The Gift of a Day School Education
by Nancy Marin
Parent of Shoshanah Marin, first grader at Striar Hebrew Academy, Sharon
“I am grateful to You, living, enduring King, for restoring my soul to me in compassion.”
This is the English translation of the first sentence of the Modeh Ani prayer. It is fitting that our daughter’s first prayer that she mastered at Striar Hebrew Academy is this prayer because our family feels immense gratitude to Hashem, the teachers, staff, benefactors and all others who help to make our child’s education at Striar Hebrew Academy possible. Every time I drop my daughter off at school I know that her soul will be nourished in a warm, engaging, nurturing environment.
This is our daughter’s first year attending Striar Hebrew Academy. It was not an easy decision for us because of the financial obligation and the unknown of being in a new school. Some of the factors that helped us make an affirmative decision were: we were offered the Discovery Day School Scholarship, we wanted our daughter to have a strong Jewish Identity, there is a small teacher to student ratio, a seriousness for secular and Judaic studies; and most of all develop strong, lasting friendships; where her friends will be with her until sixth grade and beyond.
Every day when I drop her off she runs into school so excited to start her day. When she comes home from school, she shares with us what she has learned. Some of the things she does is role-play the events of the day, recite a new prayer she has learned, share a story that her teacher has read, and even get excited about using a number line. In our home a typical day has her singing Hatikvah in the bathtub, reciting Modeh Ani with her pretend Luach (with teddy bears and dolls lined up as students in her class), strumming my guitar while singing Shabbos Kodesh, having a conversation in Hebrew about the weather and working on reading and math skills. What I am most pleased about is how much this school has helped her define her Jewish identity, thus giving her a stronger self-esteem. I can honestly say this is about the happiest I have ever seen her.
The holiday of Chanukah is about dedication and rededication. We remember the rededication of the temple that took place thousands of years ago, but it is also a chance for all of us to rededicate ourselves to Jewish values and Torah. At Striar Hebrew Academy, the staff and students dedicate themselves to these values every day. Interestingly enough, the Hebrew word for education, chinuch, comes from the same root as the word Chanukah (chet, nun, kaf). For those who enter the halls of Striar Hebrew Academy, you will find those two values infused in everything that they do. Whether you are peeking in on the teacher reading a story at the Early Learning Center or a Mishnah lesson in sixth grade, the teachers and administration are dedicated to providing the best education possible to the students of Striar Hebrew Academy and in doing so, the students become dedicated to their own learning. As a parent, I am dedicated to ensuring that my child is getting the very best education possible. By sending her to Striar Hebrew Academy, I know that she is.
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