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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…

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How, Not If

TYO is a non-political organization positioned in a climate of endless politics. Discussing my time here without mentioning words like “occupation” or “checkpoints” has been challenging – but if use of semantics in a blog has troubled me so, I can only imagine the massive effort which goes into balancing TYO away from political rhetoric in a land built on a foundation of political rhetoric. Thoughts of nightly raids, arrests, and the sound of F16s all melt away as the faces of women approach each other in greeting. They range in age, but their unifying characteristics are comical banter, a 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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What to Assess When You’re Assessing

At Tomorrow’s Youth Organization in Nablus, classes are held for a diverse group of community members that range in age.  From small children learning English, women learning about computers, and local University students gaining professional skills TYO employs it’s psycho-social approach to ensure evocative learning experiences for all. In TYO’s Core PM English classes, many children arrived with little confidence in their English skills and lacked the social skills necessary to create a friendly and fun environment. Throughout the past few weeks, every child has not only demonstrated a knack for English but have also grown to care for one Continue reading…

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Play to Learn

In today’s society, the importance of learning a second language, such as English, is unparalleled. However, many children, even the 4-6 year-olds that we teach in the Core AM program, begin the program with a resistance to learning English because they believe that something foreign is inherently difficult. However, the goal of our English classes in the Core AM program (sponsored by the Abdel Hamid Shoman Foundation) is to foster a love of learning, more specifically a passion for learning the English language. We cultivate this interest and enthusiasm by engaging the students in learning through play. According to a Continue reading…

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STEPPING OUT

The Core Competency class, part of the Student Training and Employment Program (STEP!) sponsored by the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation, is now halfway through its summer course at An-Najah University. Having gotten to know our students over the course of the first weeks, the challenges they face as they try to enter the job market have been made real to us. Obstacles range from a lack of opportunity to gain experience, to a lack of jobs themselves. In many respects these challenges are universal in nature, shared by students worldwide. In Palestine, however, these difficulties are complicated further by both Continue reading…

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Youth in Focus: An interview with Mayyada Nadi

Mayyada Nadi is a third year student at Abu-Deis from Nablus, studying Medicine. What made you interested in TYO’s STEP! Program? My interest in volunteering at TYO stemmed from my positive experiences as a child beneficiary at TYO. When I was younger I used to attend classes at TYO. I was in a bad situation and frustrated at that time, living without hope because my brother had just been arrested and held at an Israeli jail and my other brother had just been killed. TYO opened new doors for me to have my hope in life back again. At the Continue reading…