BY AMANDA MOSES
On Monday, June 17th, Be’er Hagolah Institutes hosted their annual end of year “Learning Celebration” with their elementary school students. Coordinated by the General Studies Principal, Chana R. Zucker, the event took place in the school’s auditorium/lunchroom where the children sat on folding tables aptly listening to their instructors.
Principal Zucker began the event with a parable about a wise old man who had the ability to foresee things. There were two men who wanted to test this old man’s ability, so they hid a topaz gem behind their back and asked the wise old man, what was hidden in their hands. He said a blue stone from a tropical island far away. The men were impressed, but felt eager to trick the old man. They held a butterfly in their hand and asked the old man what was in their hand. He replied, a butterfly. With the intention of tricking him, they inquired, “Is it alive or dead?” No matter the answer, the men were ready to either kill or let the butterfly live. Anticipating the trickery involved, the wise old man said: “If I say it is alive, you will crush and kill it. If I say it is dead, you will open your hands and set it free. So, the answer to that question is really up to you; it is in your hands.”
Principal Zucker looked onto the group of students when she finished telling this tale, and said very seriously: “What you do with your education is up to you.” She told the children that they can choose to grow from what they learn, or let it waste away. Determined to prove their commitment to their studies, the children sat up straight ready to apply the lessons they have learned.
The second half of the event consisted of large box, which the staff brought onto the stage. In it was a list of goals that the students wrote in September. These aspiring messages were hidden away until June, so that at the end of the year the students can measure as to whether or not they met their expectations. For many of them they did. One student, who transferred from a school in Russia, proudly stated that he has learned how to read and write in English. In honor of all of their hard work, each student received a small trophy acknowledging their steadfast dedication.
The entire event consisted of various activities where the children discussed their favorite lessons learned throughout the school year, and then watched a slideshow depicting their class experiences. The celebration ended with gifts of appreciation distributed to the teachers, as well as fun goodie bags for the children. In addition to an array of gifts, the students also enjoyed ice cream, watermelon, and grapefruit jelly beans.
Photos by Amanda Moses