Four Students Named Winners of the ELKS Lodge American Dream Essay Contest

Last fall, the sixth and seventh grade Humanities students at Pardes Jewish Day School responded to the question “What is your American Dream?” as part of the ELKS Lodge essay submission contest.

Recently, we learned that four Pardes students were selected as winners in the local Phoenix division by ELKS Lodge #335. Mazal Tov to seventh graders Max A, Ethan F,  and Andrew R, as well as sixth grader Rafi U. Their essays have been sent to the district judge, who will evaluate them to go onto the state level and then potentially the national level.

Each student took a different approach to responding to the essay topic.  In his essay, Max shared his dreams of becoming an Imagineer at Disney. Ethan wrote about his family and how they “all have the same reason to move forward, to lift the legs attached to our bodies and plant them one step ahead: Hope for a better tomorrow.”  Andrew wrote about how life has ups and downs, but the American Dream is the idea that life can change “if you put your mind to it.”  Lastly, sixth grader Rafi focused on sustainability in his essay, specifically farming and giving back to the community.  

Sara Abrams and Dani Braney, who teach sixth and seventh grade humanities respectively, are proud that so many Pardes students were recognized in this essay contest. “The students were given the ELKS requirements and all met them for this writing assignment. I was proud to see the work that they produced,” explained Braney.

“The students were well-prepared to write an essay using the tools they have collected over the years as a result of using the Workshop Model, specifically strategies from writers workshop lessons” added Abrams. 

Kol Hakavod to all of the students who entered this year’s writing contest.