| Jr. Feature |

Dear Students

What seven people in your school want you to know about the new school year

Dear Students,

I work in the school kitchen and I’m looking forward to a new year! Here are some things you might not know about your school kitchen staff.

When we make the food, we want everyone to like it. Obviously, everyone is coming from different homes and used to different kinds of food and cooking styles, so it’s inevitable that some kids won’t love the food. But we do our best. Remember, no cook is ever making food they want kids not to enjoy! Maybe if you knew how much we wanted you to like the food, it would help you have a better attitude.

I’m going to share a personal story with you. Due to a medical condition I have, I can’t eat any food at all. I get “food” directly into my body through an IV inserted in my vein. Appreciate that you can eat! Enjoy the taste of the food.

Since I can no longer enjoy the food I prepare, I work with food only as a mitzvah. It’s a chesed to prepare food other people can enjoy, to help them get strong and healthy.

Only Bnei Yisrael can take something physical, like food, and turn it into ruchniyus. When you thank Hashem that you can eat and when you make a brachah, you’re making ordinary food into something kadosh.

Once, my father-in-law had to go to the hospital on Simchas Torah. Baruch Hashem he was fine, but I found myself stuck in the hospital in the middle of the night over Yom Tov. There was a chesed organization there preparing big meals for everyone, and I offered to help them.

One of the patients there was a 13-year-old boy with cancer. I asked if I could get him anything. The boy said he really wanted schnitzel and french fries. I managed to find a piece of chicken breast in the fridge and made him the schnitzel. Another volunteer got him fries.

Later that day, I heard that the boy’s mother was looking for me. When I found her, she started crying. She told me her son had been niftar. She wanted to thank me that she had been able to give her son the last thing he had asked for. It’s an amazing thought that with a simple piece of chicken, we can make people happy and give them so much.

Wishing you a nourishing year in ruchniyus and gashmiyus.

Moshe Landesman,

School Cook

Dear Students,

AS a teacher, I know that the most important thing for you to remember is that your teacher cares about you and is there to help you. She wants you to have a wonderful year of learning and growing.

Some other practical things you can do to give yourself a productive year:

It’s hard to switch overnight from a summer schedule to a school-year routine — especially when it comes to bedtime. A week before your first day of school, try to start going to sleep a little earlier each night to get your body used to waking up on time for school. A good night’s sleep will keep you rested and refreshed for a day of learning and playing all year long.

Be open to making new friends. There may be a new kid in your class, or someone you already know but haven’t been friends with. People change and grow over the summer.

Teachers really care what you have to say, but can’t always call on everyone in class. If you didn’t get a chance to share what you wanted to, leave a note on your teacher’s desk during recess or with your homework.

Your new teacher is excited to get to know you and hoping to have an amazing year together, and your previous teachers remember you and care about you. You can turn to them if you have any problems or questions in your life.

Wishing you brachah and hatzlachah for the new year,

Morah Lieberstein


Dear Children,

I’M so excited for you to begin another new school year. There is so much for you to learn and so far for you to go!

I remember when I was in school. I didn’t always love school and I thought I would be so happy when I finished school forever. Now that I’m an adult, I wish I could sit in the classroom and learn about so many interesting things; Chumash and Navi, history and science — there’s so much to know!

Even though you’re spending your day with so many other children, remember that Hashem put you in this world to do a job that no one else can do. Out of all the children in school, not even one of them can replace you — so try your hardest to be the best YOU that you can be!

Your classmates and teachers are also each one of a kind and can’t be replaced, so try to learn from everyone and be as nice as you can be.

I’ll be davening for you to have a great day.




Dear Students,

Your bus driver may not ever enter your school building, but he plays an important role in your school experience.

There are many different bus drivers. Some are stricter than others, but it’s important to realize that the bus rules are for your safety. I know a student who stood on her seat while the bus was driving and fell and needed stitches. So make sure to follow the rules.

The driver may ask you to be quiet so he can concentrate on driving safely, or so he can learn a new route.

A lot of buses have a CD player and if you bring a story or music CD, it can help the ride pass faster, and help everyone stay quiet and not bother the driver.

Some buses don’t have air-conditioning. If you leave a water bottle in your freezer overnight, you can take it with you in the morning, and when it’s time for the hot ride home, the water will be freezing cold and refreshing.

Occasionally, your bus may be late or miss your stop. Call the school or bus company and politely let them know. They’re really trying to get it right. Be patient while they work it out.

Even though the bus has a sign out to stop traffic, don’t cross without looking carefully. Most cars do stop for the sign, but not all of them do.

Remember that many drivers have multiple routes. Your driver may start driving early in the morning, drive for a couple of hours, and then do it again in the afternoon. The drivers do their best to be nice, but it’s a hard job. Say thank you.

There’s a shortage of drivers right now. Six thousand kids in the Lakewood area alone don’t have bussing. If you’re nice to your driver and make a kiddush Hashem, it will be easier to get more drivers.

Rabbi Yanky Robinson,
Executive Director, Nachlas Beis Yaakov


Hi to those kids who want to start out fresh!

When I was in school, I was always the one who took notes for anyone who was absent. Back then, we didn’t have photocopy machines like we do now. I put a piece of carbon paper between two pages while I took notes. I wrote on the top page, and the pressure of my pen on the carbon paper created a copy on the bottom page. I had nice handwriting and was very meticulous, so everyone wanted my notes. When I grew up and became an organizer, no one was surprised.

Being organized can help you have a successful year. Here are a few things I recommend:

Have a set place to do your homework and keep all your supplies there.

Prepare your snacks and drinks the night before.

Make sure to have your homework and notes signed the night before.

Prepare your clothes the night before. I recommend having your clothes hung. This helps you see everything and keeps it neat. Have a set place to leave your shoes.

Go to sleep on time.

I know a girl who was so prepared she woke up very early to get ready for school. She went outside and waited for the bus, but realized it was still very dark and quiet. She went back inside and realized she’d woken up too early — it was four o’clock in the morning. So be prepared, but don’t start getting ready for school at four a.m.! Waking up an hour before your bus should give you enough time to have a smooth and stress-free morning. If you do that, you will never miss your bus again!

Wishing you an organized and successful school year,

Suri Brecher,
Home Organizer


Dear Students,

Welcome to school! Here in the office, we’re happy to see you. You might not know this, but one of the main reasons we’re here is to help you!

If you can’t find your classroom or you need something, we’re here to help you. If we see a child crying, we want to know what’s wrong so we can try to fix it.

Most children come into the office to get copies for their teacher or if they’re late to school, but we also get A LOT of children coming to the office to say they don’t feel well. If you really don’t feel well every day, you should talk to your parents about it. If you come to the office when you feel okay but you’re a little bit bored, so you say you’re not feeling well, then we may not take you seriously when you really don’t feel well. We’ll feel very bad when we find out you really had fever, but it’s hard to believe a child if they come in so often when they’re not sick.

You may not realize that we know you! When a child comes into the office and we know their name — they always seem so surprised. But, yes, just like your teachers, we know your name. We also know where you live, who your parents are, and your phone number.

We couldn’t do our jobs without the phone and the photocopy machine — but we also really enjoy your smile to get us through the day!

Your School Secretary


Dear Talmidim,

When I was a kid, I remember being nervous before the first day of school. A lot of kids are – it’s TOTALLY normal. Once, a student of mine was so nervous, his father called me before school to tell me. When I met his son, he did look quite anxious. I spoke to him and did the best I could to make him feel comfortable.

When Chanukah came around, I asked him how he was feeling. He felt totally fine and laughed when he remembered how nervous he’d been at the beginning of the year. He couldn’t remember why he’d been so nervous!

Maybe you’re looking around and thinking the other boys don’t look nervous. I’ll let you in on a little secret — a bunch of them are nervous too! Your father was probably nervous before his first day of school. Beginnings make everyone nervous — even adults. But it will pass — before you know it, you’ll also look back and wonder why you felt that way.

You trust your parents, right? When they send you to school, they choose a place that they’re sure is going to look out for you. Maybe the rebbi has to be strict in the beginning of the year, but he’s doing that so you’ll have a good year. Your rebbi goes home and thinks about you and what he can do to make school better for you.

Imagine a big company that does lots of deliveries. They have all sorts of vehicles — tractor trailers and smaller trucks, cars and motorcycles.

One day the tractor trailer comes to the boss and says he’s done — he’s not driving anymore. It’s not fair — he’s so much slower than the other vehicles. He’s on the road for long hours, while the motorcycle can just zip around weaving through cars.

The boss says, “Are you kidding? Each vehicle has a different purpose. The motorcycle is for very quick, small deliveries. You drive very slowly in comparison — but your flatbed is FULL of deliveries. You have totally different jobs — you can’t compare!”

This is true in school too. You should never get discouraged if you look around and see that other kids are moving faster than you are. You have different jobs in this world and you have the kochos that you need for your job. Don’t stop! As long as you keep your foot on the gas, your rebbi and your parents and Hashem are proud of you.

Wishing you a great year,

Rabbi Samuels


Can you imagine being pranked by the government? In 2015 the Canadian government announced they were changing the calendar to year-round school, no summer vacation — but it was just a prank for April Fool’s Day!

Glue sticks were invented when someone noticed the convenience of lipstick and decided to try it with glue too!

In Denmark, people stay in school forever — one third of all adults in Denmark are taking educational courses.

In Los Pinos, Colombia, there’s a rain forest between the village and the school, so kids travel to school on a zip line!

North Americans think of summer break as June to September, but in the Southern Hemisphere, summer break is December to February!

Crayola has produced more than 200 different colored crayons.

The Hebrew word for stapler is shadchan. (Next time you staple some papers, don’t forget to wish them mazel tov!)


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 926)

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