By Natalie Soroka
(AJNews) – Talmud Torah Early Learning Centre (TTELC) couldn’t have asked for a better day to invite families to its Welcome Event 2022 on September 15th. The sun was shining, the weather was warm, and the school tarmac was filled with smiling faces and warm hearts. Families enjoyed delicious food prepared by our educator Michal, and schmoozed with those they knew and those they got to know.
During the event Irene St. Savard, Director of the TTELC, commented how heartwarming it was to see so many parents and children enjoying the gathering. Educators chatted with families as they served the food to hungry adults and children alike. Our older Out of School Care (OSC) children were excited to participate in this event and were very helpful with set up and take down. Thank you to them and those parents and families who also assisted us! It was wonderful to see families connecting in person again, and Irene anticipates more opportunities to connect in the near future.
Another exciting event in our school was Read In Week. According to the Read In Week website (readin.ca) their mission is “to build and enhance both personal and community relationships through literacy and the love of reading.” Jessica Holtzman and Lindsey Campbell organized a fun and memorable Read In Week 2022 the first week of October. Annually, parents and community members are invited to read and engage with our students. This year was no exception, and many parents could be seen reading to classes as the students listened intently.
Our students loved asking questions and chatting with our readers. Talmud Torah had a few very special readers this year, including EPSB Trustee Dawn Hancock, Jewish Federation of Edmonton CEO Stacey Leavitt-Wright, MLA Lorne Dach, and TT Class of ’50 alumna Esther Starkman. Esther is the Founder of Read In Week. She initiated Read In Week in the ’90s when she was Chair of the Edmonton Public School Board. Esther’s Husband, Howard, as well as their three children, are graduates of TT. Our school is lucky to have such amazing families and community members supporting the Talmud Torah Society and School.
Ms. Jessica and Ms. Lindsey culminated Read In Week by thinking outside the box and creating the TT BOOK-NIC event! On the last day of Read In Week, TT families gathered together in the gym, with blankets and books, to read to each other and their friends. It was a wonderful expression of TT community spirit and a love of reading. Based on the wonderful turnout and positive feedback, it appears that the school may indeed be organizing BOOK-NIC 2023!
Natalie Soroka is the Executive Assistant at Edmonton Talmud Torah Society.