Every morning Akiva students, Sarah and Chloe Elman, have a very special way to start their school day. Their grandparents, Margo and Harvey, who live down the street from Akiva School, meet their grandchildren outside the school and walk them to their classrooms – every single day of the week. The girls are in grade 4 and grade 1 and Harvey and Margo have been doing this morning greeting together now for five years.
“In the beginning, the kids were a little timid to go into their classrooms, so we were walking them into school for their benefit” said Harvey. “Now they are so excited to go to school. We still keep up the tradition of walking them into school – but now it’s more for us.”
“Both of us didn’t have the opportunity to have these moments with our grandparents,” said Margo. “We love having this precious time with our grandchildren and hope it will be special memories for them later in life.”
After living abroad for a number of years, Harvey and Margo came back to Montreal in 1976 to raise their children and be near their families. When it came time to choose an elementary school for the grandchildren, they were thrilled when their son and daughter-in-law chose Akiva School – a Jewish elementary school so close to their home.
“We encouraged our children to consider a Jewish school because we felt it was so important to get a solid foundation of Jewish values in the elementary school years,” said Harvey. “We are thrilled with Akiva School and love seeing the kids that we once carpooled when they were small, now as parents at the school. That’s what Jewish continuity and community are all about.”
“Jewish education and being involved in our grandchildren’s learning are important to us,” said Margo. “I will always remember when Sarah was in kindergarten and the teachers asked her to draw a picture about “What Shabbat means to you”. She drew a picture of herself and Chloe sitting at my dining room table for Friday night dinner and that’s when I knew that I was doing my job right.”