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The first school started in a barrack supported by DORSA. Escuela Cristóbal Colón (ECC) started its operations In November 1940. Kindergarten and elementary school for the settlers children was offered. Many of the Dominican workers children, as well as the children of a few non-settler farmers of the area, also attended the ECC for its reputation of high academic standards. Instruction was in German in the kindergarten until 1944, and in Spanish in the elementary school. In the beginning, in addition to the curriculum required by the Dominican Secretary of Education, children had to learn German, English, and Judaism. After German was completely dropped from the school curriculum in 1944, Hebrew was introduced in the elementary school.

The school also offered summer camps in Hebrew (taught by rabbis that came from USA), music, carpentry, and gymnastics. The formal curriculum was monitored by inspectors of the Secretary of Education and students were examined by these official inspectors in their 6th and 8th school year. The ECC offered its students the opportunity to act in plays, which were offered to the community at the end of each school year and for the Dominican holidays. For some of the Jewish holidays, the ECC organized special events, most notably the mask dance on Purim and the building of a hut during Sukkot.

The school had a modest library, a collection of records, and a few musical instruments (piano and accordion) that were available to the students.

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