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Tag Archives: early childhood education

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Salam and Mayar: A Multigenerational Success Story

Enter the first floor of TYO’s center, and – from a quick glance at the colorful, festive classrooms and the sound of children laughing and playing – you would likely think that TYO is an early childhood education center. But as you walk up to the second, third, and fourth floors, you would discover the many generational layers that make up TYO’s work: on the second floor, a group of youth learning photography from TYO’s international interns; on the third, university students participating in employability trainings; on the fourth, mothers of the first floor children letting off steam during Zumba or sharpening their IT skills Continue reading…

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My First TYO Lesson: Learning Through Play

When it comes to teaching – especially for first-timers like myself – it’s easy to fall into the safe and traditional style of teaching we’re all used to: standing in front of the class, reciting, and having the children respond back. For years, teachers and educators around the world did just that and believed it to be effective; they never would have considered play as a way to teach (never mind an essential part of learning!). What is “play” anyway? Play is recreation, amusement, or in “kid terms” – fun! Even more, says special education professional and creator of Play Continue reading…

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Say What? It’s Never Too Early to Become Bilingual

Tomorrow’s Youth Organization (TYO) is unique in that its beneficiaries are both women and children residing in Nablus’ surrounding refugee camps and neighborhoods. After teaching mothers in The Women’s Group and entrepreneurs in WISE II, I was presented with a challenge I was thrilled to meet: teach English to the children of TYO’s Core Child Program. TYO’s Core Child Program sets children ages four-to-eight on a path to self-discovery through play and non-formal education. I had already taught many of the children’s mothers and was excited to have the opportunity to engage with and educate another generation of TYO beneficiaries. Continue reading…

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Welcoming our Summer 2015 intern, Ashley!

TYO is thrilled to welcome Ashley as a Summer 2015 intern to Nablus! Ashley recently gradated from the University of Redlands, California with a double major in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. While still at university, Ashley worked as Sexual Violence Program Coordinator facilitating workshops on consent, alcohol, sexual violence and active bystanding. Ashley was also a mentor at the Students Together Empowering Peers program where she supported incoming freshman on stress and time-management, writing, and organization skills. Ashley has was a lead coordinator and counselor at a summer day camp teaching children ages 5-12. Ashley also worked with “I’m Going Continue reading…

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A TYO Core Program Success Story: Mahmoud and Mohammad

This week, we head into the fourth month of our Spring 2015 Core early childhood education program. It is a great time to look back to the start of the program in February and reflect on the greatest challenges and successes faced thus far. One challenge-turned-success story shared by teachers across TYO’s Core program is that of children who enter the program struggling with aggression and hyperactivity, and are now leaders among their peers in classroom engagement and participation. Many of those children come from a difficult home environment that does not offer options outside of a norm of frustration and Continue reading…

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A TYO Core Program Success Story: Raghad

As we head into the eleventh week of our Core 4-5 year-old program this Spring, and week 8 of our Core 6-8 year-old program, our teachers took time to reflect back on the start of the program in February and the greatest successes and challenges they had faced thus far. One success echoed by everyone on the team was the incredible growth they had seen in the personality and socio-emotional skills of a few specific students. They recalled previously hyperactive kids who had now become classroom leaders in engagement and participation; extremely shy children who could now speak with confidence Continue reading…

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Ending the “Soft” vs. “Hard” Skills Debate

Last month, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a report Skills for Social Progress synthesizing previous research on the importance of socio-emotional skills, as well as the most effective strategies for building those skills. The report pulls together data from previous OECD reports on the role of socio-emotional skills in helping individuals achieve personal well-being and social progress (as measured by education, labor market outcomes, family life, health, civic engagement, and overall life satisfaction). It also highlights the specific strategies empirically proven to improve socio-emotional skills – both on-the-ground strategies for parents, families, and teachers, as well as Continue reading…

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Doing Early Childhood Education Right: From Boston to Nablus

Earlier in February, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo announced that he would make access to high quality early childhood education (ECE) among his top three priorities in the current legislative session. He stated, “Not only is a renewed commitment to early education and care vital to the current economy by helping working parents– it’s vital to our children’s future.” DeLeo’s words should invite little controversy; however, his address falls at a time of growing resistance throughout the US to allocating more resources toward ECE. The reason? Critics claim that there is little evidence supporting the impact of ECE on later Continue reading…

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Poverty Affects a Child’s Brain Development

Children who come from affluent families tend to academically outperform children living in poverty. While this may not come as much of a surprise, new research from Nature Neuroscience reveals a correlation between affluence and brain size. According to the Huffington Post and Dr. Elizabeth Sowell, director of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the study reveals that the brain of “the kid whose family makes less than $25,000 is about 6 percent smaller in surface area than the kid whose family made $150,000.” They saw that this disparity in brain size widens more drastically towards the lower end of Continue reading…

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5 Tips for Dealing with “Acting Out” in Your Classroom

We have had an exciting and productive start to our Core Child Program, both our morning program for 4-5 year olds and now our 6-8 year old after school program. But of course, no classes are without challenges, and one specific challenge that all teachers face – no matter their years of experience or expertise – is dealing appropriately and productively with “acting out” behavior. We use “acting out” to refer to a wide range of behaviors exhibited by children in the classroom – for example, refusing to participate in an activity, raising their voice, hitting, distracting classmates, and engaging Continue reading…