“If we are to reach real peace in this world . . . we shall have to begin with the children.”
Princeton Montessori School has a long history of helping to develop Montessori Schools in Ukraine. Through a previous project begun in collaboration with our school and teacher training center, our school helped develop the Ukrainian Montessori model, schools, and teacher training program. From that initiative, strong relationships were formed that continue to this day through our former Head of School and Director of Teacher Training, Marsha Stencel, and Ginny Cusack, founder and former director of Princeton Center for Teacher Education (PCTE).
Ginny is now serving as consultant and accreditation coordinator for the Ukrainian Montessori Center, a Montessori teacher training center located in Kyiv. Days before the bombing began, she submitted documentation for the Ukraine Montessori Center to earn its accreditation to offer teacher training programs at the infant/toddler and early childhood levels. Now, that final step of the initiative begun in the 1990s is on hold due to the war with Russia. Julia Tatsch, a former PMonts intern and daughter of retired PCTE instructor and teacher, Joyce Tatsch, wrote a beautiful reflection that explains the connection between Princeton Montessori/PCTE and Montessori in Ukraine. Click here to read more.
Over the years supporting Ukraine Montessori, Ginny also connected with Joanna Maghen, Director of a Montessori teacher training program in Poland, who is now facilitating the Montessori-to-Montessori donation program to benefit Ukrainian refugees. We rallied our community together in the spirit of all that Montessori stands for to aid these Polish Montessorians who are so courageously and tirelessly working to be a light in a time of profound darkness.
We are so proud to have raised and donated $40,000 to the Polish Montessori Institute! These funds will go directly towards efforts to help Ukrainian families and children, including allowing refugee children to access Montessori education and helping Ukrainian Montessori teachers to meet the qualifications to teach in Poland.