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High-tech initiative at Norwood school

Jack and Jordan Joyce were honorary Red Sox bat kids.

John Deputy/Metrodesign

Jack and Jordan Joyce were honorary Red Sox bat kids.

LEARNING THROUGH FUN: Students learn when they have fun, said Kehillah Schechter Academy’s co-head of school, Rabbi David Paskin. And a new program at the Norwood school, which Paskin likened to “the game-ification of learning,” aims to couple fun and modern technology to make learning happen.

Kehillah Schechter was one of four Jewish day schools nationwide to be chosen for the Tamritz program, the Hebrew word for “incentive.” The program has been described as the 21st-century version of merit badges with an academic twist, rewarding learning with digital badges.

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The school’s other co-head, Nitzan Resnick of Sharon, is a former Harvard Medical School researcher who created the New Science and Math initiative, which emphasizes thinking and inquiry more than pure knowledge.

According to Paskin, a resident of Canton, all children have a spark of creativity, passion, and excellence within them, and the badge-learning program personalizes their learning.

Tamritz, based in Portland, Ore., is a national collaborative learning network for students and teachers in Jewish day schools. According to its website, digital badges are like badges earned in scouting, and show accomplishment where the learning may take a variety of paths. Badges may reward academic achievement or such behavior as participation and posting comments in an online learning space.

“We’re excited about using the Tamritz program to enhance the way the students learn,” Paskin said. “In some ways it’s unique, but in other ways not really. It’s like scouting. There’s a reason why millions of kids have gone through scouts and embraced the way of learning.”

In Tamritz, students learn in the classroom and on their own, which Paskin said lets them “own the pace of learning and enjoying what they’re learning” and giving them “the 21st century skills they need to excel.”

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For more information, visit www.tamritz.org.

SIBLINGS NAMED BAT KIDS: Brother and sister Jack, 7, and Jordan Joyce, 10, of Marshfield, were honorary bat kids at the June 29 Boston Red Sox game during Pan-Mass. Challenge night at Fenway Park, along with their cousin, Raegan Joyce, 4, of Marstons Mills, who is being treated at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund Clinic.

Also at the event, Lee Ferrande of Halifax and Lisa Winsor of Mattapoisett were among cancer survivors who rode their bikes around the warning track in a pregame ceremony that marked the Red Sox’s 11th anniversary as sponsors of the PMC. Since the PMC’s inception in 1980, the event has raised $375 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This year’s ride is Aug. 3 and 4, with a goal of raising $38 million.

PILLOWCASE CHARITY: Residents of Linden Ponds in Hingham have made more than 100 pillowcases for ConKerr Cancer, which delivers bright pillowcases to children with life-threatening diseases, said Vivian Bleakney, chairwoman of the Pillowcase Group at the retirement community. Residents have been making them for several years, she said.

“A few years back, resident Sandra O’Shaughnessy, a member of our Tuesday Needlework Group and the Bayberry Guild on the Cape, heard about ConKerr Cancer at a guild meeting and asked us to help make pillowcases,” Bleakney said. “We get a great turnout of people every year who want to help. Several of the women do not even sew, so they cut or iron fabric as needed.”

Beneficiaries of the pillowcases include Boston Children’s Hospital, the Jimmy Fund, and Mass. General Hospital for Children. For information on ConKerr, visit www.conkerrcancer.org.

BUSINESS BRIEFS: William J. Morse of Easton, president and CEO of Mutual Bank in Whitman, has been awarded an honorary degree from Massasoit Community College. Morse was a 2012 recipient of the Presidential Medallion Award, which recognizes people who support the college and community. Morse, chairman and a director of the Metro South Chamber of Commerce, was a trustee and chairman of the board of trustees at Massasoit.

Lynn Neff of Freetown has been named director of laboratory research at Southcoast Health System in New Bedford. Neff oversees the system’s lab outreach services, including patient service centers, nursing home collections, and lab testing performed at outreach sites throughout the area. Previously, Neff was pathology manager at Southcoast Hospitals Group and director of clinical operations and manager of anatomic pathology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

The entire staff from Norwell-based Acella Construction Corp. volunteered to clean out the future hospice residence at Turkey Hill in Hingham for the Norwell Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice. David Dirubbo, Acella’s president, said the effort had 100 percent participation by staffers, as part of the company’s collaboration with Campus of Caring to bring the first nonprofit hospice residence to the South Shore area.

Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at Kandarian@
globe.com
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