Just a few months ago, we renovated the foyer of our building, thanks to a gift from a generous donor, and turned it into a lounge where the girls can relax after a long day at school, the way children all over the world hang out in their living rooms when they come home.
One of the most delightful features of the new lounge area is a huge aquarium. At any time, when you walk by the aquarium, you will find one of the girls glued to it, watching the fish and sea creatures swimming around. They are fascinated by the fish swimming in and out of castles and the different kinds of rocks and sand. Aquariums are known to promote imagination and creativity, and some of our girls are clearly making up stories in their heads while they gaze at the water.
The aquarium is also a great learning opportunity. We have used its presence to pique the children’s interest in a biotope of freshwater aquatic organisms. We have shown them the beauty of the underwater world and we have made them aware of the problems that threaten the ecology of natural water bodies. This was a valuable science lesson, but also a lesson in appreciation for Hashem’s creations and our responsibility in protecting and nurturing them.
Scientific studies say that just looking at an aquarium can reduce stress and anxiety. That’s why so many doctors and dentists have aquariums in their offices! Stress reducers are especially important to our girls, who have come from difficult backgrounds and are emotionally vulnerable. We are hopeful that the tranquility of the fish tank will allow the girls to release negative emotions and focus on the positive.
One of our main goals at Bayit Lepletot – Girls Town Jerusalem is to provide the girls with positive and happy childhood memories, which will make them strong, confident and content adults. We ensure that they have positive experiences in school and at the home, the kind that they would have experienced if they were growing up in a normative household. Our new lounge and its focal point, the aquarium, are one more step toward helping our girls become the women we know they can be.
If you’d like to help us achieve our mission, sponsor a program at Bayit Lepletot – Girls Town Jerusalem.