Cheering on the Phillies


Phillies fever has spread to the younger set across the Philadelphia region.

Preschoolers at the Kaiserman JCC are spending gym class forming a human "P" while across town at Beth Sholom Congregation, the young tots are using their artistic skills to cheer on their home team as it goes head to head with the New York Yankees in the World Series.

At the Raymond and Ruth Perelman Jewish Day School in Wynnewood, a pep rally — replete with a Hebrew rendition of the song "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" — is on the agenda.

"It's all everyone is talking about in school," said Caleb Epstein, a fourth-grader who lives in Center City and was wearing a Phillies shirt on a recent school day.

"The kids are crazy" about the Phillies, said Marjie Surden, a language-arts and math teacher, who was one of many faculty and students who donned a Phillies shirt to school the day after they clinched the National League Championship.

Red is clearly the dominant color in the hallways, with students sporting all kinds of Phillies paraphernalia, even red yarmulkes. Baseball has also crept into math classes and discussion of current events.

"In a lesson about percentages, we'll talk about someone who gets up to bat three times, but gets one hit," said the principal, Wendy Smith. "We're incorporating the Phillies into our classes."

Though the games go past his bedtime, Epstein is hoping to stay up until at least 9 p.m. during the World Series, he said.

His classmate, Hadassah Turk Tolub of Wynnewood, also loves the Phillies, but she hasn't yet decided who she's rooting for.

"My dad was born in New York," she said, by way of explanation.


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