Yeshivat Kol Yaakov is connecting with local seniors in the Grand Rehabilitation & Nursing at Great Neck. Classes are visiting seniors every three to four weeks to do a “Read with Me” activity that has younger students joining hands with seniors as they read either a selection or a book together. Last week, for Veterans Day, Miss Abdolazadeh had her class write “thank you letters” to veterans, which they then read aloud and delivered to the veteran residents at Grand Rehabilitation & Nursing. The veterans received their thank you letters with heartfelt thanks after the students’ presentation. Boys then split into groups and joined smaller groups of residents to read and discuss an excerpt from the novel they’re reading as a class: Because of Winn Dixie. Kol Yaakov boys asked the seniors what they thought of the dog in the novel and if they agreed with the main character’s choice to take him home.

Morah Bracha Katz’ first grade class also visited seniors for a “Dr. Seuss read” where they paired and shared with residents, many of whom offered praise and encouragement for their reading initiative. One resident asked boys lots of questions as they read, to make sure they understood the book, and another commented on how funny the book was. All seniors loved being read to by first graders and enjoyed being needed to provide encouragement and even some reading help at times. It was a beautiful example of chesed reciprocity, where both parties give and receive.

Yeshivat Kol Yaakov thanks Mrs. Sheila Cassidy, Grand Rehabilitation & Nursing’s Recreation Director, for partnering with us to help our boys share their love of reading and bring joy to seniors at the same time.

 By Shoshanna