HBHA Students Sharing Literacy with Allen Village School Students


Alexis Davis

On Friday March 3, the fourth and fifth graders of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (HBHA) visited their partner school, Allen Village School. This is the third year that HBHA fourth and fifth grade students have been working on a literacy project with Allen Village School. While visiting the school, the students met with their kindergarten partners and read picture books that the HBHA students picked out. The students from both schools not only read and play together, but they also exchange letters that the kids write to each other throughout the year. The visit in March is the second time this year that the two schools have met, and there will be one more visit towards the end of the year. Fourth grader Ari Green’s favorite part of this experience “is making new friends with the other kids.”

One HBHA/Allen Village pair working together to read a book. Photo credits: Jenny Safir

The first visit with Allen Village School usually takes place in December when HBHA students travel to Allen Village School. The HBHA students bring picture books, explain Chanukah, and play dreidel with the kindergarteners. This partnership is not only focused on reading.When the students visit in December, the HBHA students purchase a pair of gloves or mittens to give to their kindergarten partners as a holiday gift.  

The second visit of the year takes place in late winter, this year on March 3rd, to celebrate Read Across America Day. At this visit, the students read Dr. Seuss books and work together on creating Dr. Seuss hats with rhyming words on them. Green says he  “likes reading the books and playing games with the kindergarteners.”  

Another pair working to finish their book. Photo credits: Jenny Safir

Fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Jenny Safir adds that it is “very cute, and they really enjoy it.”

For the last meeting of the year, the Allen Village School Kindergarteners are given the opportunity to come to HBHA. Again, the students read together, do an end of the year activity, and end the day with a hotdog lunch and time on the playground. Mrs. Safir adds that “our students and the Allen Village students form nice relationships and enjoy reading together.  It’s a great program for both sets of students.”