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Tag Archives: early childhood education

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All in the Family

The second week of the Core Child Program focuses on the concept of family. It is important to root this idea with children early in their development, as their understanding of family is critical not only to their sense of identity, but also serves as an early lesson in tolerance and diversity. Family is the first formal social structure to which children are exposed, and while it is normal to have different family structure, this does not necessarily mean all children are comfortable with their family unit. By teaching young children that it is ok to be different, they learn to Continue reading…

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English Immersion Today Prepares Palestinian Children to be Tomorrow’s Leaders

Language acquisition begins in the womb. Linguistic studies indicate that childhood is the optimal period to learn a new language for a variety of reasons, and immersion programs are becoming the foremost model for language learning on a global level. At Tomorrow’s Youth Organization, the International Internship Program seeks to create fun, safe spaces for young students to engage with the English language through activity and to equip the next generation of youth in Palestine with the linguistic skills necessary to succeed in an increasingly globalized world. In conversations I have had with university students in Nablus, many of them Continue reading…

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Let’s Get Down to Business.

In a recent publication by Brookings: Tomorrow’s Skilled Workforce Requires Investing in Young Children Today: The Importance of Early Childhood Development we are reminded again of the imperative and critical need of early childhood education especially in low-income countries. So why aren’t we using what works? While the article highlights four compelling reasons – the one that resonates with us at TYO is the lack of the private sector partnerships. For years, we have witnessed the gap between university graduates skills-readiness and private sector needs in Palestine. We have listened as executives in profit-driven companies have lamented about the lack Continue reading…

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C is for Curiosity

At Tomorrow’s Youth Organization, our halls and classrooms are buzzing with nearly one hundred and fifty 4-5 year old students by 8:30 AM. As a new Fall Intern, I watched in excitement as the children filed into my first morning Core Child Program English class, wide-eyed and curious. I’m sure their heads were filled with questions about who I was, where I was from, and why I was speaking so strangely. I soon witnessed, however, how the students were able to transform their initial curiosity about my foreign-ness into curiosity and aptitude for learning English. Scientific research concerned with language acquisition Continue reading…

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New beginnings aren’t always easy

After many hours of planning and preparation, the Fall session is at last underway and the sound of laughter and chatter once again fills the halls and classrooms at TYO. Children from the most undeserved areas of Nablus are greeted with smiling faces from TYO staff as everyone excitedly welcomes the children back to TYO. But as is often the case at the beginning of the session, some children in the Core AM program struggle with attachment and separation anxiety issues. For many of TYO’s youngest beneficiaries (4 & 5 years old) coming to TYO marks the first time in Continue reading…

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Welcome Fall 2014 interns!

TYO is pleased to introduce the Fall 2014 International Interns! They come from diverse backgrounds – all the way from Washington and Colorado in the United States. Read all about them! Jade Jade grew up in Washington State. After finishing high school, she moved to Seattle to work full time as an AmeriCorps literacy tutor with a prominent immigrant and refugee community. Her work with AmeriCorps inspired her to study Linguistics and Human Rights at the University of Washington. While at the UW she’s been involved in social justice pursuits and college readiness mentorship, leading a university seminar on anti-racist activism and mentorship. Additionally, Continue reading…

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A final goodbye

On our last day of session at TYO, we took the children to the pool. Most of the kids could not contain their excitement and began splashing at the earliest possible moment. Ghazal didn’t follow suit. In the five weeks that I taught her English, she did not once smile. This was despite many efforts through group play and crafts that were meant to advance the kids’ English ability. But somehow, with the help of one of the Core AM teachers, we were able to get Ghazal to join the others in the pool. She only stuck her feet in Continue reading…

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The Last Post!

“Khalto Eve! Khalto Eve!” My class waved at me for the last time from the windows of their school buses, and I waved back as they disappeared into the distance. TYO’s summer program has flown by, but the faces that left me behind were happy. It did not feel like that would be our last goodbye, and I began to reflect upon my experiences over the past couple of months, and several memories of TYO stood out in particular. Whilst working for the Student Training and Employment Program (STEP!) at An-Najah National University, the vast changes in the students between Continue reading…

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Learning to communicate : if talking is silver listening is gold

Communication is a difficult concept to teach in our culture- not just in Palestine but also in the Middle East at large. In our community and with our target groups we find, generally speaking, that authority figures- such as parents and teachers- struggle to send clear messages to children as they never learned how to properly express themselves or how to vary their means of communication for different recipients. This is further complicated by the fact that children themselves are still learning how to interact with the world around them, and thus are not always capable of properly interpreting messages Continue reading…

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No Playing, No Learning

Through our daily encounters with Palestinian children at TYO we have noticed a phenomena – children here have a uniquely large capacity for memorization. This led us to question whether or not children were thinking critically during their English sessions. We observed students could, for example, easily see the word “APPLE” and say “Apple!”, but could not write the word when prompted without visual cues. As is true for many parts of the Middle East, Palestine’s educational system “relies heavily on traditional means of teaching where students are silent receivers.” Our classrooms are a stark contrast from the traditional educational Continue reading…