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Student authors dazzle their teacher at JCC



ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Students in the JCC School Day at the J program are impressing their teacher with the books they’ve created during the COVID-19 pandemic.

TYKEs — Theatre Young Kids Enjoy — is collaborating with the JCC to assist with School Day at the J for the book project. TYKEs co-founder and Executive Director Freyda Schneider discussed her excitement over the results Monday during News 8 at Noon.

“TYKEs is part of the School Day at the J program where children who are part of the hybrid learning model are with us at the JCC during the days and times when they’re not at school,” Schneider explained. “I have spent the last several months working with kids from Kindergarten all the way through sixth grade. And with our second and third graders, I have a group on Thursday and a group on Friday and each group wrote, created, and illustrated their own children’s book and they did every single part of the project. They created the concept, the setting, the characters, the plot, the resolution – the whole deal – and then they illustrated every page of the book. And we made a physical book for each child to take home and then also created a ‘flipbook’ so that their families and the community could also see their project and it exceeded my expectations. It was just such a fantastic creative collaboration.”

Schneider said this turned out to be much more than a literary exercise for the students. “What I hoped that they would get out of it was an enhanced appreciation of literature and also the ability to communicate with each other, to suggest ideas, and to campaign for their ideas. What it ended up being was an unbelievable exercise actually in democracy believe it or not. The children were unparalleled in their ability to brainstorm with each other, to use teamwork and cooperation to come up with really a group effort. They voted on each of their ideas. That’s really what impressed me the most. So what started as a literary exercise really ended up being just an amazing experiment in cooperation and listening and the powerful, powerful concept of communication.”

Parents of children who are interested in this program can contact the JCC to be a part of the School Day at the J program. Go to — or call the JCC at (585) 461-2000 to request information on how you can be part of School Day at the J.