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If you wish to fill your heart with contentment and pride, listen to our children these days talk about the importance of bringing light into the lives of children in Guatemala as part of our School's Light Up Literacy campaign. In one of the 6th Grade classrooms, students were discussing Hanukkah and making analogies between literacy and light. One student said, "Just like light illuminates our life, reading illuminates our minds." Another student shared his love of reading and said, "Reading is like the light at the end of the tunnel." A third student said, "Light wakes up the world just like books wake up a child's mind. Books and light are very important because without them, we wouldn't be able to have a full life."
Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School has always taken a leading role in social justice actions. We are defined not only by our high academic standards, our nurturing environment, but also by our commitment to the highest ideals and values of Judaism. We teach our children from a young age in Kindergarten to 6th Grade that we are partners with God in making this world a better place and that we are our global brothers' and sisters' keepers.
This week, as the students happily walked in and out of the Book Fair, we are doubly joyed to see that our children are like the Shamash on the Hanukkiyah. They have so much light of their own that they provide light to others. We are deeply grateful to you for supporting the Light Up Literacy campaign, and our deadline for giving is Wednesday, December 12. Linda Smith, the Founder of Reading Village, will be here on Friday, December 14, and will join us at our Hanukkah Service in the Sanctuary. We will present her with our gift to take back to rural Guatemala so that our efforts can shed light on the darkness of illiteracy.
So this Hanukkah, as we gather around the table, light the candles, sing the blessings, and watch our children enjoy the warmth of the candlelight, we will be reminded of the warmth of the Wise spirit of giving.
Wishing you and your families a Happy Hanukkah,
Director of Hebrew/Judaic Studies