Dear City Garden Community,
When I was talking recently with one of our early graduates, he said, “I never realized that I had such a unique childhood until now.”
When I asked him what he meant, he said that that most of his college peers did not grow up in environments with people who are different from them, where they get to contemplate the big issues impacting our society on a regular basis, where teachers are also mentors and build personal relationships with students, where they’re taught not just the regular curriculum but the true history and context behind the curriculum, and where they’re encouraged to think for themselves and to truly be themselves.
At City Garden, we believe that equity and liberation for all people can and will be achieved by growing generations of individuals whose physical, intellectual, social and emotional needs are deeply met; who have meaningful relationships with people of different identities and who are aware of and have embraced their own identities; who understand systemic racism and other forms of oppression, grounded in our society’s history; and who feel connected and accountable to something larger than themselves.
Our oldest graduate is a junior in college; thus, our alumni are not yet in the adult workforce. However, our 72 graduates are already having an impact on our world by seeking and expecting different things—more—from their environments. Whether it is facilitating discussions about racism with peers, serving in leadership roles in their high schools and colleges, or simply bringing their unique perspectives to their class discussions and peer groups, City Garden’s graduates are now out in the world helping to build a better society.
As I enter my tenth year as executive director of City Garden, I have been reflecting on the many, many people who have made, and who continue to make, City Garden possible. It is nothing short of a miracle that our school, which Trish Curtis began as a tiny preschool in an old neighborhood tavern in 1994, has evolved into a strong organization that serves 268 students in preschool through eighth grade—and is preparing to grow.
I am incredibly grateful… to our past and present students and parents, who bring their brilliance and wisdom to our community each day. To our guides (teachers), who work meticulously to create environments that center and empower children. To staff and volunteers who, day in and day out, keep City Garden humming. To board members who have navigated countless challenges and triumphs, keeping City Garden growing and thriving. To generous donors who believe in City Garden and provide the resources to make it all possible. Because of each of you, our children are thriving. And that provide hopes for a radiant future.
With tremendous gratitude,
“The child is endowed with unknown powers, which can guide us to a radiant future. If what we really want is a new world, then education must take as its aim the development of these hidden possibilities.” – Maria Montessori