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August 15th, 2021 Newsletter

October 19, 2021 -

Dear Lakeside Lion Families,

Welcome to the ‘21-‘22 school year! I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce our theme for the year. We are delighted to be able to gather our community together this year with a vision of our purpose at Great Hearts.

Our theme was inspired by The Mwindo Epic, a story from the Banyanga people. Mwindo, the hero, is born to a vengeful father who will not tolerate a son. Mwindo’s supernatural powers protect him from his father’s wrath, but he falls into the vicious cycle of violence and revenge that his father has initiated, using his powers to serve his own ego. He brutally defies anyone who resists him until his father’s sister Iyangura, the mentor and teacher, instructs him: “Widen your heart… heal them without harboring further resentment against them.” And Mwindo concedes. After a journey to the underworld where he reconciles with his father, and a journey into the heavens where he must be instructed in the mysteries of the cosmos, Mwindo finally returns to his village and brings new law and order. His reputation goes out into the earth and people from far and wide come to pay him allegiance. We are able to see that Mwindo is born with the power to do the heroic work his village and the greater world needs, but he must grow in wisdom and the virtue of magnanimity to channel his powers to accomplish this purpose.

Merriam Webster defines magnanimity as “loftiness of spirit enabling one to bear trouble calmly, to disdain meanness and pettiness, and to display a noble generosity.” This is the virtue to which our name, Great Hearts, is pointing. While this virtue is our aim, when you’re trying to find a theme for a K-6 school, we have to consider whether the kindergarteners will be able to pronounce the word. Plus, it must be in Latin to be legit!

So, with the help of Ms. Baptiste, our Latin teacher, we settled on Florescor, or, “grow your heart.”

Like Mwindo, our scholars come to us with many gifts and an innate potential for noble action. We want to cultivate their gifts, to educate them in the tradition of the noblest human achievements, and like Iyangura, encourage them to grow their hearts. In future newsletters, we will talk more about how your scholars will be interacting with this theme and our nine Great Hearts virtues throughout the year.

With a Large Dose of Lion Pride,
Katy Monwai
Assistant Headmaster

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