Have you ever wondered what makes some people look at sad situations only to feel despair while others move to right them…or ever thought about what it really takes to bring a dream to fruition?  The answer is a rare combination of passion, confidence, tireless dedication, eternal optimism, and lots and lots of faith.

Sarah and student

For Sarah Ludwig-Ross, the founder/director of 3 Mariposas Montessori school in La Cienega, it wasn’t chance that led her to this success story that we are celebrating…it was her embodiment of all those qualities that make the realization of a dream inevitable, combined with the support of her family that made values such as independence, community mindedness and altruism the cornerstones of her upbringing.

While many spend entire lifetimes searching for ways to leave their mark on the world, Sarah began her path of social consciousness at an early age. She was always the kid that courageously stood up for the underdogs…the shy kids, the left out kids…it didn’t matter who, she just had a talent for making everyone feel special. For her parents, it was never a question of if she would make a positive impact on the world; the question was just how many ways this firebrand of a woman would find to do it.

The founding of 3MM is a story about Sarah and her spirit of selflessness and hope that has propelled a generation of children toward a brighter future. Against all odds…bureaucratic, cultural and financial…Sarah has championed the plight of the youngest children living in one of the poorest barrios on the north coast.

She believed with all her heart that education was the surest vehicle to affect positive and long lasting change for these children. So, ten years ago, armed with only a passionate dream and more dedication than any three other people combined, Sarah opened the doors of her home to create a safe haven for the hungry and listless toddlers she saw growing up on the streets of her community.

What began as a tiny, early education center for a handful of toddlers has grown to become a global model for the extraordinary and rippling effect education can make on a community.

Today, after ten long, hard years, 3MM can proudly boast:

  • A population of over 50 students, aged 1-12, who receive a quality Montessori education
  • Immersive English/Spanish classrooms
  • Providing jobs and professional advancement opportunities for 13 Dominican and  Haitian staff members
  • Sponsoring Montessori training/certification for three local staff members
  • Sponsoring English classes for 5 staff members
  • Providing over 270 healthy lunches and snacks per week
  • Providing medical assistance and wellness checks to our community
  • A mentoring partnership with a US Montessori school
  • Providing a volunteer venue for future educators
  • Creating a genuine environment for families to experience tolerance/compassion, in the face of disparate socio-economic levels, diverse races and ethnicities.
  • Enrichment programs for the students that include sustainability and environmental education, gardening, music lessons, theater classes, art classes, swimming classes, daily physical education activities, and excursions off campus to provide children a greater awareness of their own beautiful country.
  • A library of English & Spanish reading materials for students, teachers and parents
  • Bi-monthly parent education opportunities
  • AND, the best and most supportive community of donors

This month we celebrate the 10th anniversary of 3 Mariposas Montessori. 10 years of dedicated employees, 10 yrs of gratitude for our amazing community of donors, 10 yrs of warm and trusting partnerships with families, 10 yrs of witnessing children blossoming into their shiniest and most beautiful selves, and 10 yrs of the most incredible inspiration, dedication, and mentorship from our director and friend, Sarah Ludwig-Ross.

We extend our most heartfelt congratulations and Thank You’s to Sarah and EVERYONE, near and far, involved in keeping this haven of wonder and hope alive for the children of La Cienega.

With so much respect, gratitude and love,

The 3 Mariposas Montessori staff and students


Group photo