Gross Schechter Students 'Read for Life!'

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Gross Schechter Students Travel Around the World and Give Back to the Community in the Process through Read for Life!

After a two-month celebration, Gross Schechter students concluded the Sveta Grinberg Read for Life program. This special program, kindly sponsored by Ida and Mikhail Grinberg in memory of their daughter, Sveta, took our students around the world through literature, tikkun olam (community service) and community programs. During this program, our students read 1,287 books and donated 128 books to the Head Start program.

This year’s theme, “Read Around the World”, was chosen by popular vote during our all-school election, which took place on election day. As a function of this theme, each grade was assigned a country and, throughout the eight-week period, learned about that country through books and other activities. At the opening ceremony, students came dressed in their country’s colors and got into the spirit of what was to come!

Some highlights of this year’s program included: an interactive Hebrew Story Time, World Read Aloud Day (everyone read the same book and conducted projects about it), a book swap (which was also tied into our World Read Aloud Day book!), a visit by children’s author, Adam T. Newman, a middle school storybook character fashion show, multi-cultural food tastings, parent/child book discussions and MORE!

On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, Gross Schechter Day School students and staff joined readers around the world for “World Read Aloud Day” by reading the book, New Day, New Friends, written by C. Alexander London, out loud to students from Early Childhood through Middle School. Middle School students in grades 6 through 8 joined their preschool “buddies” and Lower School students in grades Kindergarten through 5 listened in their classrooms while the book was read by faculty, staff and guest speakers including Randy Boroff, Head of School, and Jim Lindsay, School Safety Officer.

World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words and creates a community of readers taking action to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day was celebrated by millions of people in more than 100 countries who participated and spread the word across the globe.

Our students and their parents participated in two parent/child book discussions as well. The third, fourth and fifth graders, along with their parents, enjoyed an educational evening focused on the story, Extra Credit, by Andrew Clements, a story about discovering the differences between the lives of pen pals, one in Afghanistan and one in the US.

After a short book discussion, Lt. Beeman from the U.S. Army joined the group. He led an incredibly interesting discussion about serving in the Armed Forces. Then, in honor of our own sixth grade teacher Jesse Ebner’s brother, Sam Radtke, the group packed care packages for his troupe, stationed in Saudi Arabia. In keeping with the theme of the book, the students and parents then wrote letters to the soldiers updating them on the happenings in the United States and expressing their gratitude for serving our country.

Our kindergarten through second grade students read the books written by our guest author, Adam T. Newman, How to Catch a Cold and How to Fight a Cold and then prepared care packages for children receiving treatment at Rainbow Babies Hospital.

Both evenings were full of learning and tikkun olam (community service). Included below is a letter written by one of our students reflecting on the program.

To this lucky soldier, In some minds you are a soldier. In my mind you are a hero. You are a patriot. You are loyal to your country. You have to be so far away from your family and home, and you keep them safe, yet you are so far away. That, my friend, is a true hero. One who suffers to keep everyone safe. I haven’t introduced myself yet. My name is Arthur Stadlin. I like cards, TV and video games. I love reading though. This is my favorite book and I hope you like it as much as me. I have a brother and a sister and a puppy. This care package is the least I can do. Thank you for everything, your friend, Arthur.
-Arthur Stadlin, 5th grade student

The past two months have been educational, experiential and have left a deep impact on our students. Most importantly, The Sveta Grinberg Read for Life program has focused on imbuing a love of reading that opens a world of knowledge and adventure through literature for our Schechter students. “I have been proud to watch our students celebrate the joys of reading through so many different outlets. It reinforces the outstanding education that our students receive at Schechter,” Randy Boroff, Head of School.

At Gross Schechter Day School, success is illuminated by tradition and ignited by innovation. At our outstanding Early Childhood Program through Middle School, students benefit from a well-rounded program that fosters success in all aspects of their lives. The curriculum focuses on strategies for problem-solving and places a strong emphasis on critical thinking, which allows students to understand their place in the world around them. Our Hebrew Immersion and integrated Judaic studies program ensures mastery and leads to strong identity formation. Above all, our team of dedicated teachers is committed to developing each student's individual strengths and to maximizing each child's potential - academically, socially and emotionally.

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