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Next Stop: Prague!

Posted by on 20 July 2017

Six years ago this month, our Building the Pink Tower (working title) team was early on our journey. We had just interviewed Steve Hughes at the Montessori Center of Minnesota, and we were putting together a trailer that would introduce potential supporters to the documentary film project we were developing.


Now, the finish line is in site! We have filmed in Montessori communities across the United States and are deep into the editing process. We are excited to be sharing our progress at the International Montessori Congress in Prague next week. We will be premiering excerpts from the rough cut of our film to attendees at the Welcome Reception the evening of July 27. Please join us for this memorable evening if you will be there!


What will we be showing?

We will feature a selection of the amazing stories that we have been developing – probably longer versions than will be in the final film. It will give the audience a view into communities that are being transformed by Montessori education, people who are leading that work, and our storytelling process. For those in the audience at the Congress, it will also offer an opportunity to share their feedback with us in-person and via an online survey.


What inspired us?

We started this project to shine a light on what is working in education. Jan and I knew as parents that what we were seeing through our children was a beautiful model of education. Our families’ lives had been transformed because of our Montessori experiences, and we wanted every child to have access to this type of education.


We saw a need for a film that would showcase the beauty of Montessori education.  We also wanted to focus on Montessori education since there are many myths about it, leading to misunderstanding beyond the Montessori community.


What type of stories will be in the finished film?


In making this film, we have made a point of including public district, public charter, and independent Montessori schools with replicable models throughout the United States.


  • From the early childhood program at Lumin Education in Dallas, Texas engaging parents as teachers, to the adolescent program at the Lake Country School farm campus in Glenwood City, Wisconsin focusing on connecting to nature and building independence, we have observed both children and parents becoming powerful leaders of their own growth and development.


  • From City Garden Montessori School in Saint Louis, Missouri where the Montessori philosophy is at the core of their commitment to address racism, to the Milwaukee Public School District that has made Montessori education available to students for decades, we have seen entire communities transformed by Montessori education.


  • We have visited the Montessori Center of Minnesota and the Houston Montessori Center to learn about the essential elements of Montessori education, the brilliance of the Montessori materials, and the specialized training that prepares each guide (teacher) to create a classroom community and learning environment designed to support each child’s success in school and in life.


How can you get the film when it’s done?

We are making the film available to the Montessori community first.  Once the film is complete (late 2017), those who have supported the project at the $500 level – which includes many schools and training centers – will get our “Early-Bird” Screening Kit first.  We believe the film will be a valuable tool for prospective and current parents, local and state policy influencers, and anyone interested in children achieving their full potential.


It is not too late to get an Early-Bird Screening Kit. All funds raised will help cover the costs associated with completing the film: working with our top-notch editor, music composition, graphics, color correction, and sound design. Eventually, film screening kits will be available at a lower donation level. 


We are also researching numerous education conferences, film festivals and broadcast opportunities. We want as many people to see this film as possible!


Thank you!

We are grateful to our incredible community of partners and supporters. We know you share our mission to shine a light on Montessori education! Your financial contributions, sharing of stories, and getting the word out to a broader network have helped us get this far. We are looking forward to sharing the film with you soon. 

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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.