A Brief History of Quaker Education
New Garden Friends School is built on a tradition of Quaker education that began over 300 years ago. The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, has a long history of involvement in education. In addition to the establishment of their own schools, Quakers were instrumental in the development of public schools and took the lead in the education of girls, freed slaves, and Native Americans.
Their central conviction of that of God in everyone gave rise to a genuine respect for the intrinsic worth of all people. This belief, and flowing from it the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peaceful resolution of conflict, integrity, community, and equality continue to provide the foundation for an education where children’s moral development is an integral part of their social and academic growth. In addition to an innovative and challenging academic program, Friends schools promote social conscience and a sense of social responsibility. Students are encouraged to value people of all backgrounds, to be courageous in standing up for their convictions, and to become responsible members of the larger community.
NGFS is Founded
Like so many cities in the 1960s, Greensboro saw its share of racial turmoil. A few years after the sit-ins at Woolworth’s, Bruce Stewart was instrumental in integrating Greensboro’s Page High School, where he was teaching at the time. Bruce had graduated from Guilford College, an institution imbued with Quaker values. He later joined the College’s faculty. Through their experiences in Quaker education, Bruce and fellow Guilford administrator Jim Newlin strongly believed that a Friends school could make a profound difference in young lives, and that Greensboro could and would support such a school. In 1971, Bruce and Jim founded New Garden Friends School, believing that educating children from differing backgrounds together in a positive, affirming, and safe environment would be an important step toward battling the fear and hatred of racism. read more>
Looking to the Future: Strategic Vision
In 2012, after diligent work by numerous committees and community members, the Board of Trustees, approved an aggresive strategic plan for the next five years. The ambitious plan includes steps for enrollment growth and increased financial support. The plan can be reviewed in detail here.