Teen Opportunities

GBJCL TELEM Jewish Day School Literacy Partnerships

Boston area Jewish Day schools participate in GBJCL in partnership with TELEM, JCRC’s teen service learning program. GBJCL and TELEM staff work with the day school in establishing a partnership with a local public school, where the day school students will volunteer reading one-on-one as reading buddies to younger students. We support these programs by providing literacy training for day school students and support throughout the year.

Who Participates?
• Day school students in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade. The day school designates which grade they would like to participate in the program.
• The students at the partner school are usually in grades 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.

Program Models:
• Day schools coordinate with their partner school to determine the best volunteering schedule
• TELEM offers a flexible program model with varying levels of commitment. Current programs volunteer with their partner school 8-10 times over the course of one semester, once a month, or once a week.

Extended Engagement Opportunities:
• Students at the day school can do a book drive for their bar or bat mitzvah service project to benefit their partner school. – insert link
• In between visits groups can exchange pen pal letters.
• Day school can host their reading buddies at their school for an end of the year celebration.

GBJCL and TELEM Bar and Bat Mitzvah Book Drive

GBJCL has designed multiple options for students to engage in a mitzvah project book drive for a local public school. GBJCL and synagogue staff will work with parents and students to design and tailor a program that is both realistic and meaningful for a student’s upcoming simcha. During this process, students will receive book list requests from partner schools and collect books for the school. For all book drives, JCRC can partner with synagogue staff to educate the participating student in service work and its impact. In addition to a book drive, students can also:

 Author VisitBoston Public Schools only

  • JCRC partners with Wondermore, a nonprofit that brings authors into the Boston Public Schools, in order to connect with the authors and provide curricular preparation for the teachers.
  • The book drive raises funds that enable Wondermore to purchase a copy of a book from the visiting author for the students to take home.
  • This project requires three school visits. This provides the opportunity for the mitzvah project student to get to know the public school students in order to help pick the right author to visit the school.

Pen Pal 

  • This project can be done in tandem with the book drive where students write letters to one another to get to know each other throughout the school year in preparation for the book drive.
  • This project offers optional school visits which would allow for students to meet in person.