Students at HHAI learn through different modalities and instructional strategies—from the Reggio Emilia approach in the early childhood classrooms to Socratic seminars in the middle school. Yet no learning creates emotional memories as poignant as experiential learning.
Each of the fall holidays from Rosh Hashanah through Sukkot were genuine experiences for the students. They learned about the origin of the shofar with a visit from the ram, and they participated in the tashlich ceremony of symbolically casting off their sins. They ate lunch in the school sukkah and took agrarian themed field trips to farms and corn mazes.
Middle school students have a special service learning component to their advisory curriculum. They participated in the annual Hooverwood Alzheimer’s Memory Walk. New this year is the middle school’s participation in Better Together, an intergenerational visitation program sponsored by the Legacy Heritage Fund. The goal is to honor the Jewish mitzvot of respect for the elderly and transmit our heritage to the next generation.
The Hebrew Academy is one of 25 Jewish schools across the country participating in this program. Middle school students will visit Hooverwood or Morningside Park Retirement Community once a month to spend time with seniors in our community. One group will teach residents to use tablets. Other groups will do art and gardening projects such as a book of memories of their lives and families. We hope both the students and the seniors will enjoy and learn from this program.
Our students participate in a full complement of extracurricular activities, beginning with fall sports. Soccer fields and gyms all over Indianapolis have been a flurry of Hasten Hebrew Academy Stars since the end of August. This year’s soccer team was made up of a tenacious group of fourth through eighth graders coached by Steve Coleman.
Volleyball has never been more exciting at HHAI. This year’s team, made up of third through sixth graders and coached by Michael Voskoboynik, went up against many larger and stronger teams and were victorious! Finishing their season with a record of 8-2, the team seeded second in the Indianapolis Independent School League and qualified for tournament play.