Charles Yarfoh comes to Chicago
Charles H. Yarfoh, founder and director of the Tuskegee International School in Ghana, West Africa, spent an exciting week in October learning and sharing with members of the Francis Parker School community. In addition to this being his first ever to the U.S., Yarfoh’s visit was made even more special by the warm reception that awaited him at every step.
Beginning with a tour of the school led by Principal Dan Frank and Assistant Principal Damian Jones, Yarfoh had opportunities to visit with administrators, staff, parents and students in the Lower, Middle and Upper School classrooms. He also addressed Parker teachers at a full faculty meeting.Members of Parker’s Board of Trustees held a special reception for Yarfoh at Frank’s home, which was attended by Sister Cities International Manager Adrienne Tongate and Pat Daley, coordinator of World Art Chicago, Mayor’s Office of International Relations. At this special event, Frank presented Yarfoh with an Honorary Diploma from Francis W. Parker School.
Teachers Bev “Greenie” Greenberg, Kate Cicchelli and Joey Wade worked with Yarfoh to present a Morning Ex (all-school assembly) that detailed the partnership Greenie has developed with the Tuskegee International School, as well as the efforts of fellow teachers Cicchelli and Wade in 2010. All three teachers presented pictures and shared stories of their most recent visit to Tuskegee, and Yarfoh spoke about his country, the school and the importance of the international friendship with Parker.
Yarfoh returned to the auditorium later in the week to offer his perspective on the importance of intergenerational relationships to those visiting for Parker’s annual Grandparents’ & Special Friends’ Day.
Thank You from the Director of
Tuskegee International School
Following his one-week visit to the Francis W. Parker School, and his first ever trip to the United States, Charles H. Yarfoh, founder and director of the Tuskegee International School in Ghana, took a moment to reflect upon the experience as a whole and penned the letter of gratitude below to the Parker community.
Dear Sister School,
As I sat down to write this letter, I thought of Dr. Frank and those who made it possible for me to visit Francis W. Parker School, Chicago in October. I must first thank you for allowing me to come to Parker and giving me the opportunity to learn from the best people in the best educational place.
I have come to understand the ‘American Dream’. Education holds the key to our very survival as a nation. It is a key that can be used to open many doors and provide many opportunities.
My trip to Francis Parker, has given new meaning to my life. My perception of life has changed, and I am motivated more than ever to live for others.
I knew God destined the union between Francis W. Parker School, Chicago and Tuskegee International, Ghana as I got to know Madam Greenie. She shared the philosophy of Parker school and the commitment you have towards educating each child academically, emotionally, and socially. I feel we are like a grandparent and a grandchild. Parker School, Chicago (grandparent) is over one hundred years. There is much you have done and there are many things you have developed and shared with others. Tuskegee School, Ghana (grandchild) is about twelve years. We are young and eager to learn how to become a solid institution that will support the growth and development of students who will become tomorrow’s leaders. My visit confirms that we will learn much from you as our relationship grows.
The faculty and staff of Parker are excellent in their job. They are very dedicated and passionate about what they do. They have a spirit of helpfulness that serves humanity well.
I appreciated the opportunity to meet both parents and grandparents. They were warm and reassuring as I spoke to them and learned about them. The faces of the wonderful students showed radiance and welcome towards me.
I had the privilege to visit almost all the classrooms (KG to senior school), either to observe lessons or to have an opportunity to tell about Ghana, I must say the work of teachers was excellent and the depth of knowledge by students is worth the investment parents and guardians make in your fine school.
During my visit I had an opportunity to go into town a few times and interact with people on the streets of Chicago. Your town is filled with people who are willing and patient. They direct and redirect visitors to get to their destinations. They are very nice and reassuring. I was able to see landmarks and important places that educate and astound as they reach to touch the heavens. My trip will have lasting memories and I will continue to share my experiences with the people in my country as an incentive to follow ones dream and make something of ones life. Francis Parker School is well equipped and better than any of our Universities in my country. I hope the children of your fine school will be encouraged to continue taking advantage of all these facilities to sharpen themselves for the vast opportunities that abound in your country. I would also encourage your students to start eyeing the presidency and governorship of the States.
My days in your school are replayed back in Ghana. The children at my school are determined to make the ‘American Dream’ come true for themselves through their investment in Tuskegee, their punctuality, determination and the sense of focus and direction they apply in their studies.
I send greetings from Tuskegee Ghana and all people of my country who have heard of my visit to American and the Francis Parker School. I wish Dr. Frank, the Board of Trustees, staff, teachers, students, parents, and grandparents God’s richest blessings.
Thank you beautiful people of Parker School, Chicago and the good and wonderful people of the United States of America.
Me Daase (THANK YOU) !
Charles H. M. Yarfoh Founder/Director, Tuskegee Int. Schools, Ghana