Scholarship Funding at Red Barn

The famous poet, Victor Hugo, once said “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” Across the United States, we are currently seeing the opposite take place: more and more schools closing down while more and more prisons are being built. This isn’t so much a testament to a rise in crime as much as it is a statement of the worldview we espouse around notions of building peace and security. It is not enough, however, to blindly throw money at an “education system.” We should invest in education, but the real question is: “What kind of education?” It matters.

Traditional educational models are failing to build peaceful societies. Luckily, there are many preventative programs in high schools and colleges that teach skills of peacebuilding, nonviolence, and conflict resolution. However, it requires a visionary to help us see that peace education is a lifelong endeavor--the earlier we begin, the more effective we can be.

Dr. Maria Montessori was one of these visionaries. The child, she realized, is the seed of the grown human being. The ultimate “work” of the child is to become the fully developed adult. Such development is not only physical, but integral: mind, body and spirit. Imagine children learning not only reading, writing, and math but also the independence, self-confidence and self-mastery required to sustain democratic institutions in their true spirit. These children will envision big solutions to looming challenges with the creative awareness of what they can do to resolve interpersonal and societal conflicts. These children will not recreate cycles of abuse, violence or oppression, but rather will become socially and emotionally fluent adults.

"Do we believe and constantly insist that cooperation among the peoples of the world is necessary in order to bring about peace? If so, what is needed first of all is collaboration with children. All our efforts will come to nothing until we remedy the great injustice done to the child, and remedy it by cooperating with them."
-Maria Montessori

We can nourish a generation of children in this spirit by investing in early childhood education right here in our own community.

Imagine a classroom where a child having a conflict with another child will walk quietly over to a small wooden table, pick up a “peace rose,” bring it over to the other child and talk over their problems constructively, always leaving with a sense of resolution. This, without an adult standing over them, judging the situation as “right or wrong,” and telling them what to do, substituting their ideas and feelings for the child’s.

Or, imagine a classroom where the children thrive in a respectful setting where four, five and six year olds take turns practicing leadership, a place that in the old-paradigm, only an adult could occupy.

Or a classroom where children help one another to thread needles, zip up their jackets, and support and understand one another when someone is just having a tough day and needs a little empathy.  Where they discuss the challenges they faced as well as the joys of the day, and practice listening to one another share their experiences. (It’s truly remarkable and moving to witness…) Where children learn to express their thoughts around complex concepts like economic justice and equal rights.

Imagine not only a classroom but a community where we practice restorative justice--each day, each moment being a new chance to try again, to try another way, where forgiveness is nurtured as a need we all have, and healthy, happy relationships create the basis on which the more traditionally academic work takes place.

This is Red Barn Montessori--a humble and ongoing experiment in peace education for children; a treasure in the farmland of West Petaluma.

All children should have access to this quality of care and idealism of purpose in early childhood education. Not for their sake alone, but for the sake of everyone. Life is an interconnected whole, and this is education for human dignity writ large.

In this spirit, our ambitious goal at Red Barn for the 2015 school year is to help fund our Kindergarten program and to open scholarships to those families of children who cannot afford full tuition. Since the school’s inception in 2006, the Red Barn board has envisioned a scholarship program that would help maintain a diverse community, and allow students who would not otherwise be able to attend for financial reasons. We need your help. Unlike public schools, Red Barn, a non-profit organization, does not receive federal or State funding. Will you join our efforts to help us raise $20,000? All of the funds we raise will go directly towards a scholarship program.

Yes, this is a huge effort, and we have faith that it can be done with your loving help. Not only by making a fully tax-deductible donation, but by helping to spread the word among your family, friends and colleagues that the movement for early childhood education is the movement for lasting peace in our world, and that Red Barn Montessori is a model for how to do it.

In the words of Dr. Montessori, “when we speak of education, we are proclaiming a revolution.” A quiet revolution, in the way that we see the role of the child in building a peaceful society. As a society, we depend on the well-being and care of the child more than we can realize. And yet, how lucky we are that this is something we can all do by working together.

In partnership for the child,
The Red Barn Montessori Board
Ken English, President
Tim Lohrentz, Secretary
Betty Li, Treasurer
Andree Young, Director
Lisa Eldredge, Community Member
Red Barn Montessori
3820 Bodega Ave.
Petaluma, CA 94952
Tax ID #20-4528417


    • $2,405 (Offline)
    • 83 mos
  • Lorie Durnan 
    • $250 
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  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
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  • Morgan Devine 
    • $100 
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Red Barn Montessori 
Petaluma, CA
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