By Tzivos Hashem
Project TEAM (short for Torah Approach to Emotional Awareness and Middos) made quite an impression at the Kinus Hashluchos this year.
After making its debut, dozens of applications were submitted by preschools around the globe for the opportunity to pilot the new curriculum by Tzivos Hashem.
Project TEAM is a proactive approach to middos and social-skills training for every child. As the Previous Rebbe points out in klalei chinuch v’hadracha, middos can either improve, deteriorate, or remain stagnant if not properly exercised. Rather than waiting for negative traits to emerge and become habit, TEAM aims to strengthen each child by helping them develop and refine themselves to be able to make positive choices with strength of character.
This program was written and developed over a span of five years by Morah Sima Susskind of Morristown, NJ.
The 30-lesson curriculum consists of an engaging puppet show script, interactive activities and more, that gives children insight into their emotional world, providing them with the tools necessary to build strong friendships and to make good choices.
This week, Project TEAM announces the twelve preschools that were chosen to implement the program this coming fall. The selected schools are working in partnership with Project TEAM to crystallize the program which will become available to more schools in the following year (Click here to join the waiting list.)
The twelve schools chosen for the pilot span from large to small in size and from religious to secular in scope. Adina Altein of Winnipeg, who directs a preschool in central Canada, is among the list of schools to pilot the program.
“What appeals to me about Project TEAM is that it accommodates the diverse group of students that we cater to. I’m really excited to have a hands-on, fun program to teach proper middos that is based on the principles of Torah and chassidus,” she says.
The series covers a wealth of core lessons including safety, self-regulation, patience and respect, all the while instilling within the children a love for Hashem. (watch video )
After its remarkable success in schools across New Jersey, Project TEAM will be offered in these twelve schools in phase II of its pilot. Besides the thirty lessons, this year’s pilot will include teacher training and new assessment reports called I-TAP which was developed in conjunction with early childhood social workers.
I-TAP is a new approach to assessment and growth, training teachers to identify problems and relate to the individual struggles the students are going through. Mrs. Susskind explains, “It’s not just about teachers managing children, rather it’s about helping kids manage themselves with the lifelong tools Project TEAM provides. The curriculum should bring about a shift in mentality among both students and teachers.”
Chana Lipskar is the director of a large and successful orthodox Montessori preschool in Miami, The Child Enrichment Center.
“Parents send their children here because of our reputation in having a top-of-the-line program. We pride ourselves in being cutting edge and providing the latest in education. We are excited to have a Torah-sourced approach to teaching social skills, which is why Project TEAM is the perfect add-on to our program.”
Visit the Project TEAM website to see an outline of the complete program and sign up for the waiting list. A limited number of schools will be selected for the 5775 school year and will be considered on a first come basis. Project TEAM is the first early childhood social-emotional middos curriculum based on Torah principles. It is designed to be offered in both frum and secular schools, with editable files to bridge the gap. Whether to further bolster a school’s already thriving social-emotional/middos program, or to inject a wave of positive energy where there is an obvious need, Project TEAM will have a great impact. Hebrew schools may inquire.
LIST OF SCHOOLS FOR 5774 PILOT:
Lubavitch on the Palisades School – Tenafly, NJ
Ganeinu International School – Beijing, China
Maccabi Academy – Lake Park, FL
Cheder Menachem – Wilkes-Barre, PA
Samuel Scheck Hillel Community Day School – Miami Beach, FL
Gan Chamesh – Cedarhurst, NY
Cheder OY”Y Lubavitch – Oak Park, MI
The Shul’s Child Enrichment Center – Surfside, FL
Chabad Torah Tots – Winnipeg, MB
The Jewish Academy – E. Northport, NY
Chabad Gan of Greenwich Preschool – Greenwich, CT
Mazal Day School – Brooklyn, NY