To do a job well, one must have the proper tools. A carpenter, as an example, might need a specific saw for the type of wood they are about to cut. A photographer might need a different lens to capture a landscape image. Educators need the most up-to-date information and methods to teach and prepare their students.
For the educators at Toras Chaim, there was a pressing realization that they lacked the proper tools. Administrators looked to improve the curriculum and resources for students and staff. The focus quickly centered on the school’s textbooks, which were old and outdated.
“The textbooks that Toras Chaim were using were more than 10 years old,” said Andie Pollock, Assistant Principal at Toras Chaim. “The math books especially did not match the current trends in teaching math. More recently, math has moved away from the skill and drill to have the students truly understand the why and how of math skills.”
The Tidewater Jewish Foundation’s Community Impact Grant of $11,500 helped Toras Chaim purchase new textbooks for their curriculum. In addition to new math textbooks, Toras Chaim ordered new literature and life science books for middle school and phonics books for kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade.
“The TJF Community Grant made it possible for us to order across the board in several subjects,” said Pollock. “We were able to fill in the gaps in several areas, rather than have just one grade get started at a time.”
“Education is one of the cornerstones of the Jewish community in Tidewater,” said Naomi Limor Sedek, President and CEO of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation. “TJF is honored to help institutions like Toras Chaim improve their curriculum for their students, many of whom will be future leaders in our community and the world.”
The new textbooks helped Toras Chaim get their curriculum back on track. Students had phonics lessons in their workbooks and science textbooks had a wonderful Jewish twist.
“When learning about the intricacies and amazement of the cell, we are reminded of all the Hashem has created,” said Pollock.