2015 Readers' Favorites: Education + Enrichment
Favorite Private School
Charlotte Latin School
Considered one of Charlotte's big three private schools, serving 1,400 students in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade, Charlotte Latin School's is to instill a love of learning, to teach self-discipline, and encourage creativity. Through expansive arts, music, athletics and a rigorous academic program with advanced electives, students can explore many things to develop passions to pursue. 9502 Providence Road. charlottelatin.org.
A three-time Readers' Favorite winner, this half-day preschool balances learning with different curriculum styles, hands-on experimentation, group and independent projects, and creative expression. Art, music and foreign language unlock a world of possibility for young minds. A comprehensive transitional kindergarten builds confident learners ready for kindergarten. 9801 Suzanne Court, Weddington; 873 Dave Gibson Blvd., Fort Mill. ivybrookacademy.com.
Favorite Place to Learn to Swim
Even on cold days, the 89-degree, chlorine-free, pool with underwater sound system makes "swimming like a fish" seem like a great idea. Parent-child classes are available for children as young as 6 months, and older children can get one-on-one attention in private lessons or group classes that advance swimmers as skills progress. Take a minute relaxing while watching your little fish swim from a parent viewing area. 7835 Little Ave. charlotteaquatics.com.
Favorite Place toﾠ Splash or Swim
Greater Charlotte YMCAs
Greater Charlotte YMCAs offer up swim instruction, water aerobics and lap pools, plus some waterpark fun at select locations. Harris and Siskey Ys have outdoor swimming facilities that include large pools with slides and lap swimming, plus spraygrounds and kiddie pools. Harris Ys' indoor swim facility is great year-round with a zero-entry pool for tots, and large slide for big kids. Lake Norman YMCA's outdoor pool area is on the waterfront, and offers canoe and kayak rentals on summer weekends, plus there's a giant inflatable slide in the lake. Swim lessons are offered at most of the Ys throughout town. Must be a member or guest. Multiple locations. ymcacharlotte.org.
Favorite Sports League
Readers love Soccer Shots for its enthusiastic ability to get the job done-teaching kids basic skills to be great soccer players while also having fun. Programs are offered at daycare centers, schools and parks throughout Charlotte. soccershots.org.
Favorite Parent-and-Tot Program
Gymboree Play and Music classes let parents and their little ones discover new sights, sounds and abilities together while building communication, problem-solving, creative thinking and social skills. Parents can join in play and learn, music and art classes with their infants, toddlers and preschoolers. 3419 Toringdon Way; and 20610 Torrence-Chapel Road, Cornelius. gymboreeclasses.com.
Favorite Place to Make Art
Children tap their creative processes painting, sculpting and making art; and can learn art methods and how to use tools and supplies through classes at Noah's Art.ﾠ Mommy-and-me classes are offered for 2-year-olds, and classes for ages 3 and older are designed to promote independence. Blakeney Shopping Center, 9852 Rea Road; and Park Selwyn Terrace, 5110 Park Road. noahs-art.com.
Favorite Music Class
Whether you have a musical prodigy or child who just wants to learn to strum a guitar, Music Quarters has you covered. Students can learn how sing or choose from piano, guitar and bass, and drum lessons. One-on-one, 30-minute classes ensure each student gets full attention of the instructor. 7845 Colony Road. musicquarterscharlotte.com.ﾠ
Favorite Place to Learn aﾠ Second Language
Through arts, crafts, story-telling, puppetry, music, dance and games, children are introduced to the Spanish language and culture in small-group settings. Children as young as 2 are welcome.Groups are organized by age and previous exposure to the language so everyone feels included.ﾠMultiple locations. playspanish.com.
Favorite Dance Studio
Miller Streetﾠ Dance Academy
What started as a small studio on Miller Street in Pineville is now two large studios - one on Providence Road and another in Fort Mill. Classes include acro, cheer, ballet, tap, pointe, hip-hop, tumbling and lyrical for ages 2 - to adult. Mommy-and-me summer camps are offered for ages 1-3, in addition to many different themed summer camps for big kids. 11532 Providence Road, Suite O; and 967 Market St., Suite 100, Fort Mill. millerstreetdanceacademy.com.