This past July, educators from the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County arrived in the impoverished Mbekweni community in Paarl, South Africa to help open a first-ever library for the 1,500 students of the Langabuya School. They also delivered a stock of solar-powered reading lights designed and built by Schechter’s sixth graders.

Having learned about the compelling needs of this resource-challenged community, Schechter’s students helped purchase 1,000 English-language books, printed 500 in the students’ native language of Xhosa, and supplied simple solar-powered devices for Langabuya students—many of whom do not have electricity at home—to check out books and...

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  • About the Author:

    Andrew J. Katz is the director of academic affairs of Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County. He recently oversaw the expansion and school-wide integration of Schechter’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) program. He currently supervises the school’s middle school general studies faculty and curriculum.