Africa Bound

By Katie Kilroy, Director of Bands

Kwadziwai (hello), Charlotte Prep!

I am honored to be a recipient of the 2018 Summer Sabbatical Scholarship Program ! Prep recently launched this faculty scholarship program thanks to the generosity of parents of children whose lives have been deeply and positively impacted by their learning experience at our school. The family has generously committed to contributing $10,000 per year to make this program possible into the future. Angela Stefanini and Anupam Mathur are also award recipients, and we would all like to say a heartfelt thank you to the family that made this opportunity possible.

In 2012, I fell in love with an instrument called the mbira that the Shona people of southern Africa have played for more than 1,000 years. My connection with this instrument led me to earn a master’s degree in percussion performance with a focus on West African djembe and Shona, or Zimbabwean, mbira. I spent my two years of grad school traveling the U.S. building a network with teachers, cultural centers, and musicians. Although my research ended when I came to Prep three years ago, I brought my knowledge of the music with me. I have created the West African Drumming Ensembles, which the students love, and I play mbira in class and even teach Shona songs!

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The Results Are In

High School Placement for the Class of 2018

By Eddie Mensah, Head of School

Back in January, I shared the details of our highly-successful high school placement process for eighth-grade students and their parents. I’m happy to report that the results for the Class of 2018 are in and, once again, the news is fantastic.

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Because We’re Happy…

By Melissa Guarnaccia, MSW, LCSW
School Counselor

I am often amazed at the smiles, laughs, and general happiness I observe as I enter various classrooms across all three divisions of Charlotte Prep. Just today I was able to see hearts open and smiles emerge as baby chicks hatched in the Early School. I was able to catch an impromptu dance party during a Lower School PE class, as well as a Middle School student assisting another on crutches while both grabbed on to each other in laughter.

Research shows that children need to be in a relaxed, calm, and happy state to be open to playing and learning. We all have this goal for our Charlotte Prep kids. As both a mother and school counselor, I strive to assist kids in learning to self-regulate their energy and emotions to be present at school and open to reaching their full potential.

We, as adults, tend to understand the need for children to be calm and regulated. But happy? How do we even clearly define happiness for our children? Adults can struggle to consider happiness as much as success, milestones, ability, or even the ideal weekly schedule.

These questions came to mind when recently reading the New York Times article, “Letting Happiness Flourish in the Classroom.” Are we able to “live in the moment” and “do nothing” with our children to foster creativity, problem-solving, and most importantly, happiness? There can be a disconnect at times between what we as a society teach our kids versus what we hope and envision for them long-term. Let us choose calm. Let us model happiness.

Note: Click here for another interesting article by the same author about fostering happiness in our children.