Kadimah Academy Begins 2015-2016 School Year
|October 8, 2015|
Array of new programs join dual curriculum program
Amherst, N.Y. – The bell rang loudly to mark the 8:25 a.m. start time., as Kindergarten through eighth-grade students, both new and returning, arrived at Kadimah Academy for the start of the 2015-2016 school year.
Students are already benefiting from an array of new initiatives for this school year, besides a new name and image.
- The “Better Together” Program: This continuing program partners students with seniors at Jewish nursing homes in the Buffalo community to interact with and learn from each other. Last year, students taught seniors how to use Skype and iPads.
- Shutafut (Partnership) Program: As a part of the Hebrew curriculum, students in grades 6, 7 and 8 will partner with students in Israel. They will complete weekly assignments and then present to each other through writing letters, emailing, creating PowerPoint presentations and sending videos of their work. The ultimate goal is to allow the students to meet their Israeli pen pals in a few years when they visit Israel on their 8th grade class trips.
“It’s academics but the students also get to learn about Israeli students,” said Einav Symons, head of school at Kadimah Academy. “Our teachers put a lot of time into planning and
coordinating with Israeli teachers to make this program work. We are so excited to watch our students grow from this experience.”
- Robotics Program: A once-a-week continuing academic program that teaches students basic computer programming and engineering skills. The program is coordinated by Kadimah’s Information Technology Administrator Yair Sageev and Middle School Science Teacher Anna Martinick, with the help of the University at Buffalo’s Department of Engineering. This year, grades 3, 4 and 5 will use the Lego Mindstorms Robotics Kits to enhance their learning, after the older grades used the program last year.
“I really enjoyed the Robotics Program because it triggered an additional interest in technology that I didn’t know I had,” said Kadimah Class of 2015 graduate Jordan Richheimer.
- Historic Grain Elevator & Larkinville Program: New for this year, students in grades 6, 7 and 8 will explore Buffalo’s industrial and cultural history, and create architecture plans, thereby collaborating and integrating social studies, math, science, technology and history. This program builds off the Darwin Martin House Junior Docent program that the same students participated in last year – a program that Kadimah piloted with so much success that the museum is now expanding it.
- Chugim: Beginning this year, students in all grades will have an opportunity to choose their own extra-curricular activities to participate in once a week. Options include zumba, calligraphy, photography, and Japanese language and culture, among others.
- Helping Friends Program: This is another continuing program for grades 3-8. Benefiting from our co-location with the separate Center for Handicapped Children, Kadimah students will build relationships and engage with the students at CHC, learning to appreciate those with severe disabilities as no different. CHC and Kadimah share the school building at 1085 Eggert Road, but are completely independent of each other.
- “Our students are getting to see all the things these disabled kids can do, instead of what they cannot do,” said Symons. “It’s really appreciating that each of us is B’zlem Elohim (in the image of G-d), each one of us was made with the image of G-d.”
- Music program: This year, Kadimah is enhancing its music program, developing a year-long curriculum for students in all grades to sign up for, either during or after school.
- B’Not Sherut: Also new this year, two Israeli volunteers have come to Buffalo for the year to assist with programming and educational efforts at Kadimah, as well as to work with
various synagogues and other Jewish agencies in Western New York. The goal of the B’Not Sherut initiative is to strengthen the overall Jewish community with enhanced teaching and exposure to Israel.
Along with the new programs, Kadimah Academy has added one new and one returning teacher to its staff. Abby Markowski is the new middle school math teacher and nursery school teacher, and Cathy Shuman Miller has returned to her art teaching position.
Additionally, Kadimah is now offering an “everyday lunch” program for all students. In past years, the lunch program was offered once a week, with a more limited menu.
“We are so excited about all that the new Kadimah Academy has to offer,” said Symons. “Our new programs prove our commitment to a high-quality Jewish education for our students and the greater Buffalo community.”
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