Date: 2.28.2023 | Time: 4:30 PM

Current censorship efforts and attacks on inclusive schools demonstrate that education is indeed the battlefield for justice. And, as Learning for Justice Director Jalaya Liles Dunn contends, “The treatment of children from communities experiencing systemic oppressions—those at the intersection of race, gender, poverty and geography—will determine the fate of our democracy.” 

– From Learning for Justice’s Fall 2022 Magazine

Dear City Garden Community, 

Throughout the month of February, our students have been studying and celebrating Black history, Black brilliance, Black joy, Black power and Black culture. All of our children have delighted in the learning they’ve engaged in, and they have been stretched to think about new perspectives and to more deeply understand our nation’s history. 

At City Garden we are committed to incorporating true and honest history into our curriculum, and also celebrating and studying Black people and culture (along with many other people and cultures), throughout the school year. We take a proactive approach to teaching children at each developmental stage about identity, diversity, fairness and unfairness, and we support our children in finding their voices and their own agency, so that they are empowered to make our world a better place. 

However, we celebrate Black History Month in order to create explicit space and time to celebrate, study and honor past, present and future African Americans (including our children!) and their central role in our society. 

Some people wonder why a specific month is needed in order to do this. 
Current efforts in Missouri and across the country to prevent educators from teaching about racism or to incorporate lessons about diversity, inclusion and equity highlight that we are still very much in the midst of the fight for justice and equity. 

On February 1st, a bill was introduced in the Missouri senate that seeks to restrict educators from teaching certain concepts about race and racism. The Missouri Independent reported that Senator Karla May, a Black senator from St. Louis, said “How incidental that we’re talking about this on the first day of Black History Month… Why are we trying to prevent educators from teaching anything in regard to Black history?” 

Our children have a right to a full and honest education that supports their intellectual and emotional development as well as their individual and collective liberation. Educating our children powerfully and truthfully is an essential act of resistance. 

Thank you for being partners in this work. We will move forward steadily, with our children at the center, towards a world of justice and possibility. 

In partnership, 


Christie Huck
CEO/Executive Director

The Griot Museum of Black History in St. Louis 

Black History Month Recommended Reading from the American Montessori Society 

We Stories recently made their entire curriculum available on their website (through June, 2023):

Talking About Race and Difference

A Family Guide to Talking About Race

DEI Lessons for Home and the Classroom

Understanding Systemic Racism and Advocating for Change

From 12:00pm on April 19th to 12:00pm on April 20th, we invite our whole community to join in a Day of Giving to raise $320,000 for City Garden students! All donations made on the Day of Giving will be QUADRUPLED! 

Providing the education that we believe all children deserve costs more than we receive in state funding or tuition. The Day of Giving helps make our program accessible to families of all economic backgrounds and enables City Garden to provide preschool and before/aftercare scholarships, wrap-around supports for families, robust special education services, Montessori training and other professional development, and many more experiences for our students. 

Consider being a Team Leader or being a Sponsor!

Learn more about Day of Giving

Become a Team Leader!

Become a City Garden Sponsor!

Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks!

Under the direction of local artist and educator Shanina Carmichael, preschool and Kindergarten students in the Early Childhood Education Center have been learning about West African culture, through the arts of call and response, dance, and drumming. 

Some our students recently performed their talents for friends and family at an assembly – check out some photos below.  

A big shout out and thank you to Ms. Shanina for leading our children through this joyful and enriching arts activity! 

Each year our Athletics Director, Mrs. Trisha Anderson, hosts a fundraising initiative for the American Heart Association in connection with her classroom instruction on heart health and healthy habits.  

This year, our students once again met their fundraising goal with the most tempting incentive – sliming Mrs. Anderson in the Communtiy Room!  

So on Friday, February 10th the day finally came – with a surprise sliming from Mr. Chris Stevenson. Congratulations to our students on their accomplishments of support of a great cause. And thank you to Mrs. Anderson for her enduring joy and great sense of humor. 

Miriam, Oleck, Mati, and Jonasz are foreign-exchange students from Poland attending St. Louis University High School this fall. And in partnership with SLU High's volunteer efforts, they joined City Garden Montessori for a couple weeks, lending a hand to our students and staff. 

Thank you so much for your support Miriam, Oleck, Mati, and Jonasz! We are grateful for your generous spirit and commitment to service. 

Layla Dominguez started at City Garden Montessori this past summer as the Administrative Assistant at the Early Childhood Education Center.  

This spring, she has stepped into a new role as City Garden's Volunteer Coordinator - working to strengthen volunteer recruitment, engagement, management, and stewardship.  

Are you interested in volunteering at City Garden? Fill out our Volunteer Interest Form, or contact Layla at (352) 809-8985 or

The application deadline for the 2023-24 school is Wednesday, March 1st! If you are interested in submitting an application to either City Garden's preschool program or K-8 charter school, check out the buttons below to learn more.

Apply today!
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Thank you for being part of the City Garden community, and for all you do to support our mission. We wish you well!

In partnership,

Christie Huck
CEO/Executive Director