As we conclude the third week of learning through a virtual environment, teachers and students have settled into this new and temporary learning platform. This is a new journey for all involved, and though some acclimated more easily than others, faculty, staff, students, and parents have opened their minds to learn new ways to teach and learn while keeping it engaging both academically and socially.

This week, staff members created a YCQ Family Fun Night with a trivia game show through and using an additional program, Kahoot. Questions were asked and posted, and, from the comfort of their own homes, families were able to log in and answer questions, game show style. Over 200 participants were involved, and it created an evening of excitement in what could become a collection of very tedious days.

In class, students continued to learn about Pesach and all the parts of the Haggadah, and out of class they participated in fun challenges like the #GettingReadyforPesach challenge, from the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), where students cleaned, organized, and vacuumed or swept their rooms to prepare for the upcoming chag; and in class 4-307, students learned about the ten Makos by designing and creating headbands. On Thursday night, the weekly Pre-Shabbos ruach had students joining in and singing songs about Pesach.

During the school year, YCQ students participate in a variety of chesed projects, with the JHS students visiting nursing homes and HASC programs, and helping to pack food and clothing. The chesed program teaches them tolerance and selflessness. To continue the program at home, students were asked to gather their families and create short video clips and email messages that were made into a video that gets sent to several area nursing homes. This project is especially imperative, now when so many elderly people are isolated in homes without any outside contact with family members. They are lonely and scared, and the videos and brief messages, according to the nursing home representatives, “really bring smiles to their faces.” In class 3-210, and the fifth graders, learned about the importance of questions about chesed and the importance of showing gratitude, students were asked to write letters to their mail carriers and trash collectors, thanking them for their hard work and posting them on their mailboxes or trash cans.

Each staff member at YCQ has gone over and above to make a scary and uncertain time a bit more bearable; so to show hakaras ha’tov for the work that is done by not only head teachers, but also associate teachers, specialty teachers, administrators, members of the IT department, office staff, and custodial staff, the PTO and board organized, ordered, and delivered Thursday night pre-Shabbos meals to each of the staff families to help make this time a little easier and to just say Thank You.

May we continue to daven to Hashem that this plague is speedily eradicated, and that our families and communities are fully restored – and that our family and friends and all of klal Yisrael remain healthy and united through this challenging time in our lives.