Judging by the sound of the cheering in the Merkaz on Wednesday, one might have guessed that a famous celebrity had arrived. And, you would be partially correct. We definitely had some celebrities represented, but not in the way that you might think. Each of our Middle School students had picked a character from a book and organized themselves with the help of Mrs. Amkraut into one of the more interesting fashion shows that I have ever seen.

With judging by the faculty, the entire student body selected which characters were the best in a variety of categories ranging from most curious to most colorful. The Middle School students designed their costumes and wrote their own introductions as Schechter parent Sheri Gross invited them to take the stage. So many wonderful characters came to life from Bilbo Baggins to the man who had caps for sale to Frog and Toad. Our students were truly excited by watching their favorite characters  from children’s literature come to life before their eyes and it is time for us to take advantage of that.

We are mid-way through Read for Life – Go for the Gold and it is incredible to see the number of books voluntarily read by our students. Yesterday, I saw a teacher looking intently at the wall filled with student book reviews. When I asked what she was doing, she said she was getting ideas for new books to read both for herself and for her class. She took their comments seriously.

I have previously written about the power of reading and winter vacation is the perfect excuse that you have been looking for to encourage your children to read. Ask your children who their favorite character was or the character that they were most intrigued by (If you need some inside information, here is a link to the cast of characters from the fashion show). Make time in your vacation schedule for a quick trip to the library or if you are travelling take advantage of the ebook lending library that our local libraries have. It would be awesome to see the already crowded book review wall even more full when we return in January.

I wish our staff, students, and parents a well-deserved, much-needed break. I look forward to seeing you all back here on January 6 to continue our terrific school year. There is a lot more excitement and wonderful learning opportunities to come as we move into the New Year.

Best wishes for a safe and relaxing winter vacation.

Shabbat Shalom,

Dr. Ari Yares

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