Thursday, December 13, 2007

My First Day of School

Today was my first day volunteering at a local Sderot elementary school. And boy was it fun to be back in second grade!

As usual, the kids were quite fond of me.

First thing in the morning, we attended a one-man interactive play regarding safety pre-cautions when crossing the street.
In the middle of the show, which took place in a bomb shelter, "Tzevah Adom" sounded, and ten kids - with their teacher- bolted into the room for cover, interupting the production.
It was no biggie, however - running for their lives - the usual in Sderot.

Following the play was recess. My best subject growing up.

Look at Shlomi do his dance for the camera - this deserves to be shown around the world.

About five minutes later though, another "Tzevah Adom" sounded. We were all outside- everyone bolted for the shelter. I got some of it on camera, which a few kids were not pleased with.

This craziness is everyday for them - I understood and turned the camera off.

And right after the rocket alert, Hebrew grammar!
I even got my own notebook. I was the best in the class - I guess my Jewish education gave me something after all.

Many students didn't come to school today. I thought it was because Chanuka break just ended, and some kids were still on vacation. Nope - rather because of the "Tzevah Adoms" that sounded early this morning.

Parents are scared to send their kids to school. In this one class, pictured, seven kids were absent. Look at the whole right side - empty.
Also, the school cannot use many of its classrooms because they are not protected from the rocket fire. They use the former computer room as a classroom, the teachers room as a classroom and a bomb shelter as two classrooms.

Because there isn't enough space, the school uses some of the unprotected classrooms for small group sessions. They do this because, supposedly, six students and a teacher can run outside of the classroom in 15 seconds to a secure location when "Tzeva Adom" sounds.

What is really unfortunate is the room used by the school psychologist to do relaxation
exercises is not protected. Approximately 80% of Sderot suffers from anxiety due to the constant threat of Qassam rockets, and the school psychologist's resources are incredibly limited. Shame Shame.

With all the dangers of simply going to school, I had a really fun time.

Just showing up to hang out with these kids will probably be one of the greatest thing I will ever do with my life. Many of the kids and teachers did not understand why someone from Los Angeles would come to Sderot. I don't understand why more people don't come.
The Jewish people are under siege in Sderot. This place is the only town in the world constantly being bombarded by rockets.
We need to support the people of Sderot, now more than ever. At 20 years old, this is my way of doing it - by hanging out with the kids, writing about my experiences, w0rking at the Media Center and by dodging rockets. In doing so, maybe some people will finally see the dire situation down here, and want to help the citizens, and most importantly, the children of Sderot.

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