Welcome back from winter vacation! I hope you and your family are as refreshed and invigorated as we are as we plunge into the second half of the school year. It’s hard to believe it is Adar Alef already!
Shevat started with brand new themes that centered around identifying, appreciating and utilizing the many resources Hashem has put in our lives. We started off the month by exploring the natural resources of the world and the concept of Mah Rabu Ma’asechah Hashem by having the children make beautiful paintings of nature scenes on their very own canvases.
We continued the month by exploring the many benefits of experiencing and expressing gratitude. You might remember the “You mint a lot to me,” jars that the children made, as they identified someone in the life to whom they do not convey their appreciation enough. We explored how the value of experiencing appreciation builds on one of our fundamental Cheshvan themes (we are in control of our own happiness) and how much happier we feel when we recognize all that we have to be grateful for.
As the month continued, we began to learn how to identify and use the resources around us and within us to work through any struggles that we have. The kids all participated in an egg drop challenge, where they were divided into teams and given in a raw egg (in a Ziploc bag) and prompted to build a safety net for the egg using the resources provided. The groups were given a variety of office supplies, balloons, straws and an assortment of other random items to help them complete this task. One of the leaders then stood on a chair, held the egg above their head and dropped it! To the kids’ surprise and delight, the majority of the eggs remained intact! The groups discussed what internal and external resources we have to support us when we feel close to “cracking.”
We continued the month with a super fun exercise class led for the second year in a row by our very own Danny Firestone! The boys all participated and worked hard as we learned many new exercises we can do with nothing but our body weight. We explored the importance of self-care overall and what a great resource exercise is for the mind, body and soul.
As we prepared for a week-long winter break, the boys had a wonderful time at our first Middos Mention party of the year! It’s hard to believe that more than half the wall is already filled up with hundreds of middos mentions. The kids enjoyed an extravagant ice cream party as they went around the room and each recalled a middos mention that they received at some point throughout the year and what it was for. We also played an awesome game of Middos Mention Taboo, in which each card had a Middah on top that the kids needed to describe without using a few associated words written underneath the Middah. The kids did an amazing job playing this game and successfully explained Middos like perseverance, resilience, resourcefulness, consideration and many, many more! It was beautiful to feel the sense of accomplishment and growth throughout the entire celebration.
I want to end off by thanking each and every one of you for attending our touch base sessions this past month. Tova and I are so grateful to have had the opportunity to tell you in person how exceptional your children are. We are constantly amazed at the quality of our participants and beyond honored to have this opportunity to be part of their development in life.
We wish you a Gutten Chodesh and wonderful month ahead!
Chana Perel Handler