♥ Message From the Founder
Hello and thank you for visiting Kids for Coltrane.com. This site is dedicated to all the children and teachers of the world. My mission is to encourage children to follow their bliss, and my vision is to help create environments in which their multiple intelligences are truly respected.
I decided to call my work in education The Kids for Coltrane Project because of who John Coltrane was when he graced this earth and the gifts he left to us. I was blessed one day to be introduced to the music and life of John Coltrane. I am grateful and honored to share his name in this way. John dedicated his life to his music. He exemplified a man who followed his bliss. Trane as he is affectionately called insisted on creating what lived inside of him. He was a man of courage even in the face of hardships. He was powerful and graceful. Coltrane’s friend and gifted writer Nat Hentoff told me that John wanted his music to give, and people all over the world will tell you that it certainly does..
As a child growing up in Brooklyn in the 60’s, I was in a nuclear family that didn’t view females as equal to males. In addition, I was in an educational system that didn’t seem to value the individuality of ALL children. I developed the strength to move forward with determination to create my own path. Even if the world around “Little Christine” told a story of injustice, I would strive to create a world where I was valued. In each day, I found joy and hardships…and I never gave up.
One bright June day, I found myself to be the first grandchild of Joseph Termini to graduate from college. With tears welled up in my eyes, I thought about the journey my exquisite grandfather took from Sciacca Italy to this moment. His granddaughter was now a college graduate, I knew he would have felt pride. I received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brooklyn College. Grandpa was an artist, a musician and an entrepreneur. I felt a connection to him at that moment like no other.
I would soon be working for a Greek shipping company headed by billionaire Peter John Goulandris, and although I appreciated the opportunity to work in this incredible world, I left to follow my bliss. I have felt fulfilled, honored and humbled to live the rest of my days being called teacher. In time, I received a master’s in education from Adelphi University where I had the good fortune to personally select the diamond of a professor Dr. Devin Thornburg as an advisor. Adelphi would strengthen the foundation of my work in education.
While there, I was introduced to the work of the brilliant Dr. Howard Gardner and his research team at Harvard’s Project Zero. Howard Gardner founded the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. I am dedicated to teaching lessons based on his theory. Howard Gardner tells us human beings have different intelligences. They are linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, spatial, naturalistic, and perhaps even existential intelligence. Over my lifetime as a student and then as a teacher, I felt it was tragic when students’ intelligences were not honored, respected and allowed to flourish. The work coming out of Project Zero was a perfect fit for me. At Adelphi I also discovered the genius Peter Senge and his Fifth Discipline Theory. Senge developed SystemsThinking, and the Society of Organizational Learning. Armed with my knowledge and my inspiration, I moved forward continuing to create environments which respected children and their intelligences. Eventually, I received my professional diploma in educational leadership from CW Post where I continued to study systems thinking. I also had incredible opportunities to continue my professional development by attending summer institutes at Columbia University and Harvard University.
I want to thank you who have touched my life in addition to those mentioned above. There are many, but I highlight a few of the most outstanding.
I am grateful to my childhood friend musician Joey Leone who encouraged me to follow my bliss since we were children on 54th Street. ~ Joey throughout my life you always looked at me with the eyes of someone who knew my potential. Your belief in my abilities and encouragement to go down my unique individual path was life transforming. Thank you for introducing me to the world of the blues and jazz.
I am grateful to William Crow and Sassy Moral from the Metropolitan Museum of Art for their support generosity and vision. ~Working with you both has been a dream come true!
Soon I explored other genres of music too with more focus and insight, including the work of guitarist Joe Satriani which I have shared with my students. Satriani’s moving song Ten Words produced a most beautiful poetry project.
Professionally the work of Howard Gardner, David Perkins, Steve Seidel, John Dewey, Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Cambpell, George Lucas, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon, Oprah Winfrey, John Coltrane, Randi Weingarten, Carl Rogers, Mario Cuomo, and Leo Busgalia gives me the “wind beneath my wings.”
And then there are the familial stories of my two beautiful cousins John Turturro and Frankie Termini Orlando I would like to share with you. You can read about their effect on my life in an NPR article from the This I Believe series.
I must also thank Ravi and Kathleen Coltrane for being gracious and supportive. I was honored to meet both of them. Jehudith Cohen from the Friends of the Coltrane Home Executive Board has also been patient, kind and a real mentor.
Finally, my two magnificent gifts…my children Victoria and Anthony.~ What I feel for you my children goes beyond words. You have given me the courage to live a life I wished for. Realizing that the best legacy I could leave you both is one in which your mother walked the walk…not just talked the talk. Thank you for sharing my love with hundreds of school children. My daughter and son will tell you that I DID take my work home. My hope is that in those moments you learned the value of giving to others because it is the right thing. ~My dear children I am so very proud of both of you…and it is I who continues to learn from each of you….
I move forward in my work to continue my mission and my vision, to help children learn in peace and happiness.~ It was you, my students who have taught me magnificent lessons. Thank you students!
Please continue to stop by the site!….Inner Peace to You All!
Christine Termini Passarella
Date message published 2/15/09
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” ~Joseph Campbell
© 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 Christine Passarella All Rights Reserved