Yesterday, for the second time in a dozen years, the Aseh Chayil School of Efrat has been honored as one of the top schools in the country. The honor itself is a tremendous mark of distinction, and to be cited twice is very rare.
President of the State of Israel Shimon Peres and Minister of Education Gidon Sa'ar congratulated Aseh Chayil Principal Mrs. Miriam Vangrover, Rav Bet HaSefer HaRav Aharon Falk, teaching staff, parents committee, pupils and their families for this unique achievement. All of Efrat joins in their joy. Mazel tov to Mayor Oded Revivi and Education Director Tali Cohen on this tremendous occasion.
HaRav Falk told Voices that the school was honored on several fronts. Firstly, it was praised for its "integration of olim (new immigrants) from Western countries, and for its fostering the acclimation of special needs children, as well."
Rav Falk noted the school's "exceptional investment" in developing a personal relationship with its student families that address their broad educational, social and family needs. The elementary school was recognized for its developing unique programs that enable each child to experience success and achieve his maximum.
In a time when violence in schools is one of society's worries, Aseh Chayil was acknowledged for cultivating an upbeat and calm educational atmosphere that has influenced the positive behavior of its pupils. The Ministry of Education noted the school's emphasis on derech eretz and mutual respect, and its plethora of social programs aimed at teaching and elevating social values and achieving educational goals.
The Ministry of Education also congratulated Aseh Chayil for fostering a positive dialogue with parents and the community at large. Its innovative programs, like the Cheder Tanach, which incorporates art into learning Bible studies, and its special programs on the Holocaust, especially the "Million and a half Button" project in memory of the children murdered in the Holocaust.
Rav Falk added that more Aseh Chayil programs were lauded, including the Musical Mishnayot of Pirkey Avot, "Chavruta learning" between fifth and second graders, as well as fourth and first graders in an experiential way, plus the very popular "Veshenantam Levanecha" parent-child after-school project.
As children today spend more time inside with their computers and modern technology, Aseh Chayil was applauded for its petting zoo, which allows all its pupils to reconnect with nature, and especially, which serves as a therapeutic environment for special-needs children.
Also honored yesterday were schools in Ashdod, Rishon L'Tzion, Baka El Garbia, Kiryat Ono, Yavne, Maalot, Netanya, Kibbutz Shoval in the Negev, Herzelia and Kfar Majar.
( Photos by Yisrael Weiss. http://artframe)