JAO dedicates student-inspired Kindness Garden


The Jewish Academy of Orlando dedicated its new Kindness Garden on Friday, May 17.  The garden, which is a segment of the campus playground, was created by the 2019 graduating class and funded by a grant that incorporates fine arts into the school's Judaic Studies program.

Jewish Academy of Orlando fifth graders were asked to use synectics, a problem-solving technique that promotes creative thinking, to solve a school problem by utilizing the power of art.  Students chose to work on promoting a culture of kindness that ensures that all members of the JAO community act with utmost respect for their peers, teachers, and the greater community.

The Gan Shel Chesed will be a permanent legacy left by fifth graders and is both an artistic and natural garden with words and messages of Chesed (Kindness). Filled with ceramic and natural flowers, stepping stones with positive messages, a mensch bench, and an olive tree to represent peace, the garden is a beautiful place for students to relax and build friendships.

Head of School Alan Rusonik said, "We always encourage our children to, as Gandhi said, 'be the change you want to see in the world.' We are extremely proud of our fifth graders who are leaving this legacy of kindness to better our community and world."

Jewish Academy of Orlando serves Central Florida students of all faiths from grades kindergarten through fifth. The school delivers a whole-child education fostering academic excellence and character education rooted in Jewish values. Jewish Academy of Orlando is accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools. Beginning in fall of 2019, the school will offer a transitional kindergarten.

To learn more about Jewish Academy of Orlando, please visit: jewishacademyorlando.org or follow the school on Facebook facebook.com/JewishAcademyOrlando.


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