Montessori education has come into its own as an educational method for life. Teachers can be trained to educate people from infancy through high school. The American Montessori society is working on a certification for Montessori and special needs programs. The International Montessori Congress, to be held in Prague from July 27 to 30, 2017, is hosting The First Montessori Aging and Dementia Symposium. This will be the first conference on how to use Montessori principles in aged care and with people facing dementia. Montessori education truly is for life.
Last year a Montessori educator, Annie Daly, started a volunteer program called Montessori Worldwide. This group works directly with Achilles Kids, a subset of Achilles International. Achilles is an organization that provides physical activity for adults, teens, veterans and children with disabilities. We have a New York City chapter that holds walking and running work outs for disabled athletes and guides that enables a strong community of friendship and support among members and volunteers. Achilles Kids provides training, racing opportunities and an in-school program for children with disabilities. While the organization is primarily focused on running, that is simply one tool to accomplish the main mission: to bring hope, inspiration, and the joys of achievement to all.
I helped at the Montessori Worldwide volunteer table last June and plan to do so again for the Hope and Possibility Race on June 25, 2017 at 9:00 AM. We had several people from Twin Parks Montessori Schools participate in the race.
One Tuesday evening in May, I had the opportunity to observe the gathering of the Achilles NYC chapter athletes and volunteers. The NYC chapter meets every Tuesday from 6-7:00 PM at the 90th Street and 5th Avenue entrance to Central Park. There were many athletes and volunteers present. The chapter organizer paired up runners and walkers. Many of the athletes arrived early, waited, and patiently watched for the group to trickle in. It was the most amazing demonstration of people making a difference in another person’s life that I have ever witnessed. The benefits were evident for all.
Hope and possibility is what is needed for everyone. When joy can be shared with people with challenges, hope and possibility are amplified. For readers looking for a volunteer opportunity or a way to join something larger than your current sphere, please consider volunteering. If that commitment is too much, plan on attending the Hope and Possibility race on June 25th and cheer for the participants!