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.

Continue reading “The Results Are In”

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.

Coming Together Over Political Divisiveness

divisiveness-event-videoBy Eddie Mensah, Head of School

I began our panel on “Parenting in the Age of Political Divisiveness” last Wednesday by reminding everyone present that we would not be discussing our individual views on politics or which party we support. Instead, we’d be discussing what the current political climate is and how we can navigate these times with our children. What transpired was a thoughtful and engaging discussion that gave those present plenty to think about.

If you missed it, click here to watch our Facebook livestream of the event. You can also read our as-it-happened Twitter coverage here.

In the meantime, here are some takeaways from the evening that may spark some reflection for you: Continue reading “Coming Together Over Political Divisiveness”

Being Proactive and Embracing the Difficult Conversations

By Eddie Mensah, Head of School

Social media is a real-time battleground of competing, intensely-held opinions that reflect our society’s widening political divides. Here’s one thing we can all agree on: Parenting today is not for the faint of heart. Why? Our kids are watching and listening.

For some parents, the answer to the loud voices arguing all around us is to stop talking about politics or the day’s news altogether. It’s easier to talk about yesterday’s soccer match or tomorrow’s algebra quiz. But sometimes the difficult conversations are the ones we most need to have.

When it comes to kids, being proactive beats being reactive. So, here’s a proactive step you can take when it comes to being a role model for civility amid differences of opinion. Make plans now to attend our next Prep Parent Partnership Event, “Parenting in the Age of Political Divisiveness,” on Wednesday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the Gymnasium Foyer.

Click here to RVSP. Then, take a look at the video below for author, researcher, and mom Brene Brown’s quick take on this critical topic:

Get Ready for #PrepPrideWorldwide


Traveling for spring break? Planning a staycation? Put on your favorite Prep sportswear and participate in our first photo contest. To enter, take a photo of an individual or group wearing Prep apparel during spring break and post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram by April 1 using the hashtag #PrepPrideWorldwide. We’ll feature our favorite entries in a Facebook photo gallery and select some winners to receive a prize pack of One Prep gear.

And to inspire you, here’s a special Spring Break Interview conducted by our Communications Assistant, Sixth Grader Gio A.:

Walking the Walk and Talking the Talk

_SJP0823-2By Sharon Vanella, Head of Early School

Recently, the Early School staff had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI) Hands for Peace Conference in Kiawah, SC.  This annual Montessori conference brings together educators from around the world for two days of workshops, keynote speakers, and fellowship. For our Early School teachers, it was a time to reconnect with each other and with other Montessorians outside the four walls of our classrooms, reaffirm our love of Montessori philosophy and our reasons for choosing the Montessori path, and to learn from other experts in the field. Workshops offered throughout the conference focused on a wide variety of topics, so we were all able to choose those we found enriching, enlightening, and useful for bringing information back to the classroom and to the Charlotte Prep community.

Continue reading “Walking the Walk and Talking the Talk”