Born on August 31, 1936, in Monroeville, Alabama, Marva Collins, whose maiden name was Knight, was an American teacher. In 1975, she started Westside Preparatory School, which served an impoverished community in Garfield Park, Chicago. Marva Collins’ system of teaching displayed how much she cared for each student. She was generous with hugs and praise, calming, and able to get through to students who were initially resistant to learning. Mrs. Collins loved all students equally, and she respected their intellectual independence and individuality even when they disagreed with her. Essentially, Marva Collins offered her students “a philosophy for living.” She emphasized that achievement and excellence in life requires a sense of worth and independent thinking.Marva Collins trained teachers in her educational program, basing her curriculum on classical literature and material that contains abstract concepts. She encouraged her students to analyze what they read and express their own opinions and interpretations. Her purpose was to teach them the values of holding societies together. According to one classroom observer, the children were keen to participate in classroom debates, and their verbal skills and reasoning abilities were outstanding. Marva Collins passed away on June 24, 2015, at the age of 78, but her spirit, drive, courage, and dedication live on through her students and their high levels of accomplishment. A unique and saintly teacher, Marva Collins’ exemplary life-story continues to be an inspiration for parents and educators.In 2009, during a climate change conference with Supreme Master Ching Hai in Washington, D.C., Master mentioned the noble and crucial role of teachers. "And it is true that we are indebted to all the inspiring teachers whom we are honored to learn from throughout our lives, especially the teachers who impart the moral values as you mentioned, and a virtuous way of life; who help to nurture the citizens of the world to do good deeds selflessly; who treat others with kindness and fairness; and take care of the weak and the less fortunate. If we had more such teachers, our world could become a Heaven."