Bnos Menachem School has a school wide project to improve understanding of the davening and improve kavanah. This initiative, spearheaded by school directors Rabbi Motty Gurary and Rabbi Yosef Simpson is activated through a multitude of ways.
There are stories, parables and niggunim that teach the basic Pirush Hamilos and the full concept of the Tefilah. Booklets, which cover small sections of the davening, are reviewed to maximize the appreciation of our daily tefillos.
Songs have been introduced to transmit the knowledge in an enjoyable and enduring way. Studies have shown that singing material is a superior method of retention.
Through constant review and repetition, these important lessons eventually become familiar to the students and they master them, just as they mastered the Alef Bais.
Each department has organized a specific written and oral quiz system and rewards to encourage interest and participation in this program.
For example: In the Junior High School there is a quiz at the end of each segment. Students scoring a 90 or over, have their names entered into a raffle for a terrific jewelry prize. Those with scores of 95 and over are given a raffle ticket and a keychain. A beautiful bead is added to the chain, upon scoring a 95 or over in the Tefilla quiz. Finally, those scoring 98 or over, are rewarded with, a raffle entry, a keychain bead and a trip to 770 to daven and hear an inspiring speaker.
On each floor of the school there are display cases in the hallways, filled with gleaming jewelry, which are the raffle prizes. There is one raffle drawn in every class, so there are multiple winners for each Tefilla segment.
Ultimately, the goal is to have all students fully comprehend the Tefillos, so even when they are out of school, they will have established a strong connection Hashem via the tefillos which they will say throughout all of life’s twists and turns, while being fully cognizant of what they are saying.