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Monthly Archives: January 2012

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Creative Thinking Class Reflections: Building with Paper Clips and Straws

“Me b3arif!” [I don’t know] Seja, a 9 year old girl from Asker refugee camp, exclaimed to me as the children began their pre-assessment activity.   Each child had 10 minutes to construct a building from the pile of green straws and metal paper clips on the table in front of them.  Some of them dove right into the challenge while others stared dumbfounded at the materials.  They laughed a little and then gave me faces as if to say, “Really, really?  You really want me to do this?”   The thought that these materials could make a structure had never crossed Continue reading…

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A Change in Environment

Our Spring 2012 interns share their first impressions and initial reactions to life in Nablus including touring the Old City, visiting the markets and teaching classes. Nawal I am only four days into my classes here at TYO, and I have already seen some of the startling effects the Occupation has had on the children in Nablus. With a constant military presence and unemployment and poverty rampant, the youth here simply do not have the opportunity to experience childhood as I have come to know it in the United States. This is evidenced not only by the children I have Continue reading…

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Effects of Domestic Violence on Nabulsi Women and Children

Last week, as part of TYO’s Women’s Group seminars, I had a conversation with mothers about domestic violence and its effect on children and families.  Our conversation revealed the prevalence of domestic abuse in the communities we serve and the tangible effects of these actions on the children who come to TYO.  Women voiced how the abuse directly impacted their mental and physical health, through higher blood pressure, higher heart hates, lack of concentration, and abundant crying.  One woman said, “It makes it difficult to do my job at home.”  The women also voiced how as victims of abuse themselves, Continue reading…

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TYO Round Up: Week of January 22, 2012

TYO officially re-opens its doors for spring semester in Nablus! Welcome back! Monday, January 23 The Child Core Program kicks off to a sunny SPRING SEMESTER at TYO with some longer sessions and exciting enhancements to the curriculum.   Tuesday, January 24 TYO is thrilled to continue our PUBLIC DIPLOMACY PARTNERSHIP with the US Consulate in Jerusalem to bridge the culture gap between East and West with American interns living, learning, and teaching in Nablus.   Wednesday, January 25 Breaking the ice and building bonds, we begin TRAINING for new volunteers, interns, and translators as they prepare for spring classes. Continue reading…

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TYO Recommends: January 27, 2012

Investigating gaming and play as mediums for learning and addressing new needs in education as we move into the modern age. Highlighted videos displaying efforts to help parents connect with children who have grown up in the digital era and educators to consider revamping the current structure. Play now, lead later: Darrell Hammond, Chief Executive Officer for Kaboom, sends a message to the 2,500 CEOs and government leaders gathering at the World Economic Forum to highlight play as “the best natural resource in a CREATIVE ECONOMY.” According to Hammond, slides and swings are not just about recess, but access to Continue reading…

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The Women’s Group Doubles its Outreach

This week, The Women’s Group (TWG) launched into the Spring 2012 session! After many requests from women for added topics (including Palestinian law and women’s rights, early marriage, self-discipline and organization, and English) and an overflow of applicants, TWG has nearly doubled both its audience as well as its partner organizations. With the pilot project, TWG served approximately 60 women from the community, and now is reaching over 120 women. We have increased our partner organizations from seven to eleven, including: The Palestinian Charitable Family Planning and Protection Society, The Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Tortured Victims, The Palestinian Working Woman Continue reading…

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Creativity Emerging

creativity |ˌkrē-āˈtivitē| noun.the use of the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work.Thesaurus: inventiveness, imagination, innovation, innovativeness, originality, individuality; artistry, inspiration, vision; enterprise, initiative, resourcefulness. (Oxford American Dictionary) What is creativity and why is it important? Look at the Oxford American Dictionary’s definition, more importantly look at the words associated with it. All of these words are critical for the success of our future, for our students, our workplace and ultimately the development of our world. It seems obvious that we should be teaching creativity in our schools. Our future depends on it. But we are Continue reading…

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Volunteer-Intern Trainings

At the start of each session, TYO offers trainings for its volunteers, translators, teachers and interns. A vital part of the Youth Service Learning Program, trainings are used as a way prepare our university volunteers for the classroom. Just as important, we lead joint trainings for international interns and their translators and volunteers. The training is a chance for these two peer groups to break the ice, share expectations, describe the class activities, and explain various rules. During the training, local volunteers have the opportunity to meet the international interns who come to Nablus for the first time. A face-to-face meeting Continue reading…

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Public Diplomacy Partnership

TYO is proud to announce its Public Diplomacy partnership with the US Consulate in Jerusalem. This partnership brings American interns to participate in our International Internship Program in Nablus. As a part of this program, TYO’s interns act as cultural ambassadors for their country and engage in a cross-cultural, global exchange with local staff members, volunteers, and children. One of the internship’s major strengths is that interns are provided with the space for intercultural dialogue with their Palestinian peers everyday – both inside and outside of the classroom. The cross-cultural connections that TYO fosters seek to address the challenge in Nablus of being Continue reading…

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Announcing the Start of TYO’s Spring 2012 Session

TYO’s spring session will start on Monday, January 23, as teachers welcome new and returning students to the Core Child Program (CCP). The CCP team has worked hard to prepare classrooms and curricula, recruit students, reach out to parents, and finalize class lists. For 12 weeks, approximately 80 children ages four and five will attend non-formal preschool classes at the center, and 100 children ages six to eight will attend non-formal after-school programs. We are proud to have reached these children; nevertheless, we know that there are many more children who need our support. The early childhood program (for 4- Continue reading…