The Yellow Room has finished the last installment of their year-long portrait study: buddy portraits! Each child was paired with another to draw a Yellow Room friend.

Smiles are contagious, and you do not need to read a scientific journal to certify that as accurate. You only need to walk around the Akiba preschool at any time during the day. However, these smiles don't just happen on their own. They are a reflection of the creative, nurturing, and hard work of Carla Goldberg, our gifted Early Childhood Director, and the dedicated early childhood educators who work with the children each day. It is not just the day-to-day work, but the consistent focus on professional growth and thinking ten steps ahead of where we are today that creates this positive and joyous atmosphere.

A few years back, Carla and her team flew to Italy to be trained in the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. This child-centered experiential and social approach has transformed much of how we, as a school, think about our students and the environments in which they learn. More of our early childhood educators have been to Italy since then to learn, and our Early Childhood program has become a model for other educators around the world. In fact, over the last couple of years, we have had several Chinese preschool delegations visit and observe at Akiba; their visits were facilitated the famous Erikson Institute.

This summer, Carla has been asked to travel to Beijing and teach a five-day course in "Leadership and Building Community in an Early Childhood Center" through the Erikson Institute. As Carla developed this course, she asked the Erikson Institute what they wanted to learn about leadership and building community, and they told her: "Show them and teach them what you do at Akiba."

Summer is a time when the administration works around the clock to set the stage for the next year. Not only are we preparing the schedule, staffing, professional development, and programming. We also work on getting the word out on what makes Akiba-Schechter unique as we try to make a difference in the field of education. Thank you, Carla, for representing us so well, for leading and building along with your staff such a great program that creates so many smiles, and for taking all of that to support the growth of early childhood education around the world. Kol HaKavod, Carla, and safe travels to China!

Shabbat Shalom! 
Dr. Eliezer Jones
Head of School  
Wrapping Up the Preschool Year        
A Year at Akiba is Always Full of Milestones
by Carla Goldberg, Preschool Director
It's hard to believe that next Wednesday will be the last day of preschool and Kindergarten. I feel like the year always goes by so quickly  - and this year I really feel like time has gone by even faster than before.

It seems like yesterday when we were greeting new families at Popsicles in the Park across the street from Akiba. It's always so exciting to get to know all of the new children and families joining us at Akiba every year. Just as wonderful is watching these children grow over their years at Akiba. We have the privilege of watching children learn how to communicate with others, share with peers, be independent from their parents, and become critical thinkers.  We watch children begin to problem solve, investigate and ponder deep questions. At school, children develop their first friendships and form close relationships with their teachers. They learn how to be a part of a classroom community and a school community. We teach children how to be empathetic and laugh with each other. We also teach them that it's okay to cry when they are feeling sad.  

We celebrate all of these developmental milestones along with parents and grandparents every day. That saying "Everything I ever needed to learn, I learned in Kindergarten" is so true - except it should read I learned at Akiba-Schechter. A parent once said to me, after visiting Akiba for the first time, "Akiba is the happiest place I have ever been." I completely agree and am thankful for another wonderful year with all of the children, families and teachers.  

We look forward to a fun filled summer with many of you and many more memorable times in the years to come!  If you are saying goodbye to us at the end of this year, we will miss you and please stay in touch! Shabbat Shalom! And have a great summer!

Every year I feel privileged to teach the Parent/Tot class as it gives me the chance to get to know our newest and youngest students and their families. Each time it is amazing to witness how much they grow into a community that cares for each other.
The Blue Room children "went through" the entire process of metamorphosis and have turned into butterflies now. They also got chance to observe the beautiful process of change through butterfly cycle in their classroom. Here they are tracing the painted lady butterfly to learn about the colors and different body parts.
On Thursday, the Blue Room kids actually got their wings!
Becky counts all the books she read to the Purple Room this year: 174! 

The Purple Room did an extensive study of baking bread this year. It began in the fall with investigating how challah dough is made and culminated just before Passover with making their very own matzah.
Among the Green Room children's favorite projects this year was exploring ice in the winter...
...and acting out the Passover story.
The Kindergarteners finished their young author books (writing and illustrating their own story in a hardbound book). This week they shared them with their families and read them to their younger preschool classmates.
The Kindergarten has also been working on learning how to tell time.

Kindergarten Art with Dara                  

Kindergarten students studied their faces in mirrors, drew themselves using black permanent markers, and then used watercolor paint to create these colorful, expressive self-portraits.

Upcoming #akibacommUNITY Events
Around Chicago: Program Options Before Camp Begins
Summer Drama Camps, June 10-15 & 17-21: 
Dream Big Performing Arts Workshop  is offering an exclusive discount to families at Akiba-Schechter  for summer drama camps in June!  Go to  and enter the code  SCHOOLSOUT19 
at checkout for $15 OFF our June 10-15 and June 17-21 weekly camps.

June 11 - 14: Circ Esteem,  4730 N. Sheridan Rd. Chicago, IL 60640, will again conduct a camp for CJDS and any other schools that are off that week. For kids ages 4-14 the full 4 days would cost $260 or people can choose a day-to-day option for $70/day (if you want to sign your kid up for Monday too (Shavuot), it would be at the $70 and the whole week would cost $330). Camp goes from 9:00 - 3:00 PM with option for early care at 8:00 AM ($10) and after care that goes until 5:00 PM at a cost of $10 per hour. We need 8 kids per day to make this run. Please let Jennifer Loeb know if you are interested, and when they have the minimum, she will send the registration link.
June 17 - 21:  Windy City Ninjas,  2500 W Bradley Pl Unit H, Chicago, IL 60618, is offering  kids 5 and up from CJDS and any other schools off that week a 25% discount for a total of $375 for full day for 5 days. They also have a half-day option ($50) or full day ($90). Half day runs from 9:00 AM - 12:00 or 12:30 - 3:30 PM; Full day camp runs from 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM. There is no early care option. After care is offered from 3:30 - 5:30 PM and costs $15. We need 4 kids per day to make this run. Please let Jennifer Loeb know if you are interested, and when they have the minimum, she will send the registration link.
ATT Summer Program
Registration is open for the Nathan & Shirley Rothner ATT Summer Program. Have your child experience an awesome summer. Make new friends, learn new skills with sewing, sports, art, science, rocketry, dance, cooking, magic, robotics, self-defense, daily trips and more. First session 7/1-7/19; second session 7/22-8/9. For more information call Susan Feuer/Shelley Stopek at 773-973-2828, to view brochure and apply online.

Dates to Remember
Wednesday, June 5
Last Day of Preschool/Kindergarten
12:00 PM Dismissal for Preschool/KDG

Thursday, June 6
4:00 PM
Congregation Rodfei Zedek

Friday, June 7
Last Day of Grade School
12:00 PM Dismissal

Sunday, Monday, June 9 & 10
No School

Tuesday, June 11
Preschool Summer Program Begins

May 31, 2019  
Volume 15, Issue 17
Candle Lighting: 7:58 PM
Parasha: Bechukotai

Affiliated with the Associated Talmud Torahs and supported by the Kehillah Jewish Education Fund