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At the Bnos Malka Academy, we value the experience of each and every student – whether in the school building, at home, or in virtual reality. The 7th and 8th grade students were scheduled to have their Philadelphia and Washington trips last week – a little inconvenience like lockdown was not going to prevent them from having fun! On Sunday, May 17, the students came to Bnos Malka to pick up boxes that were prepared with all of the supplies necessary for their “trips.”

The 7th grade had their virtual Philadelphia trip on Wednesday, May 20. The trip was launched with a baking competition, where students were put in teams and had to create items needed to survive on a deserted island. The girls were joined by judges who listened to their presentations and declared winners. Next, they went on a virtual tour where they viewed and learned about The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the US Mint. To end the tour, they watched a message from Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky that is so applicable to our times. After the virtual tour, they had a talent show, engaged in a silly creature and creative fort challenge, which were again viewed by guest judges. The next activity was making Wampum Bracelets and Slime. To end off the amazing day, the girls had a kumsitz with hot cocoa and marshmallows.

The 8th grade had their virtual trip to Washington, DC, on Wednesday and Thursday, May 20-21. The trip was launched with opening their boxes and putting on a t-shirt, created specifically for the trip! Next, they played a “pack your bag game,” had an annoying song on the bus competition, and enjoyed a virtual tour of the Herr’s Factory. Students then were visited by Congresswoman Grace Meng, who shared a relevant and meaningful message. Pictionary was next, followed by Cupcake Wars part I, and an “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” game. The evening ended with a movie and popcorn. The movie “The Heart That Sings” by Robin Garbose, really touched the students. Thursday morning began with Cupcake Wars part II. Students were challenged to design their cupcakes to create the best graduation trip ever. Judges arrived for the amazing presentations! Next, the students enjoyed a virtual tour of DC, visiting the White House, the Capitol, Ford’s Theater, Arlington Cemetery, and a few of the Memorials. Students then were put into breakout rooms and had to work as a team to Escape the Room. Next they created headbands and enjoyed games titled “Get it Wrong” and Taboo. The evening ended with a Paint Night and Kumsitz.

Although the students and teachers are physically far apart, their hearts feel close, their feelings united. The trip was enjoyed by all, and brought a smile and cheer to the faces of the Bnos Malka students.