Parents Reflect on the 2017-18 National Design Team

Posted June 01, 2018  | Written by PJOW Parent

The 2017-18 National Design Team is coming to a close, and we asked their parents, “What did you love about your child’s participation on the team?” Here is what they said!

Beth, Mom of Cayla, 9, Colorado

Beth, Mom of Cayla, 9, Colorado

We loved witnessing our daughter’s confidence and independence grow as she participated on the PJOW Design Team. Her enthusiasm for each of her monthly assignments was a joy to watch. We saw her develop skills in writing book reviews, iMovie creation, and in video conference communication. This opportunity for Cayla was truly an honor for our entire family. The PJOW books often connected to our own unique Jewish experiences and family traditions.


Anna, Mom of Zoe, 11, California

Anna, Mom of Zoe, 11, California

My daughter's participation in the PJ Our Way Design Team not only gave her the opportunity to be in a leadership role but gave her a wonderful creative outlet to do what she loves, read and use technology. More importantly, she was able to connect with other Jewish kids from around the United States realizing our community is much larger than just her local temple. Being on the design team has been such a positive experience, I know she'll jump at future opportunities to give back!


Carolyn, Mom of Ruben, 11, California

Carolyn, Mom of Ruben, 11, California

I loved that Ruben had the opportunity to read high quality books with Jewish content and then express his creative side by making video reviews and writing quizzes/polls. It was a great learning experience for him. He learned how to plan ahead and organize himself in order to be able to finish his projects on time and he also had a lot of fun in the process. It was wonderful that he made connections with other Jewish children from different parts of the country.


Cynthia, Mom of Celestina, 11, California

Cynthia, Mom of Celestina, 11, California

As Celestina's mom, I felt proud that my daughter's talents were recognized by an important national organization. She learned to step out of her comfort zone by doing tasks that were unfamiliar to her (i.e. writing succinct reviews and learning to use technology in a more advanced way that goes beyond doing searches and playing games). Celestina enjoyed making friends through the Design Team and looks forward to making further contributions to PJOW once her obligation ends. I am grateful that this opportunity was given to my child to experience. It allowed her to practice skills of commitment and dedication and it contributed to her having pride in her Jewish identity. Thank you.


Michelle and Jeremy, Mom and Dad of Elana, 11, Washington, D.C.

Michelle and Jeremy, Mom and Dad of Elana, 11, Washington, D.C.

We loved that Elana got to read several books and showcase her creative writing skills through polls and quizzes as well write videos. It was fun seeing her end products posted online and it was great seeing her perform so theatrically! It’s fantastic that she was able to collaborate with kids all over the country with similar interests while reading books that have a Jewish element. This experience was the perfect opportunity for her to enhance her film and book club skills in which she already participates. She also was able to give back to the community as other kids got to use her reviews to help choose their books.


Emily, Mom of Jeremy, 9, Louisiana

Emily, Mom of Jeremy, 9, Louisiana

I have found Jeremy's participation on the PJ Our Way Design Team to be a unique and valuable experience for a child his age. I love that he learned about completing clearly defined projects with certain requirements and meeting deadlines in a real-life setting, which involved learning some time management skills and keeping an up to date calendar. I also thought it was wonderful that he learned how to independently access and utilize the technology of the Zoom online meeting platform (even trouble shooting when necessary)! The books that he read and the content he created seemed to really hold his interest and engage him. I also loved the way Saskia interacted with the children in the meetings and in emails. They were in charge of their participation and she treated them as mature members of a team. I am very grateful that Jeremy has had the opportunity to participate in this program. Thank you!


Sara, Mom of Ilana, 10, Tennessee

Sara, Mom of Ilana, 10, Tennessee

I am so grateful that Ilana was selected to be a part of the Design Team. Living in a city with a relatively small Jewish community, any opportunity our kids can have to feel that they are a part of a much larger community than they can see is priceless. It was sometimes challenging for Ilana to read the books and complete her assignments on time, but she did it and each time she did, there was a huge sense of accomplishment and such pride when she would see her work on the website. I love that the Design Team has helped her to see that with handwork, anything is possible, even things she hasn’t dreamt of yet!


Robin, Mom of Asher, 9, Pennsylvania

Robin, Mom of Asher, 9, Pennsylvania

During Asher’s year on the Design Team, I loved watching him engage with the PJ Our Way website and content in a way that he hadn’t before on his own. Every month when we got his email about choosing his book, he immediately logged on independently, watched videos, and read reviews and synopses. The experience of creating content himself drove home the way in which the PJ Our Way website is for kids, by kids. He really embraced that concept over the course of the year and it was a joy to watch.


Abby, Mom of Rosie, 9, New York

Abby, Mom of Rosie, 9, New York

I loved that she was excited to read the books and express herself in creative ways through the videos, reviews, polls, and quizzes. The experience allowed her to develop important reading and communication skills that she can apply in school and beyond. In addition, she was able to interact with other kids on the team virtually through web conferences (and in person at the PJ Library Conference!). She also enjoyed working with her older sister who lent her skills to film and edit her videos! She was so proud to be a member of the design team and took her role very seriously. We are so proud of her for her commitment to this project! Thank you, PJ Library, for this incredible opportunity!


Are you interested in learning more about the National Design Team? If so, contact dteam@hgf.org.

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