From Head of School, Lisa Pence
Dear Salem Academy Family and Friends,
With the long weekend and the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday upon us, I wanted to dedicate this letter to the outreach and service that Salem students do over the course of the entire Jan Term here in Winston-Salem. As most of you no doubt know, MLK, Jr. Day was designated a Day of Service so as to bring people together to serve their neighbors and communities. To fulfill our mission to “foster an ethical and spiritual climate,” Salem Academy provides opportunities for, and encourages participation in, service to the community. To that end, during Jan Term, 9th and 10th graders spend their afternoons serving as classroom aides at Diggs Latham Elementary School.
I asked the girls to reflect on what they’ve learned while at Diggs and perhaps share a memorable moment. Their responses capture well the value that they, and the Academy, place on building relationships and making a positive difference. As always, our students’ voices outperform any effort I could make to capture how they feel about this experience. Please read on!
I have learned from my work with the students at Diggs that everything that happens in the classroom matters. From the little things like singing Happy Birthday or Las Mañanitas for a fellow classmate to helping each student develop their language skills through storytime. These things can make the biggest difference in a child's school experience. Most importantly, I have realized the teacher (or class assistant in my case) can learn a lot from the students. Through spending time with them, I have been given a sneak peek of what their lives are like out of school, bringing back memories from my childhood.
To pick just one memorable moment would be nearly impossible, but any time one of the students gets excited about learning or something clicks inside their head about what they are learning it fills me with joy.
Most students at Diggs come from low-income housing, so teachers getting students excited about learning and engaging students at a young age is crucial in breaking the poverty cycle. The teachers never have enough resources or time with each student. That was something that I already was aware of. But seeing those children so excited about learning broke my heart for the teachers who knew they were doing their best, but always wanted to spend more time with their students.
My most memorable moment(s) are when I walk in everyday and see the faces of the adorable second graders light up. They have wide grins and are so eager to greet me and give me hugs. This is also true for last year when I was working with even younger children in Pre-K.
I have improved on my patience and have gained the ability to put myself back in my shoes as an 8 year old trying to make it through the day.
The most memorable moment during my time at Diggs thus far has been playing on the playground with the kids and getting to know more about them. They all have unique characteristics and are a joy to see everyday.
I have learned from my work with the students at Diggs that two hours a day can mean a lot to children. Some of the children consider me their best friend and every time I arrive I am drowned in hugs, hey's, and will you come back tomorrow's. Everyday I play with them on the playground and then read Judy Blume to them afterwards. The children value the time spent with me, as do I with them.
My second day at Diggs, I barely knew the children, but they talked to me as if I was their family! I even got a hug 5 times that day from a little boy who never talked much!
Everyone needs patience with others. As long as you have patience, things will improve! This showed through the children even though I had only seen them for a short amount of time!
The most memorable moment during my time at Diggs thus far has been helping Spanish speaking students learn to read in English. It's been so amazing being able to help children of my culture transition into a new language.
For me I love being at the elementary school. I connect with so many kids and I hope I can go back and see them again. I felt like the kids connect back and I hopefully am making a difference. The kids make me laugh and smile and whenever we stop going I'm gonna miss them.
The most memorable part is recess; they always run up and hug and cling to me and I give them obstacle courses to run! They love it! And I love them.
These comments make me all the more convinced and proud that here at Salem, it’s really more about the heart and soul than about the bells and whistles. When so much about our culture revolves around appearances and material possessions, it’s reassuring to know that experiences such as the Jan Term work at Diggs Latham Elementary School resonate so deeply with our students.
With best wishes to everyone,
Head of School
Special Weekend Activities for Students On and Off Campus
For a preview of the events and activities awaiting students this weekend and next, please take a look here. This weekend’s highlights include events surrounding the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and a Thrift Shopping Trip.
Visit Salem’s Social Media Sites for More Glimpses into Jan Term Classes and Activities
In the Chinese calligraphy class, taught by Yi-Wen Liu„ students learned to write “forever”(永) and “luck”(吉) with Chinese calligraphy brushes. They also carved their Chinese name to make stamps and use them as signatures for their artwork.
Kara Weimer’s Robotics for Newbies Jan term class has been busy learning how to program their robot to move through a maze called the “Labyrinth Challenge”. On Thursday, some of the students used the given specs to measure and build the maze. Next step: students will adjust the programs that they wrote in the virtual world to run in the real world using the robots that they built last week.
Thanks to all for your generous support of the Academy!
We extend our sincere gratitude to our friends, current and former parents, alumnae and supporters of the Academy for your generous end-of-year gifts to the Annual Fund, to scholarships, and to the Women of Purpose Campaign. Students, current and those yet to enter our halls, are the direct beneficiaries of your thoughtfulness and planning. Thank you for taking the time to include Salem during the season of giving. You can always contact the Development Office at (336) 721 2607 to make a credit or debit card gift over the phone. Our Director of Development and Alumnae Relations, Marianne DeCristo, is available to answer any questions about ways to give to Salem.
DADs Breakfast Dates 2017
After the great success of the Pancake Exam Training Breakfast hosted by an enthusiastic and capable group of fathers on the first day of exams, we are looking forward to welcoming one and all to the first (and subsequent) DADs breakfast gatherings in the upcoming months. The first will be Monday, February 6, at 7:45 a.m. in the Dining Room. The featured speaker will be Kevin Sellers, College Counselor. Please join us!
Save the Dates (all Mondays):
Grade Level and Boarder Parent Gatherings Scheduled for the Coming Weeks!
Please join Lisa Pence, Head of School; Lauren Rogers, Dean of Students; Suzanne Hanna, Director of Studies; Jessica Rogers, Director of Enrollment Management; Kevin Sellers, College Counselor; and Marianne DeCristo, Director of Advancement and Alumnae Relations for an informal parent gathering on one of the following dates. We look forward to spending time with the parents of all these terrific girls!
Boarder Parent Luncheon (prior to pickup on long weekend): Friday, February 17, 12 - 1 p.m.
Parent Gatherings at the Head of School’s House (916 S. Main St. in Old Salem)
Grade 9: Thursday, February 9
Grade 10: Thursday, February 23
Grade 11: Thursday, March 2
Grade 12: Thursday, March 9
If you are able to attend, please RSVP here!
Salem Academy’s Summer STEAM Camp for Girls
Preparations are underway for the summer’s second annual STEAM camp for young girls. We’re adding a new option to the mix: Robotics and Programming for girls in grades 6 - 8!
Athletics Update: Go Sabers!
Friday, January 13th
Varsity Swimming at Gateway YWCA vs. Forsyth Country Day School, 6:00 PM
Thursday, January 19th
Varsity Swimming vs. TAC Schools at Salem Academy, 4:30 PM
*Home events in italics