If there were a Dad of the Month award, HA parent and alumnus Gabriel Malca (’01) would surely win it. For a number of weeks, Morah Elyse Haber’s 2B English class has welcomed Mystery Readers – typically students’ parents – who read them a story. Monday’s reader was Mr. Malca, and he surprised his son Nathaniel and his friends with more than just his arrival.

“Mr. Malca surprised the class with a beautifully-illustrated book with a really special story that he wrote especially for the occasion!” said Elementary School Principal Yaffa Blanshay.

In keeping with Hebrew Academy educators’ ongoing incorporation of gamification in the classroom and English teachers’ weekly team challenges, Mr. Malca’s book, Plane Eggs for Breakfast, stars 2B students who are tasked with helping Prime Minister Trudeau to solve a problem: how many chickens can fit on an airplane?

“To the absolute delight of the children as well as Morah Elyse and Morah Ashley Martin, Mr. Malca’s very entertaining book features every single child in Grade 2B,” said Mrs. Blanshay. “If that were not amazing enough, each received their very own copy. They were thrilled to see themselves featured in a story where they solve the problem and save the day – actually, they save breakfast for Canada! They shrieked with delight when presented with their books.”

Mr. Malca has published two other books that feature his children as the main characters. He was inspired to pen this one as he thought “it would be a great learning experience for the students.” Seeing them react to the surprise was priceless.

“First, we reached the part where the prime minister of Canada called up Morah Elyse and Miss Ashley for their help which had the initial disbelief factor for the children”, he said. “Next, they saw their faces on the pages and their minds were blown. One student said, ‘you even drew my backpack exactly the same.’ In reality, these were pictures that were turned into a cartoon-like illustration and layout, which my kids are extremely into nowadays.”

Thank you, Mr. Malca, for this wonderful treat and for taking the time to celebrate 2B!



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