Our graduates emerge from the cocoon of Aleph Bet ready to stretch their wings and fly. In addition to building the academic foundation to tackle middle school challenges, years of formal and informal leadership opportunities nurture students' confidence to face the world. From the first days of kindergarten, children take turns leading their peers in morning t'filah. Biennial all-school plays, alternate-year talent shows, and informal class skits provide on-stage experiences. Class discussions of an author's intention or the reasons for westward expansion help kids learn to articulate and defend their opinions in a safe and supportive environment. The school year is punctuated with days when students at each grade level serve as hosts and guides to parents and friends, teaching their guests about little-known dinosaurs or pioneer life or Maryland animals or the regions of Israel. By fifth grade, as students take over leading Shabbat ceremonies and develop a business plan for the School Store they operate all year, they have the skills and the confidence to assume leadership roles in the academic and social communities they will join after Aleph Bet.