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Opening Ceremony & Living Legacy Address: Chandra Fernando

Chandra FernandoThursday, March 15, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Opening Celebration

Plan to arrive at the conference by Thursday evening for the “must-do” opening event. This celebration will gather together attendees for an evening of merriment, music, words of inspiration from our 2012 Living Legacy, Chandra Fernando—and some surprises! Following Chandra’s keynote address, the party continues as we raise a glass in toast to Chandra, enjoy delectable refreshments, and celebrate the beginning of a long weekend of learning and connecting.

“Volunteerism & Service Learning: Lessons in Caring, Cooperation, & Compassion”

"A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under which they will never sit."
– Greek Proverb

Volunteerism has been described as “pro-social” behavior; it has been linked to human happiness and satisfaction.

Chandra Fernando’s AMS 2012 Living Legacy address will honor those who give of themselves in the service of others. Chandra will recognize teachers, children, families, and organizations that perform acts of kindness in the course of their daily lives so others may benefit from their contribution to humanity.

About Chandra Fernando

Currently co-director of the Early Childhood Course of Study at the Northern Virginia Montessori Institute in Ashburn, VA, Chandra has devoted herself to the Montessori movement both professionally and as a volunteer since 1976.

Chandra was born in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon). She received her Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) early childhood credential at a teacher education program in the nation’s capital, Colombo. In 1964, she emigrated to the U.S. to direct one of the earliest Montessori classes in Long Island, NY.

Passionate about bringing Maria Montessori’s teachings to schools, governments, and non-governmental organizations, Chandra has visited many countries on several continents. A volunteer effort particularly close to her heart has been to develop Montessori classes for Sri Lankan children orphaned by the tsunami that devastated her homeland in 2005.

In 1970, Chandra began work at the Montessori Society of Central Maryland (MSCM) in Baltimore. She served MSCM for 33 years—as a teacher, academic dean, director of MSCM’s teacher education program, and board member. She then left to become director of the Northeast Montessori Institute’s site in Virginia.

Chandra has been a member of AMS since 1974. She has served on AMS/Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) on-site teams and school accreditation committees and held several positions within the AMS Teacher Education Committee. In 2003, she chaired the AMS Annual Fund.

She has published 2 children’s books: The Little Book of Peace and Peace Begins with Me. All of the initial proceeds from both books benefited child-based charities in disaster-stricken areas and developing nations of the world.

Chandra Fernando is loved and deeply admired around the globe, not least by her many friends and colleagues at the American Montessori Society.

You can read more about Chandra on the Living Legacy page of our Web site.

The American Montessori Society is delighted to honor Chandra Fernando as our 2012
Living Legacy . This designation honors individuals whose exemplary achievements strengthen Montessori education and benefit the entire Montessori community.

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