May 24, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
May 24, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Yeshivat He’Atid Spreads Love of Learning Around the World

It’s the project that keeps on giving, even nine months after a video call from Teaneck to Madagascar. This month, Yeshivat He’Atid students from grades three through seven are spreading the joy of learning English to children in Madagascar. As part of the Scholastic Book Fair, students participated in a fundraising challenge. Together, the chairperson, Danielle Pfefer and Curriculum Coordinator Dr. Hope Blecher, with the approval of the company’s representative, selected books to be sent to children in Madagascar. Topics included Jewish holidays, science, fiction, young children’s books and non-fiction biographies.

In June 2018, Gabby Greenberg, then a sixth grader, created an atlas of Madagascar as part of a Summit Learning curriculum unit. Dr. Blecher, then her teacher, connected with a friend’s son who was in the Peace Corp in Madagascar. Through the support of Greenberg’s parents, she came to school early on the next to last day of the semester and participated in a video chat with Sam Friedberg from the Peace Corp. He shared information about what he does and also shared photos of people and places. Fast forward to Fall 2018 and the school’s participation in the bookfair challenge. Red donation boxes were placed at around the school to collect money for books for Friedberg’s “children.”

During December 2018, fifth graders participated in an art project connected to their class book, “Esperanza Rising.” In cooperation with Jen Lipstein, Aline Fruchter, Susan Freeman, Eliana Kerbel and Faigy Fishman, these students used felt, needles, thread and fabric glue to create stuffed creatures. These hand-held soft items were put in the boxes, along with the books, to provide a fun friend to read along with. In addition, middle school students volunteered to create friendly greeting cards.

In January 2019, the books, stuffed creatures and cards were packed into boxes. Due to a generous donation by Dr. Blecher’s family, the boxes were sent to Madagascar. Friedberg knows the boxes are on their way and he promises to share photos of the families with these gifts when the items arrive. It can take four to six weeks for the packages to arrive.

Yeshivat He’Atid’s faculty commits to a monthly character education theme. One act of kindness, one connection truly ripples in a positive way. Many people contributed to this learning project. They are that ripple. Now, we wait to see the effect of each penny, each stitch, each handwritten letter. The students and teachers look forward to hearing from Friedberg and seeing the photos and hopefully, if the timing is right, to participating in another video chat before he completes his Peace Corp tour. This project is truly a story in the making.

By Dr. Hope Blecher

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles