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Children take their Wishes to Parliament

Children take their Wishes for the Future to Parliament, Wellington, August 31.

Hundreds of preschoolers, primary and high school students, parents and staff from Montessori early childhood centres and schools will be mingling with Wellington's lunchtime crowds on August 31 in a parade to Parliament.

The parade is to celebrate 100 years of Montessori education and to present to Parliament the wishes of Montessori children for the next 100 years.

Some of the wishes to be presented at Parliament include:

I wish my house is full of love - 4 yrs, I wish the tiger would be able to  live in the jungle - 4 yrs, We don't want dirty air, we want clean air - 4  yrs, I wish more people would donate more money to the poor and needy - 9  yrs, My wish for the future is: more parks for the children - 12 yrs, More forests for the next generation - 10 yrs, My wish is to have more hospitals  and disease research centres - 11yrs, I wish for an end to child abuse - 10  yrs, I wish the whole world was safer - 6 yrs, I wish that we all didn't fight - 6 yrs

Reflecting the focus of Montessori education on contributing to the wider community and focusing on environmental issues, children participating in  the Montessori centenary parade will be raising money for an international  movement of ''Montessori Wells of Love'' to bring clean water to the  children of Azawak, Niger. www.waterforniger.org

August 31 is the birthday of the founder of Montessori education, Italian doctor Maria Montessori, a three-times Nobel Peace Prize nominee.  Environmentally friendly balloons will be released, a birthday cake for Dr Montessori will be cut and the children will sing in Maori, Italian and  English.

The parade begins at 11.15am  at Mercer Street and will arrive at Parliament at 12 noon.

The centenary year for Montessori education began on January 6, the date in 1907 that Dr Montessori opened the first Montessori casa dei bambini or "children's house" for 50 poor, illiterate children aged from 2-6 years in the slums of Rome. This was the beginning of the Montessori movement. Today Montessori is the single largest educational pedagogy in the world with more than 22,000 schools on six continents.

In New Zealand the centenary is being celebrated throughout 2007 by Montessori early childhood centres, primary schools and colleges.



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