NEWS Ned Markosian and Julia Jorati

UMass Amherst Center for Philosophy and Children Receives $250,000 Grant to Support Programs for Underserved High School Students

Co-directors of the UMass Amherst Center for Philosophy and Children Julia Jorati and Ned Markosian, both professors of philosophy, have received a $250,000 grant from the Teagle Foundation as part of its Knowledge for Freedom initiative.  

The grant will be used to further the Center’s outreach efforts to bring educational and intellectual opportunities to area children and their teachers, inspire them to curiosity, and awaken their philosophical talents.

“We’re very excited about this grant,” said Professor Jorati. “It will support the Question Everything residential summer program, which launched in June 2022 and brings high school students from the Holyoke and Springfield, Massachusetts, areas to UMass Amherst for philosophical reflection and critical thinking.” The program offers a full scholarship to each participant, covering everything from room and board to transportation. Markosian commented that “Question Everything also has a component during the academic year, which will help participants navigate the college application process.”

“I’m thrilled that the Center for Philosophy and Children is being recognized by the Teagle Foundation for its significant efforts to make philosophy and the college experience more accessible to all,” says Barbara Krauthamer, dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. “Julia and Ned are making a tremendous contribution to the university and wider community.”

In addition to Question Everything, its Knowledge for Freedom program, the Center for Philosophy and Children also facilitates the Philosophy in Public Schools program which sends Five College students, UMass graduate students, and professors into public K-12 schools in Western Massachusetts to explore philosophical concepts with children. The Center also plans to create curricula, train teachers to bring philosophy programs into the classroom, and facilitate research. 

“Julia and Ned have worked hard to make the Center and its programming a success,” says Kevin C. Klement, professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy. “They make the department proud.”

To learn more about the Center for Philosophy and Children and its programs, visit

To learn more about the Teagle Foundation and its Knowledge for Freedom initiative, visit