Mr. Ludo Van Campenhout, vice-mayor of Antwerp and a member…
With summer in the air, many of us are enjoying the warm air, a change of routine and perhaps some travel. But as a mother of school age children, I struggle to keep my boys busy with exciting, yet constructive pastimes. For those of us on Shlichus, especially in places without a local Lubavitch community or Yeshiva, this can become an issue all year long. No matter the season, the concern for our children’s chinuch remains.
Last month, MyShliach, a division of Merkos Suite 302, launched the לטהר את העולם initiative, with the goal of motivating elementary age ילדי השלוחים to learn Mishnayos and Tanya Ba’al Peh on a consistent basis. This four week beta program was open to 120 young boys from cities all around the country. “We wanted to create an excitement and momentum for Yaldei Hashluchim to occupy their time with something that was so dear to the Rebbe,” explains program coordinator Shaya Itkin.
“Many of these children live in places that don’t have a typical frum environment, appropriate educational infrastructure, and friends they can relate to,” elaborates MyShliach director Rabbi Mendy Shanowitz. “For the first time, they joined together to participate in an authentic Ba’al Peh competition with like-minded peers, despite the physical distance between them.”
During this short time, a total of 5753 lines were learned Ba’al Peh by boys ranging from 8-13 years old. By encouraging the children to set aside time daily for learning, they are developing a crucial habit that will hopefully remain with them as they continue to grow and mature. In order to accommodate every type of child, the program acknowledges their time and effort. MyShliach’s MBP platform records their daily learning time and rewards their consistency with raffles and attractive prizes. Altogether, students in the pilot program logged in an astounding total of 35,700 minutes spent studying Tanya and Mishnayos!
How does MyShliach motivate them to achieve these amazing results? As with all of their initiatives, this program is exciting, well planned, and child centered. Boys receive mail addressed to them personally, and they record their lines and minutes with their own, user-friendly MyShliach MBP account. The bold, colorful online platform allows them to easily view their progress and choose prizes as they accumulate their MBP dollars. These prizes are promptly delivered to their doorstep within days. By then, the boys are motivated, and eager to do more!
The boys feel great pride in their accomplishments. Together, they are creating a monumental impact as they purify the air in their respective surroundings. Many also expressed gratification for the constant motivation to be involved in learning every day. In the words of young Shliach Mendel Kantor from Philadelphia, PA, “Even though it feels good to learn fifteen lines in an hour, I learned from this program that it feels better to be learning on a consistent basis.” Levi Bluming from Potomac, MD realized that, “It helped me memorize so much I never knew I could do.”
As a parent of two boys who took part in the program I was able to see the results first-hand. Although we provided some gentle guidance at first, they soon fell into a routine and began coming to us to get tested and log in their numbers. We saw how it motivated our 11 year old to set aside time to focus on productive activity and he came to realize that it really wasn’t so difficult for him. My Bar Mitzvah boy got the extra nudge he needed to work on the last bit of his twelve Perakim of Tanya.
Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky of Merkos Suite 302 reflects the gratitude of so many parents. “We could not have made this project a reality without the support of our generous sponsor who took this project under his wing.” Our Nachas is yours as well.
We are thankful to MyShliach for stepping in once again to fill a missing niche for Yaldei Hashluchim worldwide. This opportunity has encouraged so many hours of learning that would likely have otherwise been filled with meaningless activity. We are looking forward to hearing about the updated program slated to open in Elul 5779 for all Yaldei Hashluchim. The new MBP program was definitely designed with our children in mind – we have no doubt we will not be let down. To learn more visit www.myshliachmbp.com
MyShliach is a project of Merkos Suite 302.