How AMAZE Started

In 1996, a group of parents and teachers came together in response to a moment of student-against-student intolerance and prejudice in a second grade classroom in Minneapolis. They came together in the belief that every child matters. That our next generation has the right to be proud of who they are. That all of us should be able to learn and grow in safety—whether we are gay, or poor, or a new immigrant, or a student of color, or Jewish or Muslim or Hindu, or adopted, or living with a disability or speaking English as a second language—or however else we might be “different”. They came together because they believed that it is possible for our children to experience respect and tolerance in their schools and communities.

For thousands of children each year, participating in AMAZE provides them with positive opportunities to learn about themselves and others, feel comfortable with their various identities and experiences, and develop the knowledge and skills to form meaningful connections. They learn to navigate relationships and conflict and to stand up for themselves and others. And for hundreds of teachers, AMAZE's programs offer a proven strategy for addressing questions of diversity and discrimination in the classroom while helping even the youngest students develop key social-emotional and literacy skills.