Mitzvot from the Heart: Leah Snidman

Leah Snidman

Temple Israel

“Just as I was thinking about what my project would be, my school, Ladue Middle School, sent home a notice that they were looking for tutors at Old Bonhomme Elementary,” said Leah, daughter of Elizabeth and Robert Snidman of Olivette. “I thought the project sounded perfect, not only because I enjoy working with younger kids, but also because I went to Old Bonhomme and feel a connection with the school.”  What follows is Leah’s first-hand account of her bat mitzvah project.


This project was started by second grade parents thinking it was a good idea to have middle schoolers teach their children, because they felt that their kids would really connect with their mentors.  The tutoring started in early February, but I could not just jump in and help, I first had to go through weeks of training.  They found out later that there were more tutors than second graders who needed mentoring, so only a handful of kids who wanted to tutor went through the training.  Lucky for me, I was one of the chosen students.  

While we are in a session, we usually begin with a warm up where we get to learn about our mentee and how their week was.  We then start on any kind of homework our second grader has brought.  Usually my second grader has math or spelling that she needs help with.  If she has a question, then we work it out in a fun way that gets her interested in the subject.  Once we have finished with her homework we are allowed to play fun math or reading games that help her improve.  Once that is finished, we complete an exit survey explaining what we did during the session and how we thought the day went.  After this, I walk my second grader to her mom, and the day is over.

I feel like this program benefits the mentors, and the mentees along the way.  I try my best to make the second grader feel comfortable and confident about her work. We have become close now and I look forward to the days we get to work together.