By Natalie Soroka
(Edmonton) – Summers, even in Alberta, can really heat up a building and the Talmud Torah Early Learning Centre (TTELC), located inside the Talmud Torah School building, is not immune to the effects of summer heat. Each summer, educators do their very best to keep the classrooms comfortable for the children. Last summer, temperatures increased to the point where some families chose to keep their children home out of concern for their well being.
ELC administration and the ELC committee don’t want another summer to go by without dealing with this health and safety issue. This is why the ELC is hoping to install air conditioners in all 6 classrooms this summer! With help from ELC families, and the broader Jewish community, we want to create rooms with regulated temperatures which allows for optimal learning and participation in daily activities.
The cost of the A/C project is ambitious, with $42,000 needed to complete 6 rooftop mounted A/C units in the classrooms, including construction and wiring. The A/C fundraiser runs for 6 weeks from mid May to the end of June. Irene and the ELC Committee have brainstormed some great fundraising ideas, such as a bottle drive, carnival, car wash, fun run, family movie night, Mabel’s Labels, t-shirts sales, etc. Irene is hoping that the broader Jewish community will support the initiative as well.
“We expect that this project will succeed with the support of the broader Jewish community, with everyone coming together to make a difference in the lives of our youngest citizens,” Irene suggested.
Talmud Torah Society’s recent strategic plan initiative outlines “Community,” “Safe Spaces” and “Stewardship” as some of its values. Noga Vaisblat, Chair of the ELC Committee, as well as the TT Society’s Communications and Marketing Chair, commented that these values directly relate to the A/C enhancement project for the TT Early Learning Centre.
Community: coming together to make a difference in the lives of our youngest citizens. Safe Spaces: enhancing the physical space will also benefit the emotional and learning spaces for the children who attend the program. Stewardship: By investing into our building, we are providing the opportunity for future generations to enjoy the space.
From our humble beginnings as a morning preschool program about 17 years ago, we have grown into a full-time early learning program, and more recently a full-time out of school care program. The ELC’s reputation of offering quality childcare and learning, in a Jewish themed environment, is well known. Families often register their child before they are even born, and there are few spaces each year available to new families. Knowing that families will be sending their children, during the hotter days of summer, to a healthy learning environment is a very comforting notion.
“The TT ELC is such a kind, supportive and caring place to send our children,” said TTELC parent Arielle S. “I love that they are prioritizing my children’s health, safety and comfort, along with their learning and development needs. Last year the school’s temperature reached over 30 degrees and there were days I had to keep my 2-year-old home. I am so happy to see the A/C initiative move forward and I know it will improve the children’s care experience, thank you for making our little ones a priority in our Jewish community!”
Irene and Noga are appealing to the community to help them create an optimal learning environment for our young ones and their educators. You can feel pride in knowing your contributions will leave an indelible impact for years to come.
For more information, visit talmudtorahsociety.com.
Natalie Soroka is Executive Assistant of the Edmonton Talmud Torah Society.