Leah Solomon, spelling bee champ

What a week it was as we went “Around the World” of books during Shulamith Middle Division’s Literacy Week celebration!

On Monday, Literacy Week heads Tamar Pilevsky, Elana Reichmann, Bayla Rothschild, and Aliza Zilberberg had students laughing and learning with “The Greatest Game Show,” an educational experience during which contestants had to answer questions such as, “Who founded the first library in America?” and “Name the four characters who helped Dorothy in the classic novel The Wizard of Oz.” Everyone had a rollicking good time trying to keep up with the fast-paced, fun-filled flurry of facts.

First-place poetry slam winner Yael Schick

Later in the week, the intrepid eighth-grade leaders also led classroom activities for each grade. In “Advertise It!” the fifth-graders had to look at unusual objects and create advertisements for them, while the sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders designed book covers based on brief summaries of yet-to-be-published novels in an activity called “Illustrate It!”

One part of Literacy Week that all students enjoy is the annual spelling bee. In the seventh- and eighth-grade division, eighth-grader Leah Solomon emerged as the spelling bee champ, with seventh-grader Temimah Stern taking second place. In the fifth- and sixth-grade bee, three students battled it out for first place. After multiple rounds of spelling increasingly difficult words, it was decided that sixth-graders Chaya Furst, Chaya Gluck, and Meital Bhatia were equally deserving of first-place honors.

On Thursday, a record number of students presented their poems in the Poetry Slam, an event that was first held five years ago and has since become a perennial favorite among students and faculty alike. Fifth-grader Yael Schick took first place for her poem called “Home.” Additional winners were sixth-grader Mia Kaplowitz, who wrote “Trip Around the World,” and co-authors Leah Solomon and Hannah Zucker for their poem “A Mixed Up World.”

The week concluded with Friday’s dress-up day, during which students wore costumes to honor the literary contributions of countries around the world. The fifth-graders donned Chinese-themed costumes to honor the invention of paper during the Han Dynasty; the sixth-graders paid homage to Egypt for their use of papyrus and hieroglyphics; seventh-graders were Americans in tribute to the Library of Congress, which is home to 32 million catalogued books and other print materials in 470 languages; and the eighth-graders happily dressed as Israelis, since we Jews are the “People of the Book.”

What a way to end a whirlwind week of wordplay and wonder at written works!

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