“Education is the best weapon for peace.”
Dr. Maria Montessori, Education and Peace
Peace education and social justice have long been hallmarks of Montessori education. By emphasizing all human beings’ commonality and developing a sense of empathy, the Montessori curriculum calls on each individual (child and faculty) to intentionally make the world a more peaceful and socially just place.
Each day Glen educators ask students to dig deep and act with thoughtfulness and care as they interact with each other. Our Upper Elementary students have taken on an additional challenge this year: to achieve the designation as a No Place for Hate school. They—and their teachers Ms. Amelia and Ms. Rachel—have taken on this challenge outlined by the Anti-Defamation League. Based on anti-bias, anti-bullying, diversity, and social justice, students create projects to change the school climate to be a more inclusive place.
The first venture is called Diverse Books in Little Hands. Upper Elementary students intentionally curated a library for each Glen classroom (13 in all – Birth to Three, Children’s House and Elementary!) that represents characters who look, sound, and live like our students through culture, ethnicity, race, and family dynamics. Working together, upper elementary students created a website (available only to Glen classrooms – sorry!) that holds audio recordings of upper elementary students reading these diverse books for pre-and early-readers to read and follow along with the text.
The development of this library and recordings has led to meaningful conversations about inclusivity and diversity among individuals, increased awareness of what makes us the same, and makes us different. Additionally, this particular activity strengthens students’ reading and writing skills in the real-life context of website development and communication strategies.
As Glen students finish up the audio recording, more projects will be forthcoming! Check back here to see our updates through the year – and how No Place for Hate overlaps with the Montessori curriculum and the goals of the Montessori Model United Nations Conference—a signature experience at The Glen for Upper Elementary Students.
The library for Diverse Books in Little Hands was made possible with proceeds from The Glen’s bi-annual book fairs. No Place for Hate has been active for over 20 years, and there are currently over 1800 schools nationwide with this designation.