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The $10 Challenge ... to $100,000

Posted by on 16 June 2013

Education has a future.

We believe this despite all the news of the failures of our schools, our teachers, and our children. But for education’s future to become fully realized, all of us are going to have to change how we think about schools and learning and what matters for children to develop and grow.

We are two Montessori parents who have embarked on a project of telling the story of what is possible in education. Our lens is Montessori education, a method that is over 100 years old and shown to work in diverse communities throughout the world.

But more children could be benefitting from the Montessori approach, and we believe that our documentary film, Building the Pink Tower (working title), can help open up that possibility for all children.

The $10 Challenge: Multiplying the Montessori Message. We need your help to change the conversation about education -- and every bit will help. North American Montessori Teachers' Association (NAMTA) estimates that there are 4,500 Montessori schools in the U.S. and 20,000 worldwide. If 10,000 parents, alumni, or teachers, whose lives have been touched by a Montessori education contributed $10 each ... we will be filming at the earliest in schools in the fall. If just 1,000 people could spare $100 each, we will raise $100,000.

Already, we have raised enough to create our website and the beautiful trailer to spread the word about the project. We have spent countless hours digging into the research necessary to tell this story well.

Our next major milestone is to attend to the International Montessori Congress in Portland, Oregon this summer, where we will film our first interviews with key experts in the areas of brain research and Montessori education.

Can you help us keep the momentum building? If we raise $100,000 by fall 2013, we will be able to kick-off a year of filming in multi-age Montessori classrooms in all types of schools.  We will capture the unique experience of self-directed learning, guided by specially-trained Montessori teachers, and that creates an unparalleled foundation for a lifelong passion for learning and creative problem solving. We will artistically reveal the transformative experience of being part of a classroom community that embraces individuality and cultural heritage.  We will show how the future of education can be influenced by the choices we make today in the environments we create for our children.

If we do not meet our next financial goal, we will begin filming anyway, with the same focus on high quality and beautiful storytelling. However, it will take much longer to complete the film and bring our vision to life. To stay on schedule to complete our film by 2015, we need to raise $300,000 in total, over the next 18 to 24 months.

We are committed to making this film. We know that many people around the world share our desire to tell this important story with the same attention to the aesthetic and beauty that Montessori environments offer children every day. Our film project will involve talented cinematographers, artful storytelling, the voices of experts and education leaders, and children doing the work of growing and learning for our future. It will take building blocks, small and large, and all of you to help make this project possible.

Please visit our website today to make a tax-deductible contribution. Like us on Facebook and we will keep you posted on our progress. Join us in doing all we can to be sure education has a future and that children everywhere have the opportunity to experience the magic of Montessori learning.

Thank you for your help,

Jan and Vina

Co-Producers and Co-Directors


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Get the inside scoop on the status of the film, fundraising goal updates, and follow us as we travel to new schools and talk with some great participating families and donors.