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Tu B’Shvat / Eid I-shajara / Arbor day at the primary school

Thursday 16 January 2014, by C&D Office

Today is Tu B’Shvat, a festival celebrating the trees. In the afternoon, the whole school attends to build flowerbeds, and craft decorations for trees. The sun is shining. Music announces the temporary end of classes, and soon the kids run out onto the playground and the lawn.

From the nearby Trappist monastery in Latrun, two brothers have come to visit. In front of the whole school, some children present them with a gift of flowers, which are gratefully received. In return Father Paul and Renée also plant two flowers for the school.

After the ceremony, the children disperse to three workstations, to craft several items from recycled materials in honor of the trees. Michal, the arts and crafts teacher has provided plenty of old plastic canisters and other scraps which will be beautifully recycled. The first station has glue and scrap materials to make flowers. Many children take the flowers they have made to the second workstation, where they use them to decorate flowerbeds made out of recycled olive oil canisters cut in half. Every team is proud of their creations, which, in the end, sit in a multicolored row.

As well as the large flowerbeds, some children also make hanging flowerbeds out of half plastic bottles to go on the fence. They are hung so that when you water the top one, the water eventually trickles down to the flowers below. Their leaves shine in the sun, but what makes them really smile is the children’s laughter all around.

The third workstation features pipecleaners, wire, plastic lids, straws and beads for mobiles to hang on trees. Every creation is individual, and some children take the materials to make something completely different.

Intermingled among the many ordinary days of the school year, there are special days that shine, literally, and figuratively. Today we celebrated the trees, and they made us cheerful in return.


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