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The Light that Connects Us All - UE

Upper El has spent time studying and thinking about our Sun. We have looked at it's relationship with Earth, the seasons, day and night, as well as connections to the ancient past. What we have found is that across many diverse cultures, the coming of light is honored and celebrated. Once the winter solstice passes, each day brings forth a little more light, a longer day - and with that hope and growth anew. In the meantime, we can reflect on our gifts with gratitude.

This week, our study of Festivals of Light Around the World culminated with a wonderful celebration. Artful educational posters were shared, traditional activities took place and special food was eaten as we honored so many different cultural celebrations around the theme of light.

Our Sun study came to a pause as well. We explored nebula and supernovas as well as solar energy. Galileo gave us a lot to consider. The class discussed the pros and cons of having an open versus closed mind. The overall negative was the idea of taking on false information as truth and how that could affect your choices. Luckily, they decided that could be challenged with research, testing, thinking. There were many positives to listening to someone else's perspective including gaining understanding, building compassion and empathy and more cohesively working together.

The news - This week we followed the devastating Kentucky tornado news. Additionally, we reviewed what is a tornado.

Upper Elementary would like to extend a big thank you to our families and our greater school community. We were able to raise funds to purchase toys and clothes for school-aged refugee and immigrant children living in east Charlotte from more than 25 different countries. Additionally, we collected winter coats, gloves, hats and scarves to be delivered to these families. It is so important to keep focus on the true meaning of the season - the gift of giving.

UE was able to learn more about refugee children via a Zoom chat with Project 658. We talked about misconceptions about refugees, challenges they face - in particular the educational barriers that arose while learning virtually due to the Covid pandemic. The kids enjoyed hearing about the organization's development of a Street Soccer program here in Charlotte for homeless, at-risk, refugee and asylum-seeking kids and young adults. It is now in 16 other U.S. cities and sends players as part of a U.S. team to compete in the Street Soccer World Cup.

Davidson College Women's Basketball Education Day - Such a fun experience and for many of our kids, their first game.

UE ended our week in style - with a Winter Fun party. Thank you for sending in the provisions needed to decorate gingerbread houses, enjoy snacks and have a fun "Secret" Santa gift exchange.

Wishing each of you a peaceful and enjoyable winter break. I look forward to seeing the kids in 2022!

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