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BYDS Strong Day 2019 | BY DiscoveryScape

On Thursday, August 29, 2019, Beth Yeshurun Day School celebrated its 2nd Annual BYDS Strong Day to commemorate the strength and growth of our community. This year we hosted the celebration in our new expansive outdoor education space that enhances both our Early Childhood and Elementary curricula. The celebration kicked off with a warm welcome announcing the official name of the Outdoor Education space: Beth Yeshurun DiscoveryScape.

Our benefactors performed a ceremonial ribbon-cutting opening the entire DiscoveryScape and the Water Discovery Zone before officially turning on the waters. With wide eyes and bright smiles, 250 children and their families began to explore their space. There were bounce houses on the Early Childhood playground for children of all ages to enjoy. The Bellaire Nature Discovery Center presented a nature show with live animals and plants in our new amphitheater under the welcomed shade of a tall tree. Students sat on wooden log benches and tiny tree stumps to watch the exhibit in awe. We couldn’t have ordered better weather! Students splashed and played in the Water Discovery with their friends and happy onlookers seeking a few cool drops to fall their way on the partly cloudy August afternoon.

“Bing Bong” tones from the outdoor marimba resonated around the space working as an ensemble with the accompaniment of the outdoor flower instruments. And no party would be complete without giant bubbles! DJ Mikey Mike energized the playground with a bubble party, kid-friendly music, and an enriching game of hula hooping! Finally, toward the end of the celebration, our very own Mrs. Finkelman (3rd – 5th STEAM teacher) led the children in a gardening activity in our refurbished garden beds. We invited all students and their families to “START growing HERE” and plant a seed in our new garden space. We are all excited to see our school and our community flourish with innovative spaces like this on our campus.

More about the Beth Yeshurun DiscoveryScape:
Jennifer LeVine, BYDS’ new Head of School, had a vision when she arrived at BYDS last year to repurpose the space into an education center for all BYDS grades to enjoy. The space includes designated areas for STEAM, community, water play, music, art, drama, and more. According to Mrs. LeVine, “It’s not just a playground. It’s a way to extend the inside curriculum to the outside environment, including art, math, science – all subjects. It’s 21st-century learning. As educators, we know everyone learns differently.

Learning outside is a trending topic among educational researchers who believe it is necessary for children to spend more time outdoors to increase their imagination, critical thinking skills, and focus.

“I will understand problem-solving, self-exploration, decision making, number relationships, structures, complex vocabulary, healthy living, cause and effect, creativity, imaginative thinking and my natural world when I am bigger, because I play and learn outside today.” – Unknown

This space has been planned to include a variety of learning media. These areas each have their own educational purpose in our curricula: Artists Alley, Water Discovery, Climb and Balance, STEAM, Melodies & Make Believe, and an Amphitheater.

Thank you to our main sponsors:

Lead Benefactors:
Karen and Buster Freedman
Esther and Doug Freedman
Barbara Winthrop and Jay Steinfeld

Water Discovery generously sponsored by:
The Feldman Family

Thank you also to the following people who have supported this school-wide initiative:
Elizabeth & Ed Berzin
Taryn & Dan Braun
Barbara & Rob Brounes
Randi & Donald Capone
Faye & Jason Casell
Jennifer & Allen Deutsch
Russell Diamond
Hayley Feldman
Jaffray & Chris Getz
Courtney & Eric Haas
Julia & Stephen Jacobson
Sari & Chris Kronzer
Andrea & Shay Kuperman
Amy & Marshall Lerman
Jennifer & Joel LeVine
Zahava & Joshua Levy
Ronit & James Mele
Laurie & Ross Pickei
Rita Roosth
Jennifer & Adam Rosenfeld
Louise & Stewart Rosenthal
Nancy & Michael Rosenthal
Elizabeth & Scott Rubinsky
Virginia & Timothy Shepherd
Sarah & Ariel Sholklapper
Lisa & Brian Silver
Jordana Slawin
Melanie & Dan Spelkin
Lindsy & Ryan Steinberg
Liba & Todd Stern
Gail & Gary Swartz
Sarah & Hershel Swartz
Rachel & Jesse Teichman
Diane & Evan Weinberger
Bonnie Winograd
Amanda & Keith Wolf

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