished neighborhood, it seems only just that similar students should be able to benefit from this education today.
We’ve always looked for ways to help make us better able to fulfill Montessori’s mission, and the Montessori Inclusion Project is one such effort; it could broaden enrollment opportunities so that the student demographics of the school would better reflect the diversity our Bay Area community. The invaluable experience of children from a broader socioeconomic spectrum sharing an environment, helping each other, and participating and working together would give our students a greater understanding of the fundamental needs of all peoples and tools for finding common ground, an essential component to peacemaking in the world. By offering the opportunity of a Montessori foundation to children in lower socioeconomic communities, One World Montessori would be at the vanguard of educational models which truly serve the global community.
Let me share with you a little bit about how we envision the program could be implemented:
For the first two to three years of their attendance at One World Montessori, students welcomed to the school through the Montessori Inclusion Project would be funded through state programs that provide significant support for parents’ preschool expenses. Post-preschool, we seek to create an endowment fund which will allow more children to continue Montessori education into the elementary years. A strong endowment fund would also strengthen our current financial aid program and sustain a support structure that would also assist our current families during temporary economic shifts.
What you can do to help:
The first step in building an endowment is to create an active and committed Board of Trustees, who can take up this mission to seek funding and long term resources. We also need a Financial Advisory Committee to provide expert guidance in setting up a secure financial structure for the endowment. We currently have a small inclusion team that is spearheading the planning and implementation of the Inclusion Project, and would be grateful for others who might wish to join this team. If you know individuals who might be interested in participating, or if you are able to serve in any capacity, please let us know. Also, if you have questions, suggestions, or concerns, we are in the nascent stages of this project, and we welcome your valuable insights. We will be sending out a survey soon to collect more data to help us better plan and implement this project. Please look for it and return it to us, so that we can fully consider your input.
We are grateful for your help as we work to achieve this vision. Thank you!
Head of School, One World Montessori