"What became of the Black People of Sumer?" the traveler asked the old man, "for ancient records show that the people of Sumer were Black. What happened to them?" "Ah," the old man sighed. "They lost their history, so they died." --A Sumer Proverb*
We believe that it is important for children to learn history so they can learn how others before them, creatively overcame common and uncommon challenges. Today, far too many young people, when faced with hardships, become frustrated and turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of escape; others become violent and lash out and others simply get stumped and go through life defeated. We believe that the Tellin' Our Story process is a powerful technique to be used to teach children in a hands-on way, how ordinary people in the past as well as today, were able to overcome obstacles and achieve the extraordinary. They were able to overcome serious life challenges through either immense inner strength or by developing an innovative approach to solving their problems. This is what makes them extraordinary! And this is why we do what we do! Tellin' Our Story is needed now more than ever before because of the numbing social ills that are stifling far too many of our youth and children. There is an urgent need for more culturally relevant education and non-traditional teaching strategies to better equip children, especially low-income children of color.
*Williams, Chancellor, "The Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 BC to 2000 AD (Chicago, IL: Third World Press, 1987) p. 16
Simply put, the Montessori approach to education makes so much sense because it views education as an aid to life, and as such, understands that education must begin at birth. Dr. Maria Montessori had a vision that world peace and an eradication of war should be the ultimate aim of human endeavors and she believed wholeheartedly that every child could be an agent of changes for peace in the world. She believed that all living things had a role to play, a "cosmic task", so to speak, and that by nurturing the spirits and intellects of children, we could unlock this potential hidden deep within their hearts, helping them awaken to the light within and thereby positively affect our collective future. We are committed to continuing the vision of Dr. Maria Montessori.
Frederick Douglass image and quote
A personal story from our co-founder Ayize Sabater