Spring E-Newsletter
Photo by Paddy Kelley: Students tapped maple trees on campus to prepare for the spring flow.
SPAC & IGE Visit Campus in Recognition of
International Women’s Day 
Saratoga Performing Arts Center's School of the Arts (SPAC SOTA) and teaching artists from the International Girls Ensemble's (IGE) After School Theatre Program came to school on Friday, March 4th, 2022, to organize a theatre-based workshop with all of our students. The curriculum for the program is based on an educational theatre curriculum that includes improvisation, various forms of acting technique, writing exercises, and live performance. "Our curriculum is designed to foster a strong sense of ensemble, activism, self-discovery, public speaking, and leadership abilities," said Jacqueline Raymond Wegman, Co-Founder of International Girls Ensemble and Director of Theatre at SPAC's School of the Arts.

Every year, over 49,000 students are inspired by SPAC's educational programs to appreciate, create, and celebrate the performing arts. Young women get an understanding of point of view, empathy, and the ability to use their bodies to investigate verbal suggestions as a result of this program. This technique also helps students form bonds with one another and introduces them to female leaders who have made a difference in the world. “This collaboration examines the universal experience of being an identifying female or female ally while building ensemble, discerning personal point of view, and discovering individual and collective artistry through educational and applied theatre,” said Raymond Wegman. 

We were really thrilled to host this SPAC SOTA and IGE collaborative endeavor in honor of International Women's Day because of our work and mission. "We feel extremely grateful that our students and staff had the opportunity to participate in this program. We sincerely appreciate the Saratoga Performing Arts Center's School of the Arts and the International Girls Ensemble for supporting our work to provide young women with the skills they need to thrive in life,” said Alex Capo, LMHC, Executive Director of The Charlton School.
Donor Spotlight:
John D. Picotte Family Foundation donates $35,000
The John D. Picotte Family Foundation provided a $35,000 donation last December to support our mission of providing a therapeutic learning community for young women with mental health issues. This gift was designated by the donor to our areas of greatest need. 

It's worth noting that our critical services to young women and their families are free of charge, and that tuition reimbursements that we receive from the State only cover basic operating costs associated with educational and residential programming. As a result, many of our therapeutic programs that make Charlton unique – such as our Equine Therapy, Family Connections, and Art Therapy programs – rely on the generosity of our community that includes individual donors as well as corporations and foundations. 

About these therapeutic services provided at Charlton, one of our student’s parents recently said: “While we had hoped that our daughter would have therapeutic breakthroughs at Charlton…and she has, we never anticipated how much she would grow as an artist, a musician, and even an equestrian – or the therapeutic value of of these activities.” In addition, one of our current students said this:

“Because of the incredible staff here at Charlton and the unique programs, I've begun to find my place in a world where I once thought I'd never belong. Charlton has encouraged me to change for the better, and although it may have taken a while, I'm on my way to recovery. I can never thank everyone at Charlton enough and I’m really excited for this new year, and hope to see so many positive changes on this campus, emotionally and socially.” 

In addition to supporting these fundamental programs, this donation also enhanced our Charlton Loan & Scholarship Program (CLASP), an academic, merit-based program that financially awards students who have successfully matriculated from The Charlton School or wish to pursue postsecondary education. CLASP gives preference for students for which without such support could not afford such education. Each year, the Board of Trustees at Charlton awards approximately 5-7 scholarships to financially-eligible students who have maintained exceptional academic standing. 

The John D. Picotte Family Foundation understands the importance of supporting our therapeutic services for young women and their families. When we asked the Foundation what it aims to accomplish with its philanthropy, a representative replied: 

"The foundation was established by John D. Picotte to give back and to uplift the capital region by supporting organizations that improve the quality of life of the individuals they serve. We are aware that mental health issues in children and adolescents are on the rise and there is a lack of adequate resources and are glad to be able to help the Charlton School continue and expand upon the good work you are doing.” 

We would like to thank the John D. Picotte Family Foundation for their remarkable generosity and for assisting our effort to empower young women with the skills they need to excel in life on behalf of our current and previous students who benefit from these impactful programs.
A Year-Round Commitment to Being Generous 
By Amanda Kronen Grant, LCSW
Clinical Director at The Charlton School

Our community at The Charlton School focuses on wellness topics throughout the year. More lately, the focus has shifted to how adhering to wellness principles allows people to actually feel joy, connect with others, and make a significant contribution to the greater community. Throughout these dialogues, the concept of generosity has gained traction and is proving to be an essential component of our work. With the holiday season far behind us, it's important to consider generosity and how it affects us all if we continue to value its characteristics.

Many studies have shown that generosity has a favorable impact on the donor. Recent studies have found a correlation between generosity and happiness in general. According to one study, those who volunteered reported greater quality of life. Other studies have found that “frequent helpers reported feeling greater vitality and self-esteem (but only if they chose to help of their own accord).” Summer Allen, PhD, a Research/Writing Fellow with the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, writes that “Generosity appears to have especially strong associations with psychological health and well-being.” Even small acts of kindness, Allen writes, “like picking up something someone else has dropped, make people feel happy.” She continues: 

There are several intrapersonal factors that can influence generosity. Feelings of empathy, compassion, and other emotions can motivate us to help others. Certain personality traits, such as humility and agreeableness, are associated with increased generosity, and a person’s tendency to engage in prosocial behavior may be considered a personality trait in itself. A person’s values, morals, and sense of identity can also modify how willingly they engage in generous acts. 

For many people, generosity inspires them to give. The offering of gifts, such as time, attention, or participation in a shared activity. The reciprocal interaction is what gives these deeds their worth. The feeling of contributing something to someone else and the sharing of emotion that occurs with interpersonal engagement. When related to a real thing, it is extremely simple to participate in these decisions or to teach acts of generosity within current relationships and known contexts. It is much more difficult to be generous to oneself or to live in charity toward the unknown.

To fully live in wellness, you must be generous with your intent, spirit, and thoughts. The intangible aspects of generosity become extremely strong change agents and contribute to overall happiness. In reality, generosity should entail being patient with assumptions, forgiving generously, and speaking thoughtfully. It is motivated by compassion and founded on empathy, and it requires each of us to make conscious decisions and take responsibility for our actions. Generosity, when seen as a whole, invites community, and The Charlton School is, at its core, a community.

Senior Project:
Item Drive for Afghan Refugees in the Capital Region
Students from the senior class organized an item drive to help Afghan refugees throughout the months of January and February. The student-led item drive collected goods from campus staff and the surrounding community, resulting in kitchenware, personal hygiene items, school supplies, bedding, clothing, toys, and children's literature. 

“After 9/11”, the students’ flyer read, “the United States went to war in Afghanistan and ousted the Taliban from power. Efforts to construct a strong democracy failed, and the US withdrew its soldiers last summer. The Taliban have retaken control of the government. Many of Afghanistan's 38.93 million people do not feel safe, and at least 125,000 have sought sanctuary in the United States. In the Capital Region, there are around 200 Afghan refugees. Another 250 refugees are anticipated to come this year.”

Students delivered their donations to Albany’s Muslim Soup Kitchen in March. They packed a 16-passenger vehicle and a truck bed with items for refugees.   
Upcoming Student Art Shows
YWCA NENY’s & CREATE Community Studio’s The Inspiring Women Project
March 14-31 - daily 10am to 8pm
44 Washington Ave, Schenectady, NY 12305

Cupola Coffee
March 21-April 6
227 Kiley Rd, Burnt Hills, NY 12027

Ballston Spa National Bank
Month of May

Town of Ballston Community Library
Month of June
2 Lawmar Ln, Burnt Hills, NY 12027
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