A Celebration across Generations: The Second Annual Grandparents’ and Friends’ Lunch and Learn

Today we had the pleasure of welcoming 95 Gann grandparents and special friends to our campus for the second annual Grandparents’ and Visitors’ Lunch & Learn event.
The morning began with an opening from Grandparent Committee Co-chairs, Harriet & Stuart Sherman, who thanked our grandparent community for their involvement and support of Gann. Frank Tipton, Assistant Head of School, greeted the group and shared Gann’s educational philosophy including the bold and innovative curriculum and programming and the value of inter-generational learning.

Aaron Butler ’17 and Eitan Galper ’17 brought Gann to life for the crowd, speaking about how they have been able to find their passions and voices at Gann. “Our teachers encourage everyone to pursue what they are passionate about, guiding us to succeed in whatever we set our mind to.  It is because of our dedicated teachers and the environment that they set up that we are given the chance to become unique people and well-educated young adults in both secular and Jewish realms,” said Butler. Both students credited their grandparents with instilling in them a strong sense of self and commitment to the Jewish people.

Gann grandparents were then able to get a sampling of what our students experience every day in the classroom.  Lily Rabinoff-Goldman, English Department Chair, gave an overview of an exciting oral history project her US History students completed last spring. Lily taught the group about the power of oral history and how each grandparent can be an opportunity for their grandchild to explore living history.  

The second session was offered by Mark Wilkins, Science Department Chair, who gave an overview of how the Gann curriculum brings chemistry to life for our students by focusing a unit on water.  Water is a critical element of our everyday lives and Mark demonstrated how he teaches our students to understand the environmental, social, and chemical elements of water.  Mark is leading an innovative project this year with our sister school Ironi Hey in Haifa, Israel.  10th graders at Gann and Ironi Hey are doing similar water experiments and will collaborate together on this curriculum when our 10th graders are in Israel this spring.  

Rabbi Sara Meirowitz, Assistant Dean of the Jewish Education, closed out the program by teaching a text from Pirkei Avot (Wisdom of our Fathers) and using this ancient text to shed light on how Gann faculty educate and focus on each individual learner.  Rabbi Meirowitz closed her session by blowing the shofar, a traditional practice in the month of Elul, the Hebrew month preceding Rosh Hashanah.

Head of School Rabbi Marc Baker closed the program along with a wonderful performance by the ShenaniGanns. It was a fantastic event and guests enjoyed a meaningful lunch with their grandchildren. Thank you to the Gann grandparent community for their support and we look forward to Grandparents and Friends Day on Thursday, April 6, 2017!
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