By Ellen Walters, Director, Learning Initiatives in Early Childhood Education


We are so excited to be part of a new initiative from PJ Library.  PJ Goes to School, a program for early childhood centers nationally, is expanding to complementary (supplementary religious) schools.  As part of a pilot in only three communities throughout the country, Jewish Learning Venture and PJ Goes to School are working with six local schools to bring a new dimension of learning to the primary grades through PJ Goes to School 2. 

The six schools – Adath IsraelBeth Am Israel, Congregation Beth El-Ner Tamid, Makom CommunityMishkan Shalom, and Temple Sholom in Broomall are participating in ongoing training with professional resource materials and specially chosen books.  The theme of the books is Shmita, the Sabbatical Year.  Four stories will be presented during the months of January through May, each featuring Jewish values.  The materials are used to enrich the curriculum and to spark meaningful Jewish conversations in class and also at home.  

Because this is an experimental program, directors, teachers and parents will provide feedback that will affect the rollout of the program to a larger national audience.  Educators from the schools participating in PJ Goes to School 2 will be attending a training tomorrow with Lisa Litman, National Director of PJ Goes to School, to learn how to create new connections and new learning in their classrooms and beyond.