This Week in Lower School 1/17 - 1/20, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

School was closed on Monday in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  We hope that you had a meaningful day with your family.

Our students discussed whom Dr. King was, what he stood for and what he tried to accomplish throughout his life.  Though many of these concepts are difficult for our youngest students to grasp, our teachers provided age appropriate activities to get their students thinking.  They used brown eggs and white eggs to demonstrate that just because our outsides look different; some people have blue eyes and others have brown, some people have white skin and some of us have brown skin, cracking open the eggs revealed that they were the same inside.

Our first and third grade students discussed dreams in the context of Dr. King’s “I have a Dream” speech.  They thought of dreams they had for themselves, their homes, their school and their community.  While every student’s dream was different, there was a common theme of making the world a better place.  Some examples were:

  • I dream people would give money so there would be no poor people.
  • I dream there would be no hungry or thirsty people so that they wouldn’t have to look in the trash for food.

Our second graders studied the concept of peace and examined the following section of a MLK Jr. quote:  “Sooner or later, all the peoples of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace…”  From there, they were asked to think and write about ways they can solve problems in a peaceful manner at home, at school and in our community.

Fourth graders compared freedom and the civil rights movement of African Americans to Jews, post Nazi Germany.  They learned about Rabbi Joachim Prinz, an outspoken German born Zionist leader who devoted much of his life to the civil rights movement in America.  They examined Dr King’s written speech in draft and final form, by comparing two versions of the same speech.  From this, they learned the importance of choosing words wisely.

Last Friday, we concluded our learning about Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy by watching this video and discussed how we, as individuals need to take responsibility of repairing the world (doing Tikkun Olam).  We were inspired by a famous Israeli song- Ani Ve’ata Neshane Et Ha’olam: the change starts with individuals and then others will follow, a change is not an easy thing but we have to persevere.

Our fifth grade class has been developing Tikkun Olam (healing the world) projects and they are passionate about sharing them with the other grades.  As fifth graders, and the leaders of the Lower School, they have been empowered to come up with and share these exciting programs.  You will be hearing more about these creative initiatives during the next few weeks.

From their experiences and explorations, all of our students learned important life lessons.  We should all strive for equality. One person CAN make a difference and KIDS can be empowered to create change! 

Shabbat Shalom
The Lower School Staff

Save the Dates:

  • Wednesday, 2/1- 100th Day of School.
  • Wednesday, 2/8- 2’s Tu B’Shevat Seder in classes for students.
  • Wednesday, 2/8- Writing Curriculum Event for JK- 5th grade students and their families.  3:30-4:30pm. Please plan on joining us for exciting writing activities as well as to learn about the writing curriculum across the divisions. Additional details to follow.
  • Thursday, 2/9- 3’s through 5th grade Tu B’Shevat Seders in classes for students.
  • Wednesday, 2/15- “A Taste of Kindergarten”- Transition Meeting for JK Parents Details to follow. 
  • Friday, 2/17- NO SCHOOL- Professional Development Day for Teachers
  • Monday, 2/20- NO SCHOOL- President’s Day
  • Monday, 2/27 through Friday, 3/3- Reading Week Stay tuned for more information.
We are proud to join our mashgiach, Gershon Wolfe, in his Tzedakah organization, Aishal Avraham, which provides Shabbat meals to needy families in Las Vegas.  Please send kosher, boxed food in every Friday.