by Samara Sofian, Head of School, The Silver Academy
Tu B’Shevat at The Silver Academy was very meaningful for our students this year. Our day began with a special presentation by Dr. Kris Novak, also known at school as Grace and Eli’s Dad. Dr. Novak works for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and is an expert in forestry. He led the students in a thoughtful conversation about trees - their function in our environmental health, what we use them for, and how we can help to keep them healthy. We learned that 58% of Pennsylvania is forest, that trees can absorb and contain pollution and are used in so many of the items and tools we have around us. Some of our Middle School students even showed off their science knowledge by sharing the equation for Photosynthesis! We are very grateful to Dr. Novak for leading such a wonderful presentation!
In their Jewish Studies classes, our students all enjoyed Tu B’Shevat seders. They really liked eating all different kinds of fruits that grow on trees. The third grade class even made their own fruit salad for their class celebration, all while speaking in Hebrew!
Our final Tu B’shevat activity was led by Sasha Tsimmerman, one of our 7th grade students. Sasha participates in the Better Together program and was inspired to have the whole school do a project to benefit the residents at The Jewish Home. Sasha designed a project to plant succulents, which are easy to care for. On Rosh Chodesh Shevat, the students decorated flower pots; on Tu B’Shevat the students planted the succulents. The Middle School students then took the plants with them to the Jewish Home for their Better Together visit where they were really appreciated!