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Ursula Thrush Peace Seed Grant


The American Montessori Society Peace Committee awards annual Peace Seed Grants to help fund projects that promote peace education.

The grants are presented in memory of educator Ursula Thrush, whose dedication to the concept of peace through children inspired many to advance peace education in their classrooms and communities. Among her numerous achievements, Ursula founded the Maria Montessori School of the Golden Gate in San Francisco and helped establish The Science of Peace Task Force and the Montessori Peace Academy.

Peace Seed Grants are financed through donations to the AMS Peace Fund.

Applying for a Peace Seed Grant

The submission period is now closed. Applications for the 2020 Peace Seed Grant will be available in the Fall.

The successful applicant will –

  • have a Montessori background;
  • indicate how she will be accountable for the use of funds;
  • agree to share the outcome of the project with the AMS community.

The proposed project should be designed to –

  • further peace education;
  • reach a significant number of children and/or educators;
  • accomplish its goals in the year following receipt of the grant.

2018 Peace Seed Grant Recipients

Elizabeth Bronsil, $700
Muslim Montessori Academy in Cincinnati, OH, will use its grant to create a peaceful classroom learning environment for their students.

Catherine Constantin-Reid, $600
Grace Montessori School in Cambridge, NY, will provide books and Montessori supplies for students in a Montessori preschool in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dorothy Harman, $300
Montclair Elementary School in Omaha, NE, will construct a “Little Free Pantry” where families will be able to donate and receive nonperishable food items.

Heaven Hartford, $700
Harmony Montessori School in Portland, OR, will use award their award to provide their teachers with a social justice workshop presented by Crossroads Anti-Racism Training.

Cindy La Monica $600
Khom Loy Development Foundation in Chiang Rai, Thailand, will help refugee and hill tribe children prepare for education that includes—along with literacy— grace, courtesy, and other Montessori principles.

Robert Short, $600
Students at Ocean State Montessori School in East Provident, RI, will assist a refugee family in relocating to the United States.

Emily Schubot, $400
Lloyd Barbee Montessori School in Milwaukee, WI, will create a program to provide mental health services to children ages 0 – 8.

Stephanie Van Fleet, $500
Adventure Montessori in Lafayette, CO, will use purchase Montessori materials for a local senior living community, where their students are volunteering.

2017 Peace Seed Grant Recipients

Annie Frazer, $650
Montessori Partnerships for Georgia will create a Montessori-centric workshop on conflict resolution in the home, to be presented to parents in vulnerable communities in southwest Georgia.

Barbara McElheny, $350
Children in the early childhood program at Christopher Academy in Westfield, NJ, will create a peace quilt that will travel to a variety of local centers that aid children struggling with mental health issues.

Barbara Nelson, $500
The Montessori House Elementary School in Richmond, TX, will use their grant to aid in the construction of a student-maintained natural playscape, peace garden, and conflict resolution area.

Sarah Pfenninger, $650
The Literacy Center at the University of La Verne in California is launching a book club for children ages 7 – 12 to discuss issues of social justice and diversity.

Susan Swift, $650
The Montessori School of Northampton, MA, will use award to provide professional development for their teachers in the form of a social justice workshop created by Crossroads Anti-Racism Training.

Michele Wilensky, $500
Hilltop Montessori School in Birmingham, AL, will construct a peace labyrinth as part of its $3.4 million expansion.

AMS is grateful to Lesley Nan Haberman and The Family School in New York City for their generous support of Peace Seed Grants throughout the years.

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