Literacy Week At Shulamith

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Malky Weinstock’s lovable Yael visits Shulamith
Malky Weinstock’s lovable Yael visits Shulamith
5TJT publisher Larry Gordon at Shulamith
5TJT publisher Larry Gordon at Shulamith
Mrs. Bassi Gruen, managing editor of Mishpacha’s Family First
Mrs. Bassi Gruen, managing editor of Mishpacha’s Family First
Jabberwocky tea party
Jabberwocky tea party

Malky Weinstock, famous author of the “Yael” series, visited first- and second-grade classrooms and read one of her books to the girls. Mrs. Weinstock spoke about Yael’s motto related to hachnassat orchim: “When you have a guest, act your best!” The girls were inspired and shared ideas for future books.

LD secretary Miriam Agular, author of Adventures of Mr. Smith in Yahoopitzville, spoke to lower- and middle-division students about what is involved in writing a book and getting it published. Through a creative hands-on activity, Miriam inspired the girls by encouraging them to explore their creativity and hone their teamwork skills. With that, they can accomplish anything!

Mr. Chaim Schneider, parent of seventh-grader Lani, returned to Shulamith for the fourth year with his wonderful workshop for grade 5, “From Concept to Consumer.” Mr. Schneider works for Judaica Press and offered the fifth-graders an insider’s look at how a publication moves from an idea in a writer’s mind to a book awaiting its readers on the shelves of a store or library. The girls had a chance to create their own cover illustrations and compare them to the actual covers of Judaica Press books!

Shulamith was honored to host Mrs. Celia Weintrob, advertising director for the Jewish Star, who spoke to the sixth-graders about . . . the news! She pointed out that what makes something new is that it’s new, and she provided a history of newspapers and reporting. Mrs. Weintrob told the girls that we seem to have come full circle from the 1800s, when penny papers published sensational stories that were pure fabrications, to the 1900s when the Ochs family established guidelines to ensure the veracity of the news printed in papers, to today’s world where the internet and social media have contributed to the phenomenon of “fake news.”

Five Towns Jewish Times publisher Larry Gordon spoke with the seventh- and eighth-graders about various aspects of publishing a newspaper. He encouraged the girls to read, noting that public figures may be inarticulate if they have spent too much time watching TV or on social media, and not enough time reading.

Finally, Mrs. Bassi Gruen, managing editor of Mishpacha’s Family First magazine, joined all the way from Israel. Students were riveted as Mrs. Gruen led them through “The Making of a Magazine,” sharing how stories are selected and prepared for publication. In her interactive workshop, students were able to offer their own ideas for feature stories and how they might be presented in the magazine. Based on the girls’ high level of interest, no doubt some of the young ladies will become writers, editors, publishers, or graphic artists!

“Twas brillig and the slithy toves . . .” Eighth-grade Literacy Week Chairs Ariella Borah and Gabriella Grossman had some creative ideas that kicked this year’s experience up a notch. They dubbed Wednesday “Alice in Wonderland Day,” and, along with a dedicated committee of eighth-graders, led an event in each of the middle-division classrooms. The girls recited Lewis Carroll’s famous poem, “Jabberwocky,” along with an excerpt from Through the Looking Glass in which Humpty Dumpty explains the poem to Alice and introduces her to the concept of a portmanteau. Armed with that knowledge, the students got to work creating their own portmanteau words, while enjoying some iced tea and biscuits. How “amazifying” (amazing + satisfying!) is that?!

Shulamith students and teachers learned a lot throughout the week and are grateful to each of their special guests for contributing their knowledge and expertise to Literacy Week.

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