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Leadership Through Library: Leadership Pilot Program
   The NEMJDS has launched a "Leadership Through Library" pilot initiative, and our fifth graders have flourished as they have taken on the responsibility of running the NEMJDS school libraryStudents have been charged with running and growing the school library throughout the year.
       Our students hosted a "Library Launch" celebration in September. After decorating the library and developing an incentive system, students wrote and delivered a speech confidently to the entire school. Then each fifth grader gave a class a tour of the library, pointing out key features like the circulation desk.  Students have been setting (and exceeding) goals, collecting, analyzing, and graphing data, and working weekly shifts as librarians. Students read books from a variety of genres in order to make monthly recommendations, and students have been reading books published in the last year so they can recommend new additions for the library. Each month students are writing persuasively to decide how to allocate the monthly library budget. Students also are developing their technology skills as they create PowerPoints to advertise library announcements and use excel to manage library data.
       The fifth graders are learning about community resources as part of this program. They met with a local librarian from Avondale Library and learned about "banned books" and the dangers of censorship. This created one of the many opportunities where our students had to problem solve as they discussed how to monitor content in our library. Our student librarians created such a buzz around "the freedom to read" that younger grades began celebrating the freedom to read as well and participated in their own book clubs with books that have been challenged or banned, like A Wrinkle in Time and Charlotte's Web.  Students also visited Emmet O'Neal Library to take "field notes" about library services and programming. During their tour, students generated their own ideas about how to enhance our library. 
      This experience has provided our students with the opportunity to take on a leadership role, work collaboratively, and promote excitement around literacy, all with the underlying purpose of bettering our school community.

Meaningful Learning Opportunities: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
     Our students celebrated the Jewish new year in a variety of ways. Leading up to Rosh Hashanah, our students heard the shofar each morning. The highlight of this was definitely having eighth grader Elad blow the shofar for the entire school. This was something he practiced and worked toward, and we love that the whole school could support him. Our lower school students also had the opportunity to visit the "shofar factory" where they learned about how the shofar is made and even talked about why different shofars have different pitches. 
      Our holiday preparations also directly connected to our students' academic skill development. For example, the third and fourth graders read the novel  Sliding Into the New Year and reflected as they read. The students made their own  "teshuva boxes" just like the character in the book. 
     Students also spread joy throughout the community. Our second graders sang for the Joy Club, a gathering of senior citizens at the LJCC, and had the chance to develop relationships with the older members of our community. They even gave the seniors candy for a sweet new year! The fifth graders led shabbat for the ECLC three year olds (which they do weekly) and told the story of Jonah and the Whale which is read on Yom Kippur.  What an exciting and meaningful time at the NEMJDS!

Sounds Coming from the MakerSpace
       You might have heard all sorts of sounds coming from our MakerSpace. That is because students have been exploring sound. Students looked at how sound travels through different materials and how pitch changes as they conducted experiments with tuning forks, wood, nails, plastic, and more. Students also created their own model eardrum using plastic cups to learn about the vibrations in the ear. Since the entire school explored this unit, students had the chance to discuss their learning with friends of all ages. For example, older students made prototypes of harps which were available for other classes to test and see how tension, thickness, material, and more affect the pitch.
Preparing for the Eclipse: Reading, Writing, Animating, and Collaborating
         Throughout the week leading up to the eclipse, our students were busy animating, reading, writing, and engineering as they prepared! This approach was a cross-curricular STEAM approach. "STEAM uses science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics as access points for student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking." STEAM involves writing and reading across the curriculum, exploration and inquiry, collaboration, and technology.
         The third and fourth graders learned about mythology and wrote their own myths about natural phenomena. The fifth graders worked together in the MakerSpace to create and design their own props for their presentations teaching each other about the types of eclipses, and the seventh and eighth graders animated their own videos. Students also wrote poetry to reflect on the viewing experience.
        Finally, right before students viewed the eclipse in their NASA approved glasses (and compared the different phases of the eclipse), they learned about Rosh Chodesh (the beginning of the Jewish month) and explored the connections between the eclipse and the Jewish lunar calendar using Oreos to look at the phases of the moon.
Character Day: What The World Needs More of Is..
     In September,  the NEMJDS celebrated Character Day with thousands of others around the globe! Students started the day with the sounds of the shofar and a film. Grades two through eight watched a film called 30,000 Days that focused on how different cultures during different eras have adapted to their surroundings to make the world a better place. The underlying question of the film was "what do you want to contribute to the world," and throughout the day, the students discussed character in different capacities. For example, in Hebrew class, the second graders wrote their own biographies about their future aspirations. Throughout the day, the school worked on their own answers to "what the world needs more of is..."

Zoetropes for Red Ribbon Week
      Recently NEMJDS parent Amit Sherman worked on animation and design with our first through eighth graders. He talked to our students about animation and how the Zoetrope, an early animation device, is a precursor to what we have today. Our students made their own Zoetropes focusing  on consistency with  design. This was an opportunity for our students to meticulously plan and create step by step. We loved that our stud ents could use their hands, get creative, think through a plan, and design--all to create their own animation. 
      We extended this activity for Red Ribbon Week in the MakerSpace. Students in third  through  eighth grade created new animations for their zoetropes related to the effects of drugs and alcohol. This was in conjunction with the students' study of the brain. 
A New Take on Philanthropy, Social Justice, and Leadership in Upper School
       Our seventh and eighth graders have started a learning experience focused on philanthropy and service to the community as part of the Abroms Youth Philanthropy, Social Justice, and Leadership Initiative. We are using the American Jewish World Service's "Where Do You Give?" curriculum which challenges students to confront and discuss difficult questions about their privilege and the existence of extreme poverty and injustice.  This curriculum encourages our students to think about giving tzedakah in a thoughtful, responsible way while inspiring them to make a life-long commitment to caring for their community. 
      Students also will identify, through research and reflection, a non-profit organization they would like to support. Students will be fundraising throughout the year as a group to allocate funds to the chosen organizations later in the year. S tudents will use the skills they learned last year in the Better Together Names, Not NumbersĀ© project to create a short film to highlight their organization and the process of their service learning throughout the year.  

The Better Together Names, Not NumbersĀ© project, an interactive, multi-media Holocaust project created by educator Tova Fish Rosenberg, is generously supported by a prominent national foundation. This inter-generational program provided an opportunity for students to create an oral history documentary and learn about the Holocaust from survivors who experienced its horrors.
Save the Date for the NEMJDS Gala on January 28th!
Support Our 2017 Annual Campaign 

Other Ways To Support Our School 

Did you know that every box top collected brings in ten cents to the NEMJDS?
Click here  for the list of products with Box Tops and start clipping!

Click here and choose N.E. Miles Jewish Day School as the organization you'd like to support and a portion of your purchase will go straight to the school! 

When you shop at Publix and use a Publix Partners NEMJDS swipe card, our school earns a donation.  Please your swipe cards when you check out at Publix. If you need a swipe card, please stop by the school office. 

To Make a Donation:
Call Rebekah Weinberger, Director of Advancement at 879-1068 or
Sally Friedman, Birmingham Jewish Foundation at 803-1519.
To donate online, go to nemjds.org/giving.

Visit Our School

Interested in learning more about our program or touring our state-of-the art learning environment?  It would be our pleasure to give you a personalized tour!  Contact us.

About Our School
For over forty years, the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School has inspired learning for a lifetime. We are a community day school, and through our values-based education our students learn to be leaders both in our school community and the greater community. At the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School, our high academic standards, low student-to-teacher ratio, and individualized instruction create a love of learning and an environment of academic excellence where students reach their full potential. 

Learn more about what it means to be a part of our school family. 
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N.E. Miles Jewish Day School
4000 Montclair Road   Birmingham AL 35213
205/879.1068   nemjds.org