As you read last week, Junior League provisional members took a two and a half hour bus tour of historical sites in Charlotte and Reid Park Academy last month. The tour, lead by Erin Maddrey, included stops at the Duke Mansion and Berryhill House. On board were 70 provisional members, five transfers, three members of Membership Development Committee, Nicole Baldon, Human Resources Chair and Michelle Feeley, Transfer Committee Vice-Chair.
The Reid Park Academy visit included a tour the Annex, basketball courts, the community garden, school and the lunchroom. Jake Lappi, the Assistant Principal of the Reid Park Academy shared important information about area demographics, students, including special needs students and discussed the challenges in the area. He highlighted the purpose of the Annex and the services they may provide there. Participants learned about the many challenges in Reid Park and that family night, Random Acts of Kindness program, the partnership with the Kennedy Foundation and the Junior League’s involvement help strengthen the community.
Mr. Lappi invited everyone to look around and let their imaginations run wild on the possibilities for both the Annex and the school. The phrase Ubuntu: “I am what I am because of who we all are” is a West African saying that was highlighted on the school walls. The vice principal said this saying enforced the thoughts and consideration that we must have for other people and an overall feeling of community.
In speaking of the event, Membership Development Vice Chair Debbie Hull said, “The provisionals were very moved and I know they’ll want to help with community hours in the spring and of course, in their future placements. They were especially surprised to hear that the area does not have a grocery store.” Debbie also spoke highly of the administration and of the experience overall, “Mr. Lappi gave an amazing tour and presentation. He spoke on the importance of adults helping kids reach their full potential and said that Reid Park had 800 of the coolest kids in Charlotte. I told him that I spoke for all us when I said how lucky Reid Park was to have him and how much we were looking forward to working with him in the future.”