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Celebrating World Water Day in Nablus, Palestine

Today we celebrate World Water Day 2015, with the specific theme of water and sustainable development. We celebrate and reflect on the centrality of water in the rhythm of our daily lives. For some, it is a day to celebrate the importance and abundance of water in our day-to-day routines; for others, it is an important day to reflect on the increasingly pressing urgency of addressing issues like water scarcity and cleanliness, and confronting how we will manage water access in the future. The Middle East is a region specifically challenged by water issues. The supply, control, and allocation of Continue reading…

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From Nablus Preschools to TYO: An Interview with Core Teacher Fawz Jabi

It has been a great first two weeks with our 4-5 year olds in the Core Child program. Though there were a few tears on the first day, the children were all smiles by the end of last week; on Thursday afternoon, as each class took off towards the buses, they eagerly showed off their many art creations on the theme of our second week: community and family. It has also been exciting to welcome our two new Core teachers, Amal Khdair and Fawz Jabi. At the end of week two, we reflected on the beginning of the program and Continue reading…

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School Choice: Empowering Parents in their Child’s Education

On February 4, the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings released its fourth annual Education Choice and Competition Index (ECCI), which chronicles the progress across American school districts of ‘school choice’ – a system of primary and secondary school placement giving parents the freedom to choose their child’s school. The older, traditional model assigns students to local schools based on their residential address (often dividing children among schools along socioeconomic lines). Within that model, any parent wanting to exercise choice over their child’s placement must either change their home location or pay the high fees of private school tuition. Continue reading…

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Youth in focus: An interview with Sahar I.

Sahar I. is from Salem. She graduated in 2006 from An-Najah National University with a degree in Arabic Literature and Language. What made you apply for STEP?! I was interested in applying for STEP! because I thought it was a good opportunity to develop myself and improve my skills at they pertain to working with children. Thus far I’ve benefited a lot from this experience and have even been able to apply the discipline tecniques I’ve learned at TYO on my daughters at home. This has been such a positive experience and I hope to one day be able to Continue reading…

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Departing Palestine: It’s Only Goodbye for Now

Two weeks after taking my last final for university, I boarded a plane bound to Tel Aviv to begin my session as an International Intern with Tomorrow’s Youth Organization in Nablus, Palestine. I didn’t know what to expect and couldn’t anticipate the incredible impact that my relatively brief time here would have on me. Throughout my time as an intern at TYO, I have heard the stories of people in this community, have seen the ingenuity of children at play, and listened as university students expressed their passions and the ways in which they hope to make a difference in Continue reading…

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Core Children Learn Core Values

It is important in any context to equip young children with a strong sense of self-worth. Children who do not see themselves as valuable are less likely to achieve their full potential in schools. When an individual’s internal life is damaged, it dictates how they interact with the world around them as behavior is a result of what an individual is are feeling. That being said, in Palestine’s hyper-militarized environment where a disproportionate amount of physical and psychological violence is inflicted on children, helping children to overcome personal trauma and build resiliency, is not only a challenge, but is also paramount to ensuring later Continue reading…

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The Perfect Storm

For the last six weeks as a TYO intern, I have been implementing an English and psychosocial curriculum for my class of 4th and 5th grade students who come from Nablus’ refugee camps and Old City. TYO aims to provide a safe and fun learning environment for its beneficiaries; our curriculum emphasizes creative thinking and non-formal approaches to education through experiential learning. The students, many of whom have been previously enrolled in TYO’s Core program, are at a critical age for social and emotional development. At the beginning of the session, I saw in theory how TYO’s psychosocial curricula would Continue reading…

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M is for Music!

In my Core Child English Class through TYO’s International Internship program, students file through the door and greet me with an enthusiastic “Hello!” It’s five weeks into our program, and at this point many of the students are asking unprompted “How are you?”. The progress that I have seen among these young ones has been significant in just five weeks. TYO Interns teach English because there is a dire need for native speaking instructors in Palestine. Time and time again in conversations that I have had with Palestinians, they have shared their frustrations over language learning in their schools. Despite the 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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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…