Urban Montessori

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Soap Box

Hello people! Today’s topic is very special. I know what you are thinking, “But Paul, every topic of yours is special.” True. So very true. Today’s topic, however, does have a higher level of importance to me than, say, my post on eating ox penis or killing the tooth fairy. Today, on big Daddy Paul, I am going to talk about school.

A wise crackhead once said, “I believe the children are the future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” (This is but one of the many ways Whitney Houston touched our lives. I tell Amy every morning that IIIIIIIIEEEEEEIIIIIIII will always love her.) In this country, we are not doing a good enough job at teaching kids well and letting them lead the way. We have replaced art, music, sports, language, and lunch ladies with “test prep,” “extra test prep” and “test prep for kids who really don’t get it.” Our educational system is designed to leave “no child behind” when it should be striving to “make all kids awesome.”

Oakland schools are particularly troublesome. According to a recent poll, 10 out of every 7 Oakland school kids are bad at math. (Just let that sink in for a minute.) Less than half of Oakland school kids are proficient in English. About a third of Oakland kids dropout before graduating from high school. To make matters worse, the corn dogs they serve for lunch are (gasp) soggy! You can screw with a kid’s future all you want in my book, but a soggy corn dog? That’s fucking sad.

Despite all this, I stand before you today to announce proudly to the world that we are sending our delightful little boy to public school in Oakland next year! “But Paul,” you say, “why would you do such a thing? You just got done telling us about how bad things are out there.” My friends, the answer is simple: we are insane.

We are insane because there is a new school opening up in Oakland next year, and we are so sure it is going to rock the educational world that we are sending Malcolm there. The school¬† believes there is a better way to educate kids. The school will develop a child’s love of learning, help them to think critically and become adept problem solvers. The school will teach grace and courtesy, soccer and foreign languages. The school? Urban Montessori.

Urban Montessori is opening? Huzzah!!!!

You could call Urban Montessori a school, but I like to think of it more as a social movement. The school will implement arts integration, design thinking and a montessori curriculum in its classrooms for a truly unique educational experience. I could try to explain what all these concepts mean, but frankly, I’m better at making jokes about Whitney Houston. Let’s just say they are all fantastic ideas and bringing them together in one classroom is even more fantastical. (It’s like the first person at a baseball game who thought, “You know what would be nice to have right now? A hot dog and a beer.”) If you really want to learn more about the school check out their website, or this really cool video they made.

Up til now, such innovative educational models have been reserved for people who can afford to pay for private school. Urban Montessori is a public school and will serve the diverse population of awesome people who call Oakland home. This means that people who can’t pay for private school, like single parents who work multiple jobs to get by, will have access the kind of elite education normally reserved for people with names like Winston Howell III or Baron von Schnicklepants. That sounds kinda awesome.

Now comes the hard part. The school has had it’s charter approved and will open this fall. It has money, but it’s not nowhere near enough. For comparison, let’s say you wanted to open your own barber shop, but your funders only gave you enough money for a bean bag, a weed whacker, and some Crisco to use as hair gel. Could you open? Technically yes. Would be a success? No.

The school needs money to buy things that it can’t right now, so I write today to beg for your support. Please give the school money. Give whatever you can.¬† $10? $20? I don’t care. Every little bit is going to help the school open and give the kids in Oakland a chance to thrive. I want everyone who reads this to follow the link here and donate money to this school. Sure bigger donations are better, but the real key is to have participation from everyone. If everyone contributes a little, the results add up. The algebraic formula can be read as follows: (a little money) x (a lot of people) = a lot of money.

Sadly, without your help, the school is probably not going to be able to accomplish its mission. That means a lot of kids running around with Crisco in their hair. Please, please, please give whatever small amount you can and help this awesome school get off the ground. Give because you want to ensure that everyone in Oakland has a chance at a quality education. Give because you want your kids to go to Urban Montessori whenever they are ready for elementary school. Give because you want want quality corn dogs. I don’t care. Just give. Thanks!


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2 responses to “Urban Montessori”

  1. JNel says:

    Why don’t you organize an Urban Montessori poker fundraiser? I now a bunch of former Oakland public school drop-outs who would gladly pay $100 for the chance to win $50.

  2. CArnold says:

    There ARE some good public schools in Oakland. Both of my kids are in one – it just takes some searching and a lot of parental involvement.

    If we start at the elementary level and stay involved through the older years, all the kids will benefit.

    And just for the sake of splitting hairs, charter schools are not public schools. They just uses some public $$.

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