25th Anniversary Peace Garden and Sculpture
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Public Access to Montessori education in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system, beginning with the Amay James partial magnet in 1992. That CMS has not only a thriving Montessori school, but a collection of four Montessori elementary schools, a secondary school available to the public is an amazing accomplishment. There are many educators and administrators responsible for building this successful program over the last 25 years, and for making it the most coveted magnet program in the district.
Teachers and parents have come together to create a Peace Garden to celebrate all of those who have helped us get to 25 years! The sculpture and gardens are located right in front of our school and include a bronze statue by Robert Toth and surrounding gardens for the entire school to enjoy. Although it is on one school campus, the Garden will be built to celebrate all current and future Montessori schools in our district and will be accessible to the public. The space will represent a model of education that honors the dignity and transformative power within each child. The sculpture represents the power of education to create peace in the world by connecting children with their innate potential. It is both a celebration of the children and the belief that “within the child lies the fate of the future”
Robert Toth is a world-renowned bronze sculptor, with works commissioned for the Lincoln Center, the National Gallery and the Vatican, among many others. He has a special interest in our 25th Anniversary project because Montessori methods helped him through his early struggles with ADHD. He lives in Salisbury, NC and has offered to speak at the school about his creative process and how Montessori changed his life. Below is a recent article published in Parenting Magazine about him.
The sculpture he has created for us will be cast in bronze and located in the center of our new Peace Garden, at the front of our school. (See black and white photo) Once mounted on its pedestal, it will also serve as a sundial!