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Experiences and Accomplishments at Northwood Academy Charter School

“A year of experiences and accomplishments” is how many at Northwood Academy Charter School would categorize this year.

Northwood Academy Charter School, located at 4621 Castor Avenue, is used to exciting events throughout the year, but this year brought special experiences that will not soon be forgotten.

Starting in October, students in first, second, third and fifth grade joined together for a service project with the goal of bringing clean water to some people in  Africa.  Throughout lessons and simulations, the students came to understand the difficulty of accessing water in other countries and the health concerns associated with unsanitary water.   The students and staff had the pleasure of working with the organization, Wish Them Well, located in Montgomery County whose mission is to provide clean water to the people of Togo, Africa.  Amina Capaldi, Wish Them Well’s founder, met with the students and helped them understand her experience and life in Togo, Africa, and her organization’s mission.  After several bake sales and donations from Northwood families and staff, the students were able to accomplish their goal of raising $2,000!  The well in Africa will reflect the hard work of the students with a sign in their honor.  It is with great pride that the students reflect on their service project this year.  Alexis Nana, a third grader at Northwood Academy, said it best when asked about her experience this year, “I know every time the people of Africa drink the clean water, they will think of us and know that we are thinking of them, too.”

An unusual elementary experience is taking place at Northwood Academy. Many of us do not think of ballroom dancing and school together, but in Northwood Academy’s 5th grade, the two go hand in hand.  All 5th-grade students participate in Dancing Classrooms Philly, a program whose goal is to teach focus, perseverance, and social skills through dance.  The 5th-grade students enter this program feeling anxious and excited and they exit with confidence and grace.  After several months of practice, the 5th graders can be seen doing the Tango, Samba and more as their parents proudly look on at the culminating event.  Northwood Academy is proud to announce that the student finalists for this year brought back the gold in the first two rounds of competition and the silver medal in the finals.  Dancing Classrooms’ motto is “transforming lives- one step at a time” and that can be seen through the 5th-grade students at Northwood Academy.

The ability to experience the power that history holds is not something that can simply be taught, sometimes it has to be felt and seen.  So how do you bring history to life?  You welcome experiences outside of textbooks, and that’s just what Northwood Academy did in May.  Northwood Academy’s 5th-grade students bore witness to history recently as they welcomed Holocaust survivor, Gunter Hauer.  Mr. Hauer came to Northwood Academy through the educational program offered by the Holocaust Awareness Museum, located at 10100 Jamison Ave. in Philadelphia.  The students listened intently as the 99-year-old, Mr. Hauer relayed his life story with the message of hope.  “I was lucky,” Mr. Hauer said of his life.  This unique perspective offered both students and staff the chance to be reflective and, more importantly, grateful.

On a lighter note, students stepped into historical shoes at the recent 3rd grade Wax Museum.  Students wore costumes and summarized the life of famous people through history.  Parents, students, and staff mingled with student versions of  Albert Einstein, Oprah Winfrey, Betsy Ross, Barack Obama and more.  All of these historical encounters have become memories that will last long into the future.

You don’t often get the chance to change another’s life, learn a new skill and bear witness to history, but the students of Northwood Academy Charter School accomplished all this and more in one school year!