Creating Intergenerational Memories at LYA
Few things in life compare to the joy a grandparent has when spending quality time with his/her grandchild. Walking down the hall in school holding a grandchild’s hand brings happiness. Working with a grandchild at their school on a project provides a special feeling. In May, Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy (LYA) of Massachusetts welcomed grandparents to experience these wonderful life milestones.
LYA was honored to host close to 50 grandparents and special friends whom the students invited to school. Grandparents began their day spending time in the classroom with their grandchildren and teachers. They were able to enjoy their grandchildren’s educational experience.
“As a former teacher I was fascinated being in the classroom”, remarked Evelyn Shadowitz, who, with her husband Mel, drove down from Montreal to visit with her third grade grandson, Mendel Buckberg. “I loved being in the classroom and observing my grandson’s educational process and learning.”
Grandparents and special friends participated in a variety of academic based interactive activities. Activities included hands-on science experiments, robotics, a writer’s workshops, peer reading, Chumash games and mapping.
Following the classroom activity, an all school activity was held. Grandparents and guests were welcomed by Rabbi Noach Kosofsky, Head of School, who spoke about how the network of Chabad schools was established in 1897 because of the influence of grandparents.
“The theme of grandparents manifests itself at LYA, by creating a family culture that permeates the school”, remarked Rabbi Kosofsky, who thanked all of the special guests for coming.
Grandparents and guests enjoyed a special video produced by the school. In the video every child expressed why their grandparents are special. Together, LYA students and guests added their hand-prints to create welcome banners that will be displayed in school as a tribute of this wonderful day. Everyone left with a house planter that they decorated together.
“Grandparents’ Day was organized in a manner that allowed us to get a glimpse of students’ experiences in the classroom, a whole school program and offered a variety of hands-on activities”, commented Nechama Waddell, a grandparent who flew in with her husband Jerry, from Annapolis, Maryland to visit with her grandchildren, Ayla and Eitan Marra.
“Adding handprints to the banner was lovely and it was special to have a memento of the day to take home.”
For Lillian Edelman, the day had extra special meaning as Mrs. Edelman spent time with her great-grandson and third generation LYA student, Mendel Kosofsky, a toddler. Mrs. Edelman’s husband, Rabbi Dovid Edelman of blessed memory, was the beloved Dean of LYA until 2015. Mrs. Edelman enjoyed attending and seeing the growth of the school she has nurtured for over 60 years.
“The day was beautiful. It was evident that all the grandparents were very happy to see their grandchildren thriving at LYA”, remarked Lillian Edelman. “I had a wonderful time interacting with Mendel and enjoyed watching other grandparents interact with their grandchildren.”
Since not all the students’ grandparents were able to attend, LYA administration reached out to community members and invited special guests to attend as surrogate grandparents. Barbara Sadowsky enjoyed spending the day as a guest to students in the fifth grade.
“My favorite part of the day was the interaction with my two girls, Emunah and Rishi”, remarked Barbara Sadowsky. “They were so sweet and made me feel so included. I felt such a connection to them. I hope that I was a good substitute grandmother for them!”
The visit ended with delicious lunch. Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day was a project of LYA’s Lighthouse Team. The Lighthouse Team organizes leadership events for the school as part of the Leader in Me model. LYA would like to thank the PTO for sponsoring this special day on behalf of the school.