A Day in the Life of a Shalom Park Freedom School Scholar

Cooking Lesson in Dumas Activity CenterLinocuts with Instructor Florence Jaffa
Who Says Chess Isn't Fun
Weaving Lesson for Boys and Girls
Opera Carolinas visits Shalom Park Freedom School Scholars
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Shalom Park Freedom School is a sustained social action project among 8 Shalom Park agencies that pool their resources of time, money or in-kind donations to lift up 50 scholars and in so doing lift up and unite the entire Shalom Park community.

A day in the life of a Shalom Park Freedom School scholar: The children (K thru 5) begin with breakfast in the Charlotte Jewish Day School Cafeteria where Rabbi Vorst serves them breakfast (later he serves a nutritious kosher lunch); next Gorelick Hall for Harambee (an uplifting pep rally where someone from the Shalom Park or Greater Charlotte community reads them a short story); from there they spend the morning in literacy based activities (funded, in part, by a generous grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte) in Temple Israel Religious School classrooms (that are cleaned daily because of an in-kind donation from the Foundation of Shalom Park); after lunch scholars visit the Levine-Sklut Judaic Library where they choose six books (one each week) for their home libraries as part of a 6 Weeks! 6 Books! program spearheaded by librarian Debby Block; afternoons mean on-site enrichment where Shalom Park volunteers (ranging from young adults to senior citizens) lead the scholars in a variety of activities such as chess, photography, drama, sign language, cooking, Zumba and yoga.

These activities take place in Temple Beth El’s Dumas Activity Center or Luski Hall, or perhaps in the Sandra and Leon Levine Jewish Community Center’s ballet, yoga or ceramic studio. On Tuesdays and Thursdays our scholars swim, courtesy of the LJCC’s donation of swimming lessons and lifeguards, and bathing suits and towels donated by the Lions of Judah. On Fridays, Jewish Family Services’ new initiative, Challahs for Scholars, makes sure that each scholar family receives a challah as we share the sweetness of the Sabbath with our neighbors. Scholars participate in the Holocaust Butterfly Project, taking home ceramic butterflies that they paint after discussing discrimination.

Our Teen Board, composed of 20 teens, many from Temple Beth El and Temple Israel, serve as junior counselors helping with literacy, science experiments, field trips, swimming, and enrichment. OASIS seniors and Camp Mindy campers join our scholars for educational operas performed by Opera Carolina.