ELCJHL – BEIT SAHOUR/JERUSALEM, 21 May 2012 – After almost a full school year of preparation, students representing all four ELCJHL Schools gathered in early May for a full-day Educational Fair.

The day began with opening speeches from Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan, bishop of the ELCJHL and Dr. Charlie Haddad, Director of Education for the ELCJHL, as well as greetings from students and teachers of our ELCJHL Schools.

Throughout the day, students from our ELCJHL Schools also provided entertainment, showcasing their talents in music, writing, and speech.

The Educational Fair included four different events, each geared at different age groups, including: Little Champions Team Event, the Arabic Language Forum, the English Language Bowl, and the Informational Marathon.

The events, as well as the long and careful preparations, were planned in order to build upon the learning abilities and skills of all students in each of our ELCJHL Schools. In particular, the events gave students the time, space, and motivation to hone their presentation skills, improve critical and creative thinking abilities, and increase their knowledge base.

Little Champions brought groups of Grade 4 students from each ELCJHL School together for academic-based and activity-based questions. The groups worked as teams, consulting one another on each question. Questions and activities covered the subjects of Arabic Language, Social Studies, Mathematics, and Science.

The Arabic Language Forum brought together students from Grades 5-7 to participate in a two-part competition. The first portion of the competition consisted of mini-talks on unknown topics, in which students were given 20 minutes to prepare. The second portion consisted of a competition based on grammar and Arabic-language knowledge.

The English Language Bowl, after months of pre-screenings and internal bowls, brought together those students who had placed highest in their schools from Grades 8-10 to see who would take home top honors in speech and spelling.

The first order of the day was the Mini-Talk Speeches, for which students chose a topic from a hat and were given 15 minutes to prepare a 2-3 minute speech. Students also had to answer a follow-up question from the international judges.

The second order of the day was a first-ever Spelling Bee, also judged by grade level. The initial rounds were based on words from within the students’ curriculum. When the Spelling Bee reached the last two competitors, they were given words from outside their curriculum for the final rounds.

Finally, the Informational Marathon brought Grade 11 students from both the Science and Humanities streams to participate in a group knowledge competition with questions taken from their Grade 11 curriculum.

As the day drew to a close, all students once again gathered together for the presentation of certificates of participation and achievement. Even after a long day together, energy levels were still high, with spontaneous dancing and singing, and loud cheers for all involved.

The Educational Fair was planned with the mission and goals for ELCJHL Educational Ministries at the forefront. In particular, this day was planned to address the following Educational goals: “to develop wholesome, creative, and innovative students through a holistic approach to education,” “to provide quality and innovation in teaching and learning,” and “to integrate peace education and culture, reinforce democracy, and encourage tolerance, co-existence, love, and respect toward others.”

Many thanks to the Director of Education staff for their tireless work in making this day possible: Dr. Charlie Haddad, Director of Education; Mr. Salameh Bishara, Resource and Curriculum Development Officer and Programs/Projects/Activities Coordinator; Ms. Georgette Hazboun Rabadi, Educational Development and Liason Officer; and Mrs. Susan Oppegaard, whose assistance and guidance has been invaluable this year with planning preparations for the English Language Bowl.

We also extend our thanks to this year’s English Language Bowl judges: the Rev. Dr. Fred Strickert, and Ms. Julie Rossate, from the USA; Ms. Nicola Laing from the UK; and Ms. Diana Carlyle, from Canada.

And last, but not least, our thanks to the tireless work of the ELCJHL Schools teachers, staff, and volunteers, without whose work, none of this would have been possible.

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