Bringing together research, public speaking, and chessed, our Grade 5 students have spent all semester learning about nonprofit organizations. Through a multi-step project, they first learned about three different organizations before focusing on their favorite one.
“We wanted to bridge the Judaics with the Secular,” and show the importance of tzedakah in our Jewish Families, explained Mrs. Allona Pinhas, a Grade 5 teacher who implemented this project-based learning unit. Students learned about chessed while practicing academic skills.
In the first project phase, students conducted research online and learned to determine which sites are trusted sources. They asked adults in their lives about organizations they support. Ultimately, they narrowed their interest to one group they believed was doing the most important work.
In the next phase, students designed posters showcasing their learning, which were later judged by Mrs. Pinhas. Posters featured mission statements, testimonials, and histories of the nonprofits. Students presented these posters to the entire class, learning to combat stage fright and practicing public speaking skills. Grade 5 was passionate about their choices, believing in their group’s mission — from supporting children looking to be adopted to providing medical care for those in need. Following this, students presented again to a panel of judges composed of faculty and staff who would select the finalists.
The finalists from each class took the project a step further, speaking to parents about their organization of choice. They spoke clearly, made eye contact with the crowd, and spoke in a calm, composed manner. To wrap up, students were recognized for their excellent work. Congratulations to winner Noa B. ’31 and finalists Noah C. ’31, Isaac G. ’31, Sophie K. ’31, Ben L. ’31, and Ariela S. ’31.
This project underscored the value of chessed, a Scheck Hillel core value. Our Lions are always taught to live with kindness and find ways to give back to those in need.
“It was amazing to see the growth mindset of the students,” said Mrs. Pinhas. “They were really able to have grit and complete it, even though it was challenging. They all felt what it was to do something meaningful, to do something to help.”