Bennett '20 is a member of the tennis team and a leader who gives back to his community through Project UNIFY, an arm of the Special Olympics.
A time-honored spirit of generosity is central to the Country Day experience, which is the result of a commitment to volunteerism and community outreach. Students at every grade level learn the value of giving of themselves for the greater good. And they experience authentic opportunities to interact on a personal level with others.
Here are just a few examples:
- Fourth-grade students hold a book fair and read to younger children at Berryhill Elementary School.
- Eighth graders visit The Learning Cooperative to read and play with preschoolers.
- Two distinctive Country Day service traditions for Upper School students are the Special Olympics Mecklenburg County Spring Games and the mentoring program at Rama Road Elementary School that we piloted for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Special Olympics Cultivates Many Champions
Every April, Upper School students put aside academics for two days to serve as buddies, timekeepers, announcers, event assistants, and concession workers at the Special Olympics Mecklenburg County Spring Games.The event, which has taken place on Country Day’s Cannon Campus since 1983, has become part of our identity and a time-honored tradition of hospitality shared by three generations of Country Day families. Through the event, students experience the joy of giving and are inspired by the dedication and abilities of the athletes. After participating in Special Olympics, our students walk away with a new appreciation for the power of inclusion, acceptance, and respect.
“I was impressed by the understanding and compassion the two young men that were assigned to help my son, Marcus, displayed. For this one day our family was accepted and people didn't stare ❤. Your school has taught your students something that most people never learn—understanding, patience, and acceptance for diversity! Thank you all.”
—parent of Special Olympics competitor
Big Brothers Big Sisters Partnership is a Win-Win
Four days a week at Rama Road Elementary, 25 or so “Littles” eagerly await the arrival of their Country Day “Bigs” for 45 minutes of mentoring and friendship. When you think about it, our juniors and seniors undertake a significant commitment—to be there for another person every week of the year.
Since Country Day piloted the high school mentoring program for Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2002, nearly half the members of every class have volunteered one lunch hour a week to make the 4-mile drive to read, talk, play, and be a friend to a young child. And alumni have carried the tradition forward by becoming mentors in their college cities.
Putting her stellar bilingual skills into action, Laura created a one-week camp experience for underserved rising first graders.
Since 2002, more than 1,100 Country Day students have mentored youth through Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Carolinas. Read how this mutually beneficial partnership has impacted our students.
Aishwarya ’19 created a club to bring awareness about domestic violence to her teenage peers.
Country Day students have been painting portraits of refugee children for the past eight years through the Memory Project. Read Journalism student Abigail Ilfeld's story on this impactful project.
A Child’s Place
American Red Cross
Beds for Kids
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Goodwill Industries of Southern Piedmont
Habitat for Humanity
The Learning Collaborative
Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services
Monarch Butterfly Network
Sardis Nursing Home
Second Harvest Food Bank
Special Olympics Mecklenburg County Spring Games
Mecklenburg County Trout in the Classroom
YWCA Women’s Shelter
I am completely overwhelmed by the generosity of the Country Day family! We are beyond elated that we will be able to touch children and families to help pave the way for success in their educational journey!
Shannon McKnight, The Learning Collaborative
in response to the Country Day community raising more than $12,140 for the organization