With challenges affecting the educational system as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hebrew Foundation School (HFS) in Dollard-des-Ormeaux found a way to work around the measures to provide students and their families with a program to promote a sense of togetherness.
HFS is known to offer an enriched curriculum in three languages to a broad spectrum of learners, complemented by meaningful Jewish experiences that provide children with a strong foundation for academic and developmental success.
For HFS, teaching their students to develop a sense of community is a fundamental part of its curriculum.
“So much of what we do is hands-on experiences and we felt that it is important to connect,” HFS spokesperson Aviva Miller told The Suburban.
Prior to the pandemic, grandparents were invited to attend Shabbat programs at school to follow the progress of their grandchildren’s education. During holidays, families were invited to participate in a variety of school activities.
“The highlight during Jewish holidays is when kids get to get up and show their grandparents what they have learned.”
The Shabbat program was moved onto the Zoom platform this year to ensure the safety of children as well as their grandparents while giving them an opportunity to carry out their traditions and to connect.
The program allows the families to connect and experience a sense of togetherness.
“The silver lining with the pandemic is that the grandparents who are usually away in the winter, can now also participate.”
“Customs vary from family to family and this also gives children the opportunity to learn about diversity.”
The program also serves to relieve in part the isolation experienced by senior relatives as a result of the COVID-19 regulations. After the group activity, the school also allows for one-on-one interactions between family members.
“The kids love to share their grandparents with their friends. They really look forward to it.”