Middle School Students Explore World Religions

Each year, Collegiate School students in 5th-8th Grade attend five assemblies that explore a theme in each of the major world religions. This year’s religious assembly theme is storytelling and sacred texts. Past themes have included prayer, art, architecture and dance, rites of passage and women’s role in the religion.
In November, Collegiate welcomed Jan Hatcher-Conquest, adjunct professor in Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of World Studies, who kicked off the assembly series with a presentation on the sacred creation stories in Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

Clare Sisisky, Collegiate’s Director of Responsible Citizenship, and 9th Grader Shreya Sharma, spoke about storytelling in Hinduism in January. The next month, Brian Justice, Upper School history and religion teacher, discussed stories shared in Buddhism.

Dr. Imad Damaj,
Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at VCU, presented Islam’s take on sacred text and storytelling in March. At the final assembly today, Ramona Brand, Director of Youth Learning at Temple Beth-El, shared the Passover story with students.  
"Our religion assembly series helps our students find the commonalities among all world religions, as well as feel pride in their own religious tradition as they develop a broader world view," said Middle School Counselor Sally Chambers, who helped organize the speakers.
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