Every parent has felt that gut-wrenching tug on their child’s first day at school, with the nagging anxiety, “Will my child be happy?”
We love our children whether they score A’s or B’s, whether they smell of talcum powder or tuna fish, whether they’re shy or outgoing.
Reality is, they don’t spend the majority of their waking hours within the cocoon of parental love. They spend most of their days at the mercy of friends, teachers, and principals. They spend the bulk of their time in an environment that can either suppress creativity, or provide the soil for its optimum growth; give credence to fears, or encourage love for life’s possibilities; rein in enthusiasm, or give outlet for passions.
Darchai Menachem is a school dedicated to revealing the best qualities in every child, with education as a means rather than an end.
No child is a number, a cog in a revolving mass of educational machinery.
The principal is in tune with every child, knows his name, appreciates his uniqueness.
At Darchai Menachem, teachers recognize that Mendel’s irritability is due to skipped breakfast or a tension-filled morning at home, and respond with compassion, not criticism.
At Darchai Menachem, the teacher welcomes Moishy’s clever questions, utilizes Yossi’s wit to enhance the lessons, and takes measures to bring Yaakov out of his shell and form solid friendships.
For years parents and educators discussed the growing needs of the Crown Heights community that were forcing parents to look outside the neighborhood for their children’s schooling. Rabbi Shlomo Lakein turned the talk and took action.
In 2001 in the Empire Shtieble and the principal’s living room, they began to provide a small school setting, which offered quality education targeting the individual needs of each student. Committed to fostering honesty, integrity and self-confidence to bring out the Frumkeit, ehrlichkeit, and chassidishkeit in each boy, they recruited a caring, professional staff. Using innovative teaching methods and positive, love-and-logic discipline systems to model appropriate behaviors, their goal was to create a warm, happy learning environment for each boy.
Whether a boy is “average,” gifted, or struggles with cognitive, behavioral, emotional, or social challenges, Darchai Menachem provides a combination of whole class, small group, and individualized instruction designed to maximize each child’s unique potential. There is no danger of a student getting lost in the shuffle at Darchai Menachem. Every boy, regardless of his ability, has a chance to shine, whether in Judaic classes, secular studies, sports, mivtzaim, or any of the many extracurricular activities and programs the school offers. Children with learning challenges are also afforded the opportunity to study in an environment that encourages integration and inclusion alongside their typical peers throughout the school day with an academic program that aligns with each students needs and stresses real world application.
With the recognition that chinuch al taharas hakodesh means incorporating torah, middos, and chassidishkeit in every activity or lesson, Judaic or secular, academic or extracurricular, Darchai Menachem has already impacted countless children, giving them an unprecedented love for learning, respect for teachers, combined with a zeal and feel for Torah, mitzvos, and Chassidus.
It’s a no-brainer that is true for adults and children alike. When we’re happy, we’re healthier, more productive, eager, sociable, and successful. And since children spend the majority of their waking hours in school, the goal at Darchai Menachem is for every child to be happy in this unique learning environment that turns students into more than just scholars.
This year, as we kindle the lights of Chanukah, we will commemorate our eight years of bringing light to the children in our community with an eight-day Chinese Auction.
So this Chanukah, on this holiday that celebrates the value of the strong Torah education Darchai Menachem provides, celebrate with gifts of gelt that will help us continue to make learning a positive experience for every one of our students.
This Chanukah, help us realize our goals of educating our students to be lamplighters, neiros lehair.
Support Darchai Menachem Order tickets at www.DarchaiMenachem.com orders can be placed online till 2 hours prior to each drawing.