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A JK THROUGH 12 INDEPENDENT SCHOOL IN CHARLOTTE, NC

1941

Meet Our Students

It's our mission as a school to develop fully the potential of every student. From scientists and singers to ambassadors and activists, Country Day students are ready to pursue their talents and their passions.

Laura '21
Camp Leader
Club/Varsity Soccer
One-Act and Musical
El Foro Hispano Club, president
Student Diversity Leadership Corps
International Thespian Society

 

“I wanted a change from ‘What am I going to do for myself this summer?’ to ‘What can I give to others this summer?’” Laura '21 recalls. "As a former student at Collinswood Language Academy, whose extended family lives in Colombia, Laura decided to put her stellar bilingual skills into action and create a one-week camp experience for underserved rising first graders.

Laura presented her proposal to offer a camp at Country Day called Aprende Jugando (Learn Through Play) where Hispanic children would be exposed to English and math in a fun and active environment. "Summer learning loss is real, especially bilingual learning loss, so it’s really crucial to help kids get the structure that they need in the summertime because reinforcement does not always happen at home,” says Laura.

After camp directors approved her proposal, Laura worked with  Collinswood’s magnet program coordinator to create a camp application and to brainstorm potential campers. “Country Day was wonderful because they offered us a bus so that the Aprende Jugando campers could be transported from Collinswood to Country Day. The Lower School also donated lots of books so that each of our nine campers could take home 10 books each.”

Laura formulated lesson plans that would help improve her campers’ English skills, and bought the snacks and the supplies that they would need. She also scoured YouTube to research activities to do with kids at camp. By the end of the week, parents and campers alike were presenting Laura with flowers, cards, and text messages conveying their deep appreciation for a job well done. 

Being Latina, I want to help this community because I have a voice. I feel like being bilingual is a gift that allows me to interact on a different level with so many different kinds of people, and I want others in our community to have that experience too.
Read More > about Laura's Story
Bennett '20
Ready to Serve
Varsity Tennis
Debate Club
National Honor Society
Bucs Business Club
Calvin Davis Foundation

 

As a member of Country Day’s state championship tennis team, Bennett '20 is a skilled athlete. He is also a leader who gives back to his community through Project UNIFY, an arm of the Special Olympics that brings together youth with and without intellectual disabilities through school-based
activities.

Through the game of tennis, Country Day and Special Olympics athletes create lasting experiences that culminate in a round-robin tennis tournament held Homecoming Weekend. After several weeks of practice together, Country Day tennis players are matched with a buddy and play doubles against other pairs in a tournament-like setting.

The Buccaneers’ Project UNIFY was started in 2014 by tennis alums Cabir ’16 and Jeevun ’18 Kansupada when they were students. “When my teammate asked me to lend a hand, I realized that I can help people while also enjoying myself.

Being in charge of this year’s Project UNIFY tennis tournament also gave Bennett the opportunity to  learn how to manage logistics, such as coordinating dates, recruiting fellow teammates, matching up competitors, lining up medical needs, and even making sure buildings were open for bathroom and changing needs.

Thanks to Project UNIFY, Bennett believes that his confidence has grown, he’s learned to be more productive, and he’s now even more open to new experiences. “I definitely hope to play tennis in college. It’s so much fun to be around other energetic, active people and create fun in a competitive environment!”

Read More > about Bennett's Story
Foster and William '20
Social Innovators
William:
Model United Nations, president
Honor Council, vice-chair
Student Senate, at-large senator
Cross Country, captain
Track/Indoor Track

Foster:
Model United Nations, vice president
Scoring for Students, co-founder
The Hook, editor in chief
JV Soccer, captain
Track//Indoor Track

Twin brothers Foster and William Harris '20 are interested in government and demonstrate a
genuine desire to help in areas where they see deficits.

As sophomores, Foster and William realized how complicated the naturalization process in Charlotte can be. The boys’ Spanish teacher, Paty Prieto, was going through the naturalization process and shared the intricacies of becoming a U.S. citizen with them. In addition, Foster’s soccer club, Scoring For Students, gave him and other Country Day students the opportunity to engage with new residents through street soccer.

Wanting to learn more, Foster visited Charlotte government offices, where he was introduced to Naturalize Charlotte. The organization collaborates with nine different groups to increase  naturalizations among eligible residents through dissemination of information, classes, community support, and volunteerism. Foster, a self-taught Web developer, thought that he and William could work together to build a Web site for Naturalize Charlotte that would serve as a central hub of information and resources to aid eligible residents seeking to be naturalized.

“In Model United Nations, we look to address complex challenges with unifying solutions, and that is what is at the core of this project’s goal as well,” remarks William.

To accomplish their goal, they not only needed to build a Web site but also translate their site’s information into several languages. Foster focused on building most of the site while William helped with the design, coordinated volunteer language translation, and oversaw their beta-testing program. After a year of hard work, the brothers published naturalizecharlotte.org and, in January, presented their work to the City International Cabinet. As they continue to finalize their Web site, the beta-testing of naturalizecharlotte.org will continue though the spring, allowing the Harris brothers to receive feedback from student groups as well as their partners at the nonprofits. Once the beta-testing is complete, a formal web site launch will take place in front of an array of guests from Charlotte’s international community.

The teens’ volunteer base, made up of Country Day parents, students, and several members of the broader Charlotte community, has helped them translate their Web site’s information into a plethora of languages including Chinese, French, German, Hindi, and Spanish.

I admire the fact that Foster and William are addressing a true need in our community and using their interest in global issues and skills with technology to fuel their project. Having started this project as sophomores, this is allowing them several years to bring their vision to fruition. We consistently stress
that global is not just what takes place overseas, but is also linked to dynamics within our local community. Foster and William’s project embodies this.

David Lynn, Director of International Studies

Foster and William credit Mr. Lynn with being an excellent mentor through every step of the process. He helped the boys make new contacts within Charlotte’s government offices, allowing them to learn more about how to best streamline the information related to the naturalization process.

 

Read More > about Foster and William's Story