Strelitz International Academy Mitzvah Club Shines at Beach Clean-Up: A Day of Service and Fun

Quinn M., Calanit W. and Grayce B. pose with their beautiful chalk art before the beach clean-up.

By Ally St. Pierre, Admissions and Marketing Manager

The sun shone brightly as students and families from the Strelitz International Academy Mitzvah Club gathered at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront for a beach clean-up event that blended service with fun on Sunday, June 2, 2024. The day began with laughter and joy as children played with bubbles and created colorful chalk art on the boardwalk, setting a vibrant tone for the community effort ahead.

Strelitz International Academy Families gather together after a successful day of cleaning the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

Lillian Mae B. before the beach clean-up with her drawing representing the SIA Mitzvah Club.

Lillian Mae B. before the beach clean-up with her drawing representing the SIA Mitzvah Club.

Strelitz International Academy Families gather together after a successful day of cleaning the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

 

Armed with gloves, trash bags, and a strong sense of purpose, the volunteers spread out across the beach to pick up litter. The initiative, which took place on a beautiful Sunday morning, was not only about cleaning up the environment but also about embodying the Jewish value of “Tikkun Olam” — the concept of repairing the world.

Throughout the morning, participants collected bags full of trash, including plastic bottles, food packaging, and other debris. The dedication of the volunteers turned the usually crowded beach into a cleaner, more inviting space for everyone to enjoy.

After the clean-up, the group took a well-deserved break, enjoying a peaceful moment of relaxation on the now pristine beach. The event ended on a high note, with participants feeling a deep sense of accomplishment and community spirit.

This beach clean-up is just one of the many impactful activities organized by the SIA Mitzvah Club throughout the year. The club has been a beacon of kindness and generosity, engaging in several projects that have made a significant difference in the community. Highlights of the past year include:

  • Donating 24 honey jars and heartfelt cards to homebound seniors for Rosh Hashanah, bringing sweetness and joy to those who might otherwise feel isolated during the holiday.
  • Contributing approximately 500 bottles of water to the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center, helping to provide essential hydration to those in need.
  • Collecting and donating 100 winter coats, ensuring that many could stay warm during the colder months.
  • Gathering and distributing 300 books to REACH, promoting literacy and the love of reading among children.
  • Raising and donating $268 to the Benjamin Goldberg Foundation, supporting important causes and research.

The SIA Mitzvah Club’s commitment to service and community reflects the core Jewish value of “Gemilut Chasadim” — acts of loving-kindness. Through their various projects, members of the club demonstrate that even small acts of kindness can have a big impact. 

As the sun set on the day’s activities, there was a palpable sense of fulfillment among the participants. The beach clean-up not only made the oceanfront a cleaner place but also reinforced the importance of community service and the power of collective action. The Mitzvah Club’s efforts remind us all that when we come together with a shared purpose, we can make the world a better place for everyone. 

Strelitz International Academy is Tidewater’s Community Jewish Day School serving infants through grade 5.  To learn more about the school schedule a visit.

IB® PYP Schools in the Virginia Beach Area: What Sets Them Apart

Teacher teaching the computer to students are in the

Remember that wide-eyed wonder your child had when they were little? The constant stream of “why” questions, the insatiable curiosity about the world around them? As parents, we cherish those moments, knowing that natural curiosity is the spark that ignites a lifelong love of learning.

Fast forward a few years. Is that spark still burning brightly? Or has the traditional school system, with its emphasis on rote memorization and standardized tests, unintentionally dampened that flame?

If you’re looking for an IB® elementary school near you that will nurture your child’s natural curiosity and help them blossom into a confident, lifelong learner, then look no further than Strelitz International Academy, the only IB® elementary school in Virginia Beach.

As a parent, we understand that you want the best education for your child. Virginia Beach offers a wealth of choices — but when it comes to igniting a passion for learning and empowering your child to become an independent thinker and problem-solver, SIA stands out as a leader.

What truly sets us apart, though? It all boils down to our exceptional International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) curriculum

Inquiry-Based Learning Approach

IB® PYP program framework goes beyond traditional methods to ignite a passion for learning that lasts a lifetime. It focuses on five key Approaches to Learning (ATL):

  • Thinking Skills: Critical analysis, problem-solving, and decision-making become second nature.
  • Communication Skills: Students confidently express themselves and collaborate effectively.
  • Social Skills: Building strong relationships and fostering empathy are at the core.
  • Self-Management Skills: Developing organization, time management, and a strong work ethic.
  • Research Skills: Knowing how to find, analyze, and use information effectively.

Why is this approach so powerful? 

Unlike rote memorization, inquiry-based learning allows students to take ownership of their education. They become active participants, asking questions, conducting research, and collaborating with peers. This fosters a deep understanding of concepts and a love of learning that goes far beyond the classroom.

Developing the Child Beyond Grades

At SIA, one of the only IB® PYP schools in Virginia Beach, we believe in nurturing the whole child. The IB® PYP program provides the framework to:

Promote Student Agency

Imagine a classroom where your child isn’t simply lectured to but actively participates in shaping their learning journey. This is the essence of student agency. At SIA, we encourage students to:

  • Ask questions: Curiosity is the cornerstone of learning. We create a safe space for students to ask questions, explore different ideas, and develop their own unique voices.
  • Set learning goals: Working with teachers, students set achievable learning goals relevant to their interests and aspirations. This fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility for their education.
  • Choose learning activities: Students have choices in how they approach their learning. Whether through research projects, group discussions, or creative presentations, they can explore topics that resonate with them.

Mold Lifelong Learners

The knowledge, skills, and attitudes your child acquires in elementary school will serve them for years to come. The IB® PYP program equips students from first grade through fifth grade with a strong foundation for continued success through the five Approaches to Learning (ATL) and an undying passion for learning about the world around them.

Connect Learning to the Real World

Learning shouldn’t be confined to textbooks. At SIA, we go beyond traditional subjects and incorporate globally significant themes that connect learning to real-world issues. These themes, such as who we are, where we are in place and time, how we express ourselves, how the world works, and how we can make a difference, encourage students to think critically about the world and develop a sense of global citizenship. We also integrate technology and cultural learning opportunities to inspire our students to celebrate diversity and thrive in a globalized world.

Cultivate Passionate Educators

Our teachers are the heart and soul of SIA and among the very best in Virginia Beach, VA, elementary schools. We understand that passionate and dedicated educators are key to unlocking a child’s full potential. That’s why we invest heavily in professional development, ensuring our teachers are:

  • Experts in the IB® PYP framework: Our teachers receive ongoing training in the IB® PYP philosophy and best practices.
  • Lifelong learners: Our faculty is committed to continuous learning and staying ahead of the latest educational research and best practices.
  • Passionate about fostering a love of learning: Our teachers are not just educators; they’re facilitators and mentors who create a stimulating and supportive learning environment where children can thrive.

Haven’t We All Dreamed of a School Like This?

Looking for a faith-based IB® elementary school near you

SIA is proud to be a Jewish day school, offering a warm, welcoming environment that integrates Jewish values with a world-class education.

At SIA, we believe in nurturing the whole child, fostering a love of learning, and empowering them to become well-rounded individuals. Isn’t that what we all dream of for our children?

Contact SIA today and schedule a visit to see how SIA can ignite a passion for learning in your child. Call us at 757-424-4327 or email at astpierre@strelitzacademy.org for a learning journey unlike any other.

Three Reasons Why Strelitz International Academy Is the Best Choice for Your First Grader

A girl is writing on a paper in school

Picking the right school for your little one is a massive step. It’s not just about the building or the books; it’s about setting the tone for their whole learning adventure. If you’re in Virginia Beach, near Norfolk or Chesapeake, and thinking about where to start that adventure, Strelitz International Academy (SIA) is your answer. Here’s why it’s a top pick for families with first graders:

1. We are the only International Baccalaureate® (IB®) school in the area.

A girl showing her writing on the paper

A common question we hear from parents is, “What age should you start in 1st grade?” At SIA, we traditionally see children entering first grade around six or seven, ensuring they are developmentally ready to engage with the challenging and enriching International Baccalaureate® Primary Years Programme (IB® PYP). As the only IB® World School in the area, SIA offers a charming beginning to your child’s education right from infancy. We provide a nurturing, safe environment focusing on sensory activities, storytime, and interactive play, blending care with early learning perfectly.

As part of the IB® Way, our certified teachers prioritize each child’s natural curiosity, guiding them through hands-on activities that make learning exciting and meaningful. From the start, SIA children are engaged in a curriculum that includes language arts, science, math, and more, all while being infused with Jewish cultural values and Hebrew language learning. But it doesn’t stop there – music, art, and P.E. contribute to a well-rounded development.

Our program in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk encourages children to see themselves as competent learners and valuable members of a caring community. Enrollment is open to families of all faiths, and our graduates are known for smoothly transitioning into either top independent schools or continuing their IB® education, fully prepared for the challenges of a fast-paced world. SIA is the sole provider of this internationally recognized framework for first graders in the Primary Years Program (PYP), making us a unique and forward-thinking choice for your child’s education.

2. We use renowned curriculums like the Suzuki Method.

Just as parents guide their child’s first words, they actively participate in their musical journey as part of their 1st-grade learning objectives at Strelitz International Academy. Attending lessons together and acting as “home teachers” during the week creates a supportive environment. You might even learn to play alongside your child, understanding their progress firsthand.

The early years in our Suzuki Violin Program are like fertile soil for growing skills. While formal training can start around age three or four, listening to music should begin at birth. Familiarity with pieces from the Suzuki repertoire ensures that your child recognizes them instantly. Like learning new words, constant repetition is key. Children don’t discard words—they incorporate them into their vocabulary. Similarly, our PYP Suzuki students build their musical repertoire gradually, mastering each step.

Just as sincere praise motivates language development, it fuels musical progress. Each child learns at their own pace, celebrating small achievements. Encouraging a supportive atmosphere among peers fosters generosity and cooperation. Beyond private lessons, group sessions allow children to learn from and inspire each other. These shared experiences enhance their musical journey.

Suzuki’s pieces present technical challenges within the context of music itself. It’s like using language for communication rather than dry grammar exercises. And just as children learn to talk before reading, Suzuki students develop basic technical competence before diving into sheet music. Hear more about the Suzuki method and other topics on education, student advocacy, and parental challenges with S.I.A.: The Podcast!

3. Our classrooms set first graders up for growth.

Strelitz International Academy is designed to enrich and inspire first graders at every corner.  That’s why our classrooms are designed to feel like a second home, filled with natural light and equipped with child-friendly amenities like bathrooms and sinks. Our indoor and outdoor play areas offer safe spaces for children to engage in physical activities and socialize, both essential for motor skill development and forging friendships.

Learning goes beyond the basics as part of SIA’s goals for first graders. With a curriculum that includes music, library visits, and physical education, we ensure our students receive a holistic education. Additional facilities like the Cooking Center & Outdoor Learning Garden and a state-of-the-art technology program with Chromebooks, ActiveBoards, and coding and robotics clubs ignite creativity and promote critical thinking.

From the advanced science program starting in kindergarten to global learning opportunities through field trips, virtual experiences, and community service, we prepare our first graders to grow into curious, confident, and compassionate learners.

Call us and Schedule a visit today and discover why SIA is the best choice for your child’s growth and success.

Third-Grade Scientists Take on Oil Spills

Allena Anglen and her third-grade class are attempting to clean up a simulated oil spill using disposable pipettes.

At Strelitz International Academy, our students become International Baccalaureate® learners as early as six weeks old. A huge part of an IB® education is the IB® Learner Profile Traits. These profile traits include being principled, open-minded, an inquirer, blanched, caring, a thinker, a communicator, a risk-taker, knowledgeable, and reflective. Our young scholars embrace the IB® Learner Profile traits in everything they do. On Tuesday, November 21, 2023, third-grade students in Mrs. Allena Anglen’s class put on their science hats, wore their safety goggles, and demonstrated the traits of being an inquirer, risk-taker, knowledgeable, thinker, and reflective in their oil spill-themed lab.

To start this engaging lesson, the third graders gathered around as Mrs. Anglen read two stories. The first story was a realistic fiction about the 1989 Prince William Sound spill titled Prince William by Gloria Rand, and the other book was a nonfiction text titled Deepwater Horizon by Nikole Brooks Bethea about the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The students also looked at before and after images of bodies of water affected by oil spills, and this encouraged our students to reflect on how these spills affect not only the oceans but life both inside and outside of them.

Next, it was time for our thinkers to become scientists. Mrs. Anglen tasked the students to test different ways to clean up an oil spill. Using pipe cleaners to represent the animals in the oil-filled water, students tested different ways to clean up the oil. The materials they could use to get rid of the oil included a spoon, a fork, yarn, nylon stockings, cotton balls, and disposable pipettes. Unfortunately, our students realized that the pipe cleaner animals did not survive. The third graders also determined that preventing oil spills was the best way to clean the oceans.

Throughout this process, Strelitz students learned that scientists sometimes fail, but that is the best way to learn and grow from past experiences! To wrap up the lab, Mrs. Anglen asked her class, “How do we take this knowledge and move forward?” This question is not just relevant to the oil spill lab but also to any tasks her students may face in the future!

The Strelitz International Academy is the community’s Jewish Day School and International Baccalaureate® World School for infants through grade 5. For more information, contact Ally St. Pierre, Admissions and Marketing Manager, at 757-424-4327, ext. 4188, and Schedule a visit or astpierre@strelitzacademy.org.

Importance of Primary Education for Your Child’s Development

Importance of Primary Education

Primary education is a fundamental stepping stone in your child’s development. It’s the phase where the foundation for lifelong learning and skills is established. Above and beyond the ABCs and 123s, it’s about cultivating curiosity, fostering a love for knowledge, and shaping their personality.

The Need A Final Word From Strelitz International Academy and Importance of Primary Education

Primary education is important in early childhood development because it shapes their moral, social, and communication skills. It instills virtues like honesty and empathy, enabling children to differentiate between right and wrong. Socially, kids learn to respect diverse opinions through interactions and nurturing collaboration. Primary education enhances communication and reading skills, vital for self-expression and understanding written content, as seen in the best private elementary schools in Chesapeake. It also boosts children’s confidence by encouraging participation in activities, paving the way for well-rounded individuals.

Core Curriculum Areas

  • Language Arts: At primary schools, Language Arts is not just about learning to read; it’s about fostering a love for literature in young minds. The best affordable private schools in Norfolk provide a robust teaching framework that stimulates the curiosity of young readers and expands their horizons.
  • Math: Mathematics at the primary level emphasizes developing problem-solving skills and competency. At IB® World Schools, numbers aren’t everything— they encourage children to understand, reason, and apply their mathematical knowledge in real-world situations.
  • Social Studies: This subject helps children understand society’s workings, appreciate cultural diversity, learn about history and geography, and become responsible citizens.
  • Science: STEM projects ignite a sense of wonder in children, encouraging them to ask questions and seek answers about the natural world and its phenomena.

Additional Curriculum Areas

  • Technology: In today’s digital age, integrating technology into the curriculum is important in primary schools to foster digital literacy and innovative thinking.
  • Coding and Robotics: An introduction to coding and robotics at a young age prepares children for the future, stimulating logical thinking and problem-solving skills in a fun, engaging manner.
  • Music: A music program’s academic and artistic aspects play a vital role in cognitive development and emotional expression. The best affordable private schools in Virginia Beach offer a comprehensive music program that fosters creativity and helps children develop a deep appreciation for the arts.
  • Athletics/Physical Education: Developing a love for physical activity helps your child stay fit and healthy. According to the CDC, it should be a daily part of their life. Primary schools focus on cultivating this appreciation by integrating fun physical activities like relay races, obstacle courses, and more into their curriculum.
  • Art: Visual arts serve as a creative outlet for students. Learning to appreciate and create art inspires imagination, creativity, and a deeper understanding of human experiences.

Cultural and Religious Education

  • Hebrew: Immersion in Israeli culture and language teaches students a new language and gives them insights into a different culture. It broadens their perspective and encourages appreciation for diversity.
  • Jewish Life and Learning: Celebrating Jewish holidays, learning about the Torah (Bible), and understanding Jewish history are integral to the curriculum at these schools. It instills a strong sense of identity in the students and teaches them the values and traditions of Jewish life.

A Final Word From Strelitz International Academy

At Strelitz International Academy, we deeply understand that primary education is more than just basic learning—it’s about nurturing well-rounded, empathetic, and dynamic individuals who will shape the world of the future. We invite you to book a tour and see where our future leaders are born. Schedule a visit today!

Who We Are Today in the Primary Years General Studies?

Children in Elementary School

The story of Who We Are in Primary Years General Studies at Strelitz International Academy is truly an interesting one. From Multiple Intelligences and Understanding by Design to Inquiry, our general studies curriculum has always been designed to educate our students as individual active learners based on the research of best educational practices. During our journey to discover Who We Are over the last decade, our young scholars have had the opportunity to participate in our Innovation Celebrations and Tiger Games. Caine’s Arcade inspired students to create their own. One year, they raced boats made from recycled items and cardboard boxes across the JCC pool. In other years, students designed marble runs and Rube Goldberg machines. With the individual learner at the forefront, our international baccalaureate curriculum model shifted to Project Based Learning. Student engagement continued to exceed expectations and was evident when grade levels collaborated to create an outdoor learning space.

IB PYP Programme

Today, Strelitz International Academy boasts of being the first IB® Primary Years Program in Hampton Roads. The Primary Years general studies at SIA refer to the core subjects of mathematics, language arts, and social sciences, along with specialties in music and art, physical education, library, and technology taught in our kindergarten through 5th-grade classes. The learning environment we have constructed naturally lends itself to the core values of our school and the IB® Learner Profile Traits. Our general studies curriculum is designed to nurture holistic development in young learners and can be expanded as we grow as an IB® PYP World School. Our course objectives promote inquiry-based learning, where our young scholars explore, question, and construct their understanding of the world around them. It encourages critical thinking, creativity, and student agency (self-awareness and independence). Inquiry in an IB® PYP World School is not just a teaching method; it’s a way of thinking and acting while developing international-mindedness and using foundational skills for real-world problem-solving and discovery.

Primary Years General Studies

Our students thrive in our transdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning. General studies teachers of core subjects and specialties also collaborate with Judaics Studies and Hebrew teachers to bring meaningful learning experiences into the classroom. Our students extend their understanding of single-subject objectives through activities in their Units of Inquiry, hands-on discovery, community outreach, our STEM Olympics, and our PYP Exhibition.

Walking into one of our general studies classrooms, you will see students researching, creating, and exploring broad concepts with a global lens. SIA teachers are facilitators of learning and encourage student curiosity while ensuring they have foundations in core subject areas. Our accomplished faculty respects the individual learning styles of all our scholars and helps them discover who they are as they become confident in their interests and skills.

To learn more about how we mold the next generation of international learners, contact us about our IB Early Years curriculum, Primary Years Program, and more! 
   

Understanding the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP)

IB school

At Strelitz International Academy, we take great pride in being an International Baccalaureate (IB®) World School for the Primary Years Programme (PYP). As an IB® World School and one of the best affordable private schools in Norfolk VA, we are committed to providing a challenging and inclusive educational experience that empowers our diverse students to become lifelong learners. Read on to learn the key aspects of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme and its significance in shaping well-rounded individuals.

Promoting Student Agency through Inquiry-Based Learning

At the heart of the IB® PYP is an inquiry-based approach to learning. We strongly believe that students learn best when actively engaged in the education process and are free to explore their curiosities. By nurturing student agency, we encourage our young learners to take ownership of their education and pursue knowledge both inside and outside the classroom. This approach allows learners to thrive, fostering critical thinking skills and a genuine passion for academia.

Developing the Whole Child

The IB® PYP is built upon a holistic framework that goes beyond academic excellence. It focuses on evolving the whole child—encompassing advanced knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes, and actions. The ultimate goal is to instill in students the qualities that make them well-rounded individuals, like openmindedness, empathy, principled behavior, and strong values. By strengthening these attributes, we aim to shape responsible global citizens who contribute positively to society.

Transdisciplinary Themes for Deeper Learning

As a core focus, the IB® PYP incorporates globally significant transdisciplinary themes to guide deeper learning. These themes, such as “Who We Are,” “How the World Works,” and “Sharing the Planet,” enable students to connect different subjects with real-world issues. This interdisciplinary approach allows students to understand the interconnectedness of knowledge and develop a more comprehensive knowledge of the world around them.

Passionate and Dedicated Educators

Our educators are the key communicators in delivering the IB® PYP properly and effectively. They collaborate to provide an integrated learning model across all disciplines, creating a curriculum based on students’ experiences and interests. To ensure the highest quality of education, our faculty participates in professional development and extensive IB training, inspiring them to innovate new learning methods that ignite students’ curiosity and action.

Global Connections and Inspiring Engagement

The IB® PYP is synonymous with global connectedness—pushing us to translate the best practices in the classroom. We encourage students to engage with communities beyond their immediate surroundings, morphing a newfound sense of global awareness and empathy. This exposure enriches their learning experiences and prepares them to be active and kind citizens in an interconnected world.

Parent and Community Involvement

We can’t elevate our students without their parents’ help. The effects of the IB® PYP reach far past the classroom walls, fusing with our students’ everyday lives. We value parent support and welcome their active involvement in their child’s education. That way, students can further learn how their lessons reflect daily life.
Community experts are invited to share their knowledge and experiences with our students, building meaningful connections between the school and the broader community. With invaluable support from parents and the community, our students can be confident as they find their place in the world.

Empowering Students to Take Action

Our IB® primary school knows that there are only results with action. The IB® Programme empowers students to be active citizens within local and global communities by participating in various activities that make a positive impact. From community service initiatives to environmental conservation projects, our students’ experiences both enrich their education and ignite a sense of responsibility to be empathetic to others.
Looking for an “IB® elementary school near me?” Send your child to a school that sets them up for success. Tour Strelitz International Academy today.

Strelitz International Academy Fifth Graders Give Back

Fifth-grade student Yael Haas presents her research on Tzedakah.

By Rashi Brashevitzky

The intersection of learning and action is a beautiful place.

Research, learning, and action were all displayed at SIA’s Fifth Grade Exhibition on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. As an IB® World School, the fifth graders document their learning, research, and action, presenting it at the Primary Years Programme Exhibition.

Using Chumash (Torah text study) and science as a springboard, the fifth graders jumped into the study of Tzedakah (charity) and food insecurity—forming inquiries into how to help hungry people in Hampton Roads.

The fifth graders began their journey by conversing with a community member who grew up food insecure. After hearing about this person’s experience, the students met with another community expert who discussed the different ways they could demonstrate the teachings of Tzedakah. From there, the students jumped into action.

Putting their science lessons to good use, the fifth graders visited the garden at the Fred Heutte Center in Norfolk. They learned about the garden and how they grow thousands of pounds of produce, which they donate to the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia. The class helped the master gardeners with weeding and planting. Students harvested some of the produce to take back to school to prepare Thanksgiving dishes for a Jewish Family Services family.

Students continued their study of Tzedakah and food insecurity, looking for more ways to help the local community. When studying the different food blessings, they donated a chopped salad for the ForKids in South Norfolk organization. Also, the fifth graders delivered the salads and toured the ForKids family shelter. After learning about the great need to feed families and the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables, they felt inspired to do even more!

The fifth graders created a slideshow about food deserts, food insecurity, and ForKids, and presented it to students in Early Years 4 to fourth grade. The SIA community then donated fresh fruits and vegetables to the Produce Drive. ForKids was very grateful when the fifth graders dropped off more than 650 pieces of fresh produce!

Being on a shared campus with Jewish Family Services, the fifth graders were eager to help while close to home. They met with Debbie Mayer and Jody Laibstain and learned about the food pantry program, offering their help.

The fifth graders have visited the food pantry numerous times throughout the school year to help sort through donations and stock shelves, as well as to help food pantry customers shop. They also noted which items were running low and organized a food and supply drive to encourage classes to each bring a different type of food or supply. The food drive buckets were filled to the top more than once! The fifth-grade class also took donor funds given to JFS and shopped for two cartfuls of food, paper goods, and hygiene products.

As the end of the school year neared, these students wished to help out one more time. They held a lemonade and bake sale, raising over $500 in just one day! The money raised was used to purchase bread, peanut butter, jelly, bananas, and potato chips for needy people.

At the Fifth Grade Exhibition, the students presented posters on their research and learning and shared their journey with Primary Years students, parents, and visitors. After visiting the different presentations, participants were invited to help make lunches for people in need. Each class had a different job in the process. The result? One hundred lunches were made and donated to Ghent Area Ministry for the many people they serve.

Fifth-grade student Yael Haas presents her research on Tzedakah.

Fifth-grade student Yael Haas presents her research on Tzedakah.
Fifth grade student Adielle Uduaghan with ForKids chef Teresa Licato.

Fifth grade student Adielle Uduaghan with ForKids chef Teresa Licato.
First grade students Gianna Eaglin and Elijah Perry participate in making bagged lunches for Ghent Area Ministry.

First grade students Gianna Eaglin and Elijah Perry participate in making bagged lunches for Ghent Area Ministry.

Indeed, the intersection of learning and action is a beautiful place.

The Strelitz International Academy is the community’s Jewish Day School and International Baccalaureate® World School for infants through grade 5. For more information, contact Ally St. Pierre, Admissions and Marketing Manager, at 757-424-4327, ext. 4188, or astpierre@strelitzacademy.org. or Schedule a visit!

The Pasta-Bilities are Endless in Kindergarten!

The Pasta Bilities are Endless in Kindergarten!

By Ally St. Pierre, Admissions and Marketing Manager

Setting goals and acquiring new skills is the heart of Kindergarten at Strelitz International Academy, the best kindergarten school in Virginia Beach. This year each student in Mrs. Baker’s Kindergarten class set a goal they sought to accomplish with the help of their class community. These goals included baking a Barbie cake, making and launching rockets, and even doing bike tricks on a ramp. Each student reflected on the process of completing their goals, including how and what they needed to get from start to finish. On Friday, May 5th, 2023, students in Mrs. Baker’s kindergarten class helped their classmate Meirav accomplish her goal of making homemade tortellini.

Step One: Roll the Dough

Step One Roll the Dough for Pasta Bilities

The students started by rolling dough. They observed that the ball of dough looked like a lemon at first. Each student took turns rolling the dough. They then stated what they thought the rolled dough resembled. “It looks like a stretchy lemon!” one student exclaimed. Another added, “It looks like a small pizza!” The pizza observation left students wondering, “What if you put tortellini on pizza?” The students were reflecting and thinking about what that might taste like. 

Step Two: Cut the Dough

Cut the Dough for Pasta BilitiesStep Two Cut the Dough for Pasta Bilities

The next step was to cut the dough. The students used cups to make circle-shaped tortellini and knives to make square ones. This required students to activate their prior knowledge of shapes. “It looks like a moon!” a student suggested while pushing the round cup into the dough. Once finished, Mrs. Baker gave each student a fork with ricotta cheese. One student disliked cheese and hesitated to try it on his pasta. Mrs. Baker challenged him to be a risk taker, an important value in the IB® approach. The student demonstrated risk-taking by using cheese in his tortellini. 

Step Three: Check the Cheese

Check the Cheese in Pasta BilitiesStep Three Check the Cheese in Pasta-Bilities

The students even related the activity to their Judaic studies. Mrs. Baker explained that when she went to the grocery store to buy the ingredients, she verified everything was kosher. Mrs. Baker explained that the ricotta cheese she purchased had the letter U in a circle, meaning it was kosher. Additionally, Mrs. Baker told her students that she could not buy the parmesan cheese, as she learned there was a meat product mixed with the cheese, and eating meat and dairy together is not kosher. 

Step Four: Eat!

Eat Pasta BilitiesStep Four Eat Pasta Bilities

After working hard, it was finally time to eat the homemade tortellini. The students were so proud of what they had made. The best part was that all the students collaborated to help Meirav accomplish her goal! It was tortelly awesome!

The Strelitz International Academy is the community’s Jewish Day School and International Baccalaureate® World School for infants through grade 5. For more information on the best kindergarten school, contact Ally St. Pierre, Admissions and Marketing Manager, at 757-424-4327, ext. 4188, or astpierre@strelitzacademy.org.

SIA’s Evening of the Arts: How We Express Ourselves

Students performing SIA’s Evening of the Arts program

On Thursday, March 24, a packed house of Strelitz International Academy parents watched their children perform on stage, many for the first time! After two years of Covid mitigations, including no family programs or performances, SIA’s Evening of the Arts: How We Express Ourselves was everything our families have been anticipating. The proud parents were smiling from ear to ear, some even cried tears of joy.

“Originally scheduled for February 17, we decided to postpone the show to March in the hopes that Covid cases would go down, and we could plan for an in person student showcase. Parents have been longing for in person events, and we wanted to give our students the spotlight to show off all that they have been learning,” explains Janet Jenkins, Director of the Primary Years Program.

The evening kicked off with a Strings Performance showcasing SIA’s xylo-strings ensemble which included SIA violinists, cellists and percussionists. Students at SIA begin violin lessons in kindergarten and have the opportunity to add percussion instruments in second grade. The students were so excited to show off their new skills!

This was also the first Evening of the Arts since the school’s rebranding as the Strelitz International Academy. The show was a wonderful celebration of all the unique aspects of the school.

The program opened with the EY4 Classes singing, “One Small Voice” sharing the power that we have in changing the world. Other songs included Kindergarten’s Thankful Song, Second Grade’s Lean on Me, Third Grade’s ABC and First Grade’s It’s a Small World After All celebrating SIA’s international representation and emphasis on Global Learning.

Fourth Grade performed the prayers Adon Olam and Oseh Shalom in Hebrew while Fifth Grade students illuminated themselves – creatively dressed in black and lined with Glow Sticks and danced to Mi’Shenichnas Adar, a traditional Purim Song.

All 120 students got up on stage to perform the Finale – Oseh Shalom and Salaam which was followed by a reception in the Cardo.

Heather Moore, Head of School is so proud of SIA’s students and faculty members, “Everyone worked together to produce such a wonderful spring show in a relatively short amount of time. The students brought to life SIA’s Evening of the Arts in a way that perfectly combined their learning of the Fine Arts, Global Mindedness and Jewish culture.”

The Fine Arts are an important part of the curriculum at the Strelitz International Academy. Students begin learning violin in kindergarten. In second grade, students have the option of switching to percussion or cello.

In addition, all students take a weekly art and music class. In art class, students learn about artists, popular art techniques and art appreciation. Music lessons focus on rhythm, beat, and reading music. Many SIA students continue their music studies in middle school after graduating from SIA.

The Strelitz International Academy is the community’s Jewish Day School and authorized International Baccalaureate® program for Infants through Grade 5. SIA is currently enrolling for the 2022-2023 school year.

To find out more and schedule a campus tour, please call 757-424-4327.

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