Dad group flies banner over Manhattan with education message for de Blasio: “Make it Montessori”
Here’s a novel way to get Mayor de Blasio’s attention.
For three hours a large banner flew over the West Side of Manhattan with a cryptic message for the mayor: “Bill de Blasio, make it Montessori.”
A group of dads from across the country who believe in the Montessori early education philosophy raised $1,685 on the crowd-funding site IndieGoGo.com to pay for the aerial display.
The “Montessori Madmen,” as they call themselves, hoped to convince de Blasio to incorporate the Montessori teaching philosophy into his universal pre-k plan.
That includes mixed age classrooms, students having the same teacher for three year straight, and choices of activities based on a child’s interest, among other things.
“We would like the Mayor to know about Montessori and to use it as a model for early childhood education,” said Aidan McAuley, a beverage marketer from St. Louis who headed up the crowdfunding campaign.
“What does high quality early childhood education look like? We know what it looks like. It looks like Montessori. We want to raise awareness right now when it’s the early childhood education issue is hot.”
The banner campaign, McAuley said, is “an attempt to draw attention while the debate is raging. The return on the investment is huge.”
Currently, over 400 public schools nationwide offer Montessori programs.
City Hall did not have an immediate comment on the flight plan.