"Work hard. Be good. Think."
For KIPP Charlotte, this is more than a motto. It's a simple yet powerful directive to focus on academics and character in equal measure. It's a reminder that education is a matter of the mind and the heart.
KIPP Charlotte is a free, open-enrollment, college preparatory public school with two locations in Charlotte: KIPP Change Academy serving kindergarten through fourth grade students, and KIPP Academy Charlotte serving sixth through eighth graders. Both locations are part of the Knowledge is Power Program, a national network of schools committed to preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life.
It's a big mission that translates into many small details when you look at a day in the life of a KIPP Charlotte student. You wear a uniform, because your focus is on education, not fashion. Your day starts earlier and ends later, because the KIPP Charlotte team believes more academic time correlates to more learning. You can expect homework even in the early grades, but you can also expect to reach your teacher on his cell phone if you need some extra help. You're not part of a grade, you're part of a pride designated by your high school graduation year. A child going into kindergarten this year is part of the Pride of 2033.
High school graduation isn't the end goal of KIPP Charlotte students, though. It's not even college. The end goal is to go to college and successfully graduate as a well-rounded, highly educated person who values integrity and community. To that end, the school offers the KIPP Through College program, where students get support from counselors as they prepare for and select a college. KIPP advisors also help alumni through the challenges of college and the job search.
That five-year-old in the Pride of 2033? She's got a whole team behind her from start to finish. "We tell our kids that they are going to be world changers and we try to give them the tools to do that," says Claudia Ollivierre, KIPP Through College director.
As a charter school, KIPP Charlotte receives some funding from CMS. But the school has to supplement with private donations to cover the cost of additional school hours and programs like KIPP Through College.
Want to help KIPP Charlotte cultivate the habits of mind, character skills and knowledge necessary for underserved children to achieve success? There are many ways to help:
2. Donate books or supplies. KIPP Charlotte's goal is to have 100 books for each of its 900 students. You can help make this happen by donating books for pre-K through eighth grade, or even organizing your own book drive. Contact KIPP Charlotte Development Director Heather Moeller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704.491.7554 to learn more or set up a donation drop.
Want your child to join the pride? KIPP Charlotte holds its enrollment lottery in March for the upcoming academic year, but applications are accepted year-round. Learn more about enrollment or schedule a visit here.