Kids for Coltrane

♥ Message From the Founder


Hello and thank you for visiting Kids for 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.

Thank You

I want to thank you who have touched my life in addition to those mentioned above. Much gratitude goes out to my precious students, their parents, my thoughtful friends and loving family.

Professionally the work of Nat Hentoff, 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 Coltrane for being gracious and supportive. 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.

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, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019   Christine Passarella All Rights Reserved

19 Responses to "♥ Message From the Founder"

Thank you for sharing that very touching story about your life and your motivation.


best regards,
Janis seminara

You are a beautiful person both inside and out and I know your students are blessed to have you as a teacher, focusing on their strengths through curriculum they can relate to. Thank you for making the world more beautiful through the arts.

What a wonderful story about your life. You are doing great things with your life and your intelligence. YOu are a beautiful person through and through!!

It’s what you’re destined to do and it’s a blessing that you are passionate about this journey. We’re all created with purpose and you seemed to be at peace with yours. Nice to hear someone else’s selfless act. I am very proud of you. You’re a special friend with a big heart.

It is very rare to find a teacher who shows the strenth and drive that you have for your beautiful vision. I have moved perhaps too slowly to realise the power of the “transformative learning” that Gardiner and others have championed. Your children and education are very fortunate that you are with them and helping them to become the person they are able to be. Well done!


It has been such a pleasure to reconnect our friendship, we have come along way since grammer school. I know that being a mother defines so much of who we are. You are a beautiful and unique person. I know the future will only bring good thing and great experiences. Much luck and peace to you. Joanne

Ms. Passarella is the best teacher EVER!!!

I am very proud of your accomplishments and achievements. Your work has always displayed your creativity, abilities, and your vision. May the magic and passion you bring to your classroom last forever. Your smile, charm and grace illuminates those you touch in life. Congratulations on your new heights and success in life. Best wishes, Victoria C.

I am so so amazed with you! What determination, follow through, commitment, and clarity it must have taken for you to manifest this beautifully creative, and sensitive educational website about the master of Jazz, “John Coltrane”. Now, so many children, educators, and people will be enrolled to share this information with their people, who will be inspired to create their own tributes about someone they agree deserves recognition. Your picture is simply beautiful, and the website, which I would like to re-read again, is entirely rich and heartful. Rock On……or should I say “Jazz On” Mz. Passerella!

In admiration, and love,

Allyson Cerino, M.S. ARCB

In a world of many negatives and positives you have brought to our youth, inspiration and a new exposure to the world of beautiful music. Your generosity, passion and compassion in teaching is to be recognized by all. It is a selfless act in bringing young children to diversity in growth and introduces them to the beautiful world of Jazz at an early age which will certainly bring a profound and positive impact upon theyre lives. You are an asset to the community and beautiful example of how a good teacher can contribute and inspire our young. We certainly need more teachers of your calibur.
Thank you Christine for being the beautiful woman that you are.
Sincerely. Rick W

P.S. Christine. I am 50 years young and would love to be in your class with all the other beautifal students. Can I join? I promise to be good!!! LOL Rick W

Hi Ms. Passarrella, it is me Sophia!I love love your website I was doing research about Vermont. I’ll bring it on Monday. Love, Sophia.


You are a blessing to the children whose lives you’ve touched.
You’ve opened their eyes to all the possibilites out there and made it fun, interesting and exciting.

To a long prosperous career changing little lives one tango at a time.

Wow! this is a fantastic website, Ms. Passarella! You really have a very strong heart about this. Tell you what, I can put up this URL on my website to show the people what we can do! You have a very good heart, Ms. Passarella, and I want to help you with this.

Hi Ms.Passarella it is me Sophia. My family and I want to say happy birthday to you this Sunday. I made a gift for you I will give it Monday or Tuesday. Well gotta go see ya on Monday keep up the good work.
Love and your student vice president Sophia!!!!!

Hi Sophia,

Thank you for the sweet birthday wish. It really made me smile. Congratulations on becoming a citizen of the United States of America on Thursday. It is cool that they reported it on the news. You are a beautiful human being and will do wonderful things for our country. I am so very proud of you! You have been an excellent Vice President in Class 2-119 this year.

Btw, I think you are also a great actress. I can’t wait until our play on Friday. Your character Wendy Atlas comes alive on stage…you are doing such a great job in rehearsals. Please say hi to your family and I hope to see them at our Savoy Ballroom Bash after our show.

Ms. Passarella

Thank you for your motivation, inspiration and the sharing of your knowledge as to how children learn best. I find your web site as well as our conversations at school to be inspiring and uplifting. I look forward to learning more from you.

Dear Janet,

I was always honored when you walked into The Illumination Cafe. You are a brilliant educator and a classy lady. My desire to share my knowledge and learn from others is most important to me. When you entered the Illumination Cafe you always brought the level of conversation to a higher place of learning. I am very grateful to you for your kindness, friendship and your intellect. I thank you so very much for your generous support. The teachers at 178 are the best, and I feel blessed each day to be part of the team.

I wish you and yours a summer filled with magical memories. I will be off to Landgrove, Vermont this summer to work on my children’s books…you know me…I must follow my bliss.
See you in September.


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