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School’s Out for Summer

…school’s out forever! Well, at least until August.

Another school year has finished, and, as we begin to look forward to the Autumn, we also reflect upon the changes that have been made in the past months.

Our Spring 2014 semester was a time of great transition. For five years we have worked with both boys and girls in our after-school program, but, recently, we saw a void consistent across all of our sites – a lack of extra-curricular opportunities for girls. In January we made the decision to transition from a mixed-gender to an all-girls program. We are now able to work with over 200 girls across our four sites. But, this change wasn’t enough. We aligned our curriculum with that of the local schools’ in order to provide our students with the tools necessary to reach their goal of a higher education. We have consistently received positive feedback from students, local teachers, and our community partners, in response to these changes. In short, this re-focus has given new life to our founding mission – to provide access to opportunities to those living on the edge of society.

This transition has also helped to increase community awareness of our program. We are now in the process of expanding to a fifth site in the Nablus area to begin this Autumn.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the hard work and long hours from our volunteers. For this, we would like to thank our teachers and interns who played a vital role in this transition. We would also like to recognize our former Executive Director, Violet Goncarovs, for her determination and enthusiasm during her time with the organization, and especially through this time of  change.

The new management team will be working hard throughout the summer to continue to build upon these changes to ensure a successful future for the organization. We appreciate your continued support and we encourage you to check back periodically to stay up to date on all the latest goings on of Teach for Palestine!

 

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New Askar Women’s Wall

Our outgoing teacher in New Askar refugee camp, Justine Lyons, spent part of her time teaching the 7/8 girls about influential women from around the world. The girls were given short bios and then got to make posters, the best of which ended up on New Askar’s very own Women’s Wall!

Preparing for the spring semester in Deir Al-Hatab.

Spring Changes

Today we met with our community partners in Deir Al-Hatab, the last meeting before our semester starts! We set our start dates, shared some Arabic coffee, and reviewed some of the changes for the spring semester. All of our partners have been excited about the upcoming changes and we are now excited to share them with our online supporters.

Preparing for the spring semester in Deir Al-Hatab.

Preparing for the spring semester in Deir Al-Hatab.

For the girls

For some time, TFP classes at all of our sited have consisted of about 90-100% girls. Despite attempts to recruit more balanced classes, our girls have proven more committed and excited for the opportunity to learn English with our program. The end result is by the end of each semester, our classes are almost, if not exclusively, all girls. We have decided to make that an official part of our organization. This change allows us to expand our age range a bit and we are now serving grades 3-8 at every site.

 

Curriculum 

TFP has always been focused on success both in school and out, but we have taken some leaps forward with our curriculum for this semester. While keeping the creative, flexible and conversational aspects to our curriculum, we have aligned it more with the national Palestinian English curriculum. This allows our TFP students to not only learn the skills to communicate, but will also help them excel  in school on a whole new level. The biggest changes will be outside the classroom, educating our volunteer teachers on how to make their lessons both innovative, exciting, and help their students utilize what they have already learned in the schoolroom.

The semester is off to a great start and we are excited for this new chapter for TFP!

New Askar visit

Spring Semester 2014

The weather is getting warmer and the kids are back in school after their winter break. This means the start of TFP’s spring semester is right around the corner!

Two of our volunteer teachers have already arrived with several more on the way. We are excited to welcome them to Nablus and get them acquainted with our sites and program.

Today we visited our community partners in New Askar (pictured below) and the village of Salam in preparation for the new semester.

TFP is making some exciting changes this semester (big and small) and we look forward to sharing them with you in the coming days!

New Askar visit