Program Overview
Evelyn Smith Wray

What’s in a name…

“Why should a light be allowed to fail when the hands that kindled it have been folded to rest for a while?”


It was how she lived more than what she said that influenced those who knew Evelyn Smith Wray. Although she was grounded by her morals and values, her zeal for learning and self-development as well as her determination to experience life enabled her spirit to soar freely. She created the extraordinary from the ordinary, possessed both candor and common sense, recognized the value of love and laughter and reveled in the wonders of the earth. Insightful and understanding, she listened intently and spoke carefully, knowing that “kind words kindle and harsh words kill.” Because of her deep character, she saw that hypocrisy was a barrier to open hearts and open minds. She was fortunate enough to know that a person’s true success and happiness are not measured by net worth.


The life of this good woman became a light to guide us in the development of the culture that exists at the ESW Village School. From her core values came some of our goals and the very essence of our being.

Our philosophy is based on the belief that children learn best through active, hands-on, meaningful experiences and individual attention in a positive learning environment. Our goal is to provide our children with a strong foundation of basic skills, and beyond, for future academic success. We understand and respect that all childrenare unique individuals with varying interests, strengths, preferences and opinions.


Our curriculum is literature-based and integrated. We cover the North Carolina Standard Course of Study as our minimum for each student. We teach phonics, as well as whole language skills. We give our students as many tools as we can; understanding and appreciating that individuals learn differently. There is no "right or wrong" way to learn. Not only does our program provide children with a strong handle on the basics, or the "3 Rs", but it also gives each child unique opportunities far beyond the basics, including an introduction to Latin, Music, Character Education Classes, Computer Classes and a Physical Fitness Program. Throughout the year, we visit the Public Library and museums, enjoy field trips correlating to our units of study, and invite guest speakers.


We are the place where nature meets technology. Looking beyond the walls of the traditional classroom, we provide outdoor educational opportunities on our beautiful grounds giving our students a heightened awareness of the natural world. Yet realizing the importance of technology, we provide a state-of-the art computer lab where our students are taught computer skills.


A vital part of our program is the involvement of our families. We encourage and welcome parent volunteers, whether it is going with the class on a field trip, being a guest speaker, or helping with a special project.


(Remember...."It takes a village to raise a child", but it takes The Village to educate a child.)