Project archive for Ajloun

Ajloun Special Education Camp

Award Amount: $290.00
Volunteer(s): Carly Wolff, Natalie Harr
Locations(s): Ajloun
Dates(s): June 3-7, 2012
Participants: 30 male, 35 female, ages 3-18

We created a week long summer camp for various Special Education centers in Ajloun.  The activities that the students participated in included Arts and Crafts, Science, Yoga, Karate, Relay Races, Games and Music.

With the funds provided, we purchased Art supplies (paper, markers, glue, glitter, etc.), Science supplies (cups, soil, coffee filters, etc.), water and food for the campers and staff, as well as food and transportation for the volunteers who stayed in Ajloun for the week to help.

The camp was successful and both students and teachers were fully engaged in each activity. The teachers also learned some new activities that they can easily replicate in the future.

Summer Chess Camp

Award Amount: $100.00
Volunteer(s): Latifah Mouhibi
Locations(s): Kufranjah
Dates(s): July 3-July 14, 2011
Participants: 25 female participants and counselors, ages 13-15.

This project was a huge undertaking in this small community, seeing as none of the girls actually knew how to play chess. Some of them had attempted to learn in the past, but not one of them knew what any of the pieces were but they all were eager to learn. I purchased a manual on how to teach chess so that I would cover all of the bases on how to take a person from no knowledge of the game to becoming a real chess player, in just one week.

The girls caught on quickly, the manual was a great help. By teaching them the functions of only two chess pieces each day, with practice games using the moves  they learned, by the end of the week they were ready to compete against one another.

Instead of having teachers help with the camp, I had solicited a group of 15 English proficient girls to act as my assistants. Even though only 3 showed up regularly, it was a great help to have them passing out the lesson sheets, being responsible for the game boards and pieces while I demonstrated the lessons, and also to translate if necessary.

I paired up players according to ability, with the better player playing against the weaker player to motivate and teach the weaker player to get better. This method worked every time because their peers gave them advice on how to play and showed them how to win.

Each day we had 3 games going on, with another game available in case more students showed up. At the end of each week, after playing practice games for 3 days, a competition was held and a winner was rewarded with a prize. The winner from week 1 played the winner from week 2 and a grand prize was awarded.

The girls really enjoyed learning the game, and for some  of them chess made them more focused on planning ahead. I noticed the change in a couple of girls’ attention span after learning how to play.

Most of them will continue to play at home for recreation, now that they know the rules of the game.


Special Needs Summer Carnival

Award Amount: $150.00
Volunteer(s): S. Bender,
Locations(s): Al Amal Center Ramtha, Al Almal Center Hebras, Salah Adin Special Education Society, Al Amal Center Mafraq, Al Manshiya Special Education Society, Alkoura Alshamel Special Education Center
Governorate(s): ,,,
Dates(s): May 2010
Participants: 178 students, 15 university volunteers, 8 PCVs

The Carnival opened with performances by students from each of our centers. One student did a beautiful reading from the Qu’ran, another sang a popular children’s song, and the remaining centers performed various dances. After the “opening ceremonies,” the students were free to roam the gymnasium to the difference activities as they pleased. Each center was in charge of one activity, which was maintained and run throughout the Carnival by both volunteers (Peace Corps and University) as well as the teachers themselves. The Carnival day finished as a shawarma lunch was served.

By putting each center in charge of one activity, the teachers and directors were encouraged to take some responsibility for the planning of the event. Through the planning and designing of each of these activities, teachers and directors from each center were able to see the ways that planning fun activities that still address various social and motor skills can benefit the students. In addition, the activity responsibility section of the Carnival helped each center think outside of the box for their activities. Because of our limited budget, each center was encouraged to design activities that included materials they already had, rather than come up with activities that would involve purchasing new resources (not all centers succeeded at this, but the fact that some did is definitely a small success). Come the day of the Carnival, it was very impressive to see that each center had indeed pulled their weight and come together to provide a plethora of activities for the students to enjoy and participate in.

North Jordan Youth Leadership Camp

Award Amount: $280.00
Volunteer(s): D. Rosenblum, K. Schott, V. Ram, N. Christiansen, J. Todd, A. Brezinski
Locations(s): Mafraq
Governorate(s): ,,
Dates(s): June 2009
Participants: 45 males, age 14-16

Now in its third year the Ajloun Summer Camp expanded its area to include Mafraq students in its activities.  Students participating in the Teamwork Camp not only completed English activities but also sharpened their groupwork skills.  With funds received fom the Friends of Jordan PCVs arranged transportation for students from 7 different villages in the Ajloun and Mafraq areas.  8th and 9th graders from these villages completed criticial thinking and group work activities.  The activities challenged the students not only to think creatively, but also to work with new students and make new connections.

The program was designed to provide a setting that allowed students to meet other students and create new friends, and participate in different activities and games that encouraged developing leadership strategies, teamwork, and critical thinking skills.

The first event that students participated in was a serires of ice-breakers.  Students were divided into small groups and introduced to a variety of activities designed to reduce nerves and encourage participatioin.  Some of the ice-breakers the campers participated in included the ‘human-knot’ and the ‘name-game’.  Additionally, supervisors and camp volunteers were assigned to participate in each group in order to encourage and promote a higher level of interaction and trust between the students and program leaders.

After the completion of the ice-breakers, students remained in their groups and were presnted with a set of brain-teasers and puzzles.  The purpose of these questions was to promote critical and creative thinking amongst the participants, encourage communication and teamwork between team members, and provide leadership opportunities for the various students who spoke as team-leaders or offered explanations and solutions to the puzzles.

Other group activities that the campers participated in included a ‘team-race’, ‘up-jenkins’, ‘blind-dodgeball’, and ‘team air-soccer’.  All of the games were designed to promote and encourage a variety of skills sets, including teamwork, communication, critical listening, and leadership.  All of the activities allowed for interaction, teamwork, and communication between participants.  During the ‘team-race’ for example, all 35 camp participants had to work together in order to finish an obstacle course as one group at the same time.  In ‘blind-dodgeball’, campers were paired into groups.  One camper was blind folded, and had to follow the specific instructions of the partner in order to locate or dodge other teams.

In addition to the various events and activities, the participants also were treated to a group lunch, and provided with an opportunity to reflect on the days events and provide feedback.  By creating a post-camp survey in both English and Arabic, the volunteers and camp supervisors were able to develop a list of the most and least populat activities, and create a set of recommendations and areas of improvement for future camps and similar programs.



Sentence Builders!

Award Amount: $25.00
Volunteer(s): K. Schott
Locations(s): Hashmieh
Dates(s): August 2008
Participants: 35 males, 10-15 years old

Sentence Builders was a writing baseed camp.  By using pictures and a small preselected vocabulary students praticed making their own sentences.  Funding from FOJ was used to provide each student with a set of 75 word cards divided into colors representing verbs, adjectives, nouns, and articles with English on one side and Arabic on the other.  By de-emphasizing rote memory of vocabulary students were free to focus on patterns of words.  Slowly through direct instruction, examples and games students learned to create their own unique sentences.  They progressed from simply identifying things they saw in pictures to connecting different pictures to write stories.  Over time they created more complex sentences by applying the patterns of colors they used in simpler sentences. By the end of the summer students were able to write short, grammatically-correct paragraphs.  A number of students commented that they brought the sentence cards home and practiced making sentences with their brothers and sisters.

Jordan Youth Leadership Camp

Award Amount: $250.00
Volunteer(s): J. Love, J. Morrissey, L. Warden, D. Kirk, V. Ram, K, Schott
Locations(s): Aljoun
Dates(s): June 18
Participants: 40 male students, grade 6-8


On June 18th, 33 Jordanian boys from the eighth grade, representing five schools from across northern Jordan, took part in the second annual Jordan Youth Leadership Camp, (JYLC) facilitated by five TEFL PCVs (Jaxon Love, John Morrissey, VJ Ram, Kevin Schott, and Lucas Warden), one Youth Development PCV (Michael Buff) and five Jordanian English teachers.  The camp, hosted at the Ajloun Hashemite Hall and the Ajloun Youth Sports Complex, was sponsored by Friends of Jordan, the Ajloun Department of Education, the Ajloun Youth Center, and the Governorate of Ajloun.  Roundtrip transportation as well as a snack and lunch were graciously provided by FOJ.  Activities began at 9 am and lasted until 3 pm.

History and Purpose

The JYLC was initiated in 2007 by J9 PCV Andy Lehto.  That year, it was hosted by the Mafraq Youth Center and was a big success.  The purpose of the JYLC is to provide leadership training to outstanding Jordanian youth in a real-life English language setting.  Participants then use the leadership skills developed at the camp to help their PCVs in the implementation of development projects in their communities.  Feedback from participants and facilitators indicate that the day’s activities were fun, unique, and educational.


The day began with a welcome and introduction.  Participants were asked to discuss the meaning of leadership and think of some leaders they know in the world and in their communities.  This was followed by several short ice-breaker activities.  Participants were divided into four leadership groups.  Each group was aided by a facilitating PCV and Jordanian teacher, who led students through a series of name-learning exercises and a group problem-solving activity called the “human knot”.

After a short debrief and a snack, the groups moved on to an outdoor session on teamwork.  The teams took turns at two teamwork activity stations.  The first, entitled “maze”, required groups to use trial and error to find the secret path through a checkerboard laid out on the ground.  At the second, known as “acid river”, groups had to syncronize their movements in order to cross over an imaginary acid river by stepping on “pods”.  During the debriefing, participants noted that problems arose in their groups when individuals were not focused on the task.  Cooperation, critical thinking, and a positive attitude were necessary for success.

The next session was an inter-group challenge called “chickenball”.  Groups had to line up by number, each group standing at opposite ends of the playing field.  When a number was called, that person had to run to the middle and try to steal the “chicken” and bring it back to his team’s side.  If he was tagged by the player from the opposing team, he had to return the “chicken” and no points were scored.

This session revealed some weaknesses in group dynamics as some participants grew discouraged with their teammates.  During the debriefing, the groups identified the common problems of individualism and negative attitudes.  This was an opportunity to discuss the importance of good sportsmanship, a positive attitude, and self-esteem building.

Following the inter-group challenge and debriefing, participants enjoyed a sandwich, chips and a beverage.  Having eaten, the camp transitioned to the Ajloun Youth Sports Complex for the afternoon activities.  The application of leadership skills session presented groups with a series of complex tasks.  To complete these tasks, groups needed to demonstrate creative and critical thinking, cooperation, patience, honesty, organization and positivism.  The session’s debriefing focused on what methods were attempted to complete the tasks and the degree to which these methods were successful or not.  Some groups found that they were too restricted by the rules for each task while others came up with unique ways to work within the rules.

The last activity of the day was a friendly football match on the complex’s beautiful turf field.  Participants had been waiting for this opportunity all day!  Early on in the match, players had a tendency to cluster together and attack the ball as individuals.  However, the size of the field meant that teams were more successful when they spread out across the field and communicated with each other.  The match ended in a tie, but no one seemed to be very concerned with the score anyway.

Beyond Leadership Camp

At the end of the day, participants and facilitators received award certificates for successful completion of leadership training before making the journey back to their communities.  There they will spend the summer vacation helping their PCVs to organize summer projects and youth activities.  For example, the leadership group from Rajib community, with the guidance of PCV Jaxon Love, will lead a program to promote the new Rajib Community Technology Center, which was recently built with funding from a community-initiated Small Project Assistance Grant from USAID.  These young leaders will have the chance to put their new skills and knowledge to work by helping promote development in their neighborhoods and villages.

Health and Fitness Camp

Award Amount: $46.00
Volunteer(s): J. Love
Locations(s): Rajib
Dates(s): July 2007
Participants: 37 boys

The Rajib Summer Wellness Camp (RSWC) took place for 3 hours on Sundays through Wednesday over four weeks during the month of July, 2007. The camp benefited from a very large pool of volunteer facilitators as well as from a student leadership team. (more…)

Holiday English Camp

Award Amount: $115.00
Volunteer(s): K. Fess
Locations(s): Hashmieh
Dates(s): May-June 2006
Participants: 210 female, 4th-10th grade

Two hundred and ten girls from ages five through sixteen came to the Holiday English Club which was held four days a week for four weeks at the Hashmieh Basic School for Girls, where I teach.  There were four sessions per day and each group came twice a week.  The first group on Sunday and Tuesday was the 6th graders, then the preschool, 1st and 2nd graders together, then the 4th graders, and the 8th‘, 9th, and 10th graders who came every day.  On Monday and Wednesday, the first group was the 7th graders, then the 3rd graders, 5th graders, and the 8th, 9th, and 10th graders.  School lasted from 9-1 with each group going for 45 minutes to one hour.  Each group worked on different things to encourage them to speak more English and enhance the skills they learned during the year.  For instance, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders reviewed the alphabet (flashcards, worksheets), colors (worksheets), time (worksheets and clocks), days of the week (calendar), months of the year, vocabulary words through BINGO and flashcards, and learned the song The Wheels on the Bus.  The 4th graders introduced themselves, reviewed the days of the week (calendar), months of the year, seasons, time (worksheets), read short paragraphs (worksheets) and answered questions, discussed jobs of various people, and did a following directions worksheet.  The 5th and 6th graders listened to a story about a blind boy, answered questions and decoded a Braille message sheet, introduced themselves, reviewed alphabet and all of the sounds, days of the week, months of the year, seasons, time (worksheets), shapes (worksheet), and learned the continents (map) and what animals lived on each.  The 6th graders also did worksheets dealing with ‘The House”.  The 7th graders introduced themselves, went over alphabet and their sounds, did worksheets that reviewed words dealing with ‘The House’, read short stories and learned how to summarize.  The 8th, 9th, and 10th graders group was small (12-15) and they decided they wanted to meet every day so we did.  One girl came from another village every day and took 2 buses to get here because she wanted to learn more English.  They went over the alphabet and the sounds of all of the letters, did worksheets dealing with verbs of action, daily activities, reading a map and finding places on it, reading short paragraphs and discovering the humor in them, reading short stories and summarizing them.

Funding was used to make copies of the worksheets, make the BINGO game, the calendars, covering them with contact paper, buying pens, pencils, erasers for the board, chart paper, paper plates for clocks, paper fasteners, paper clips, rubber bands, certificates, etc.

All of the girls said that they really enjoyed going to the Holiday English Club.  Some came every day even though their group wasn’t scheduled.  If they were scheduled for 11:00 they came at 9:00 and waited around for their group to begin.

Before the Holiday English Club began, about six teachers in the school helped color worksheets and pictures for the BINGO game, make signs, and talk with the students about coming and sign them up.  One of the teachers said she might help but her husband wanted her to go to Malasia with him so she didn’t.  My counterpart had an engagement and a wedding in her family so wasn’t able to help teach but encouraged me with activities, loaned me English books for ideas for teaching, etc.  Plus she was potty training one of her four daughters who she cared for.  One woman who was a student teacher in English and lives in Hashmieh, helped me clean the rooms, get them set up and organize some of the many materials I had.  She was going to help me teach but had other commitments as it turned out.  A student’s mother, Fatima, who is a former English teacher, helped me throughout the summer with teaching, translating, and preparing materials.  She indicated that she gained a lot of confidence in teaching and learned a lot from me as far as organizing, teaching materials, and general vocabulary pronunciation.  I learned vocabulary and techniques from her as well.  There were four girls, two in the 6th grade and two in the 7th grade who were invaluable help to me.  They helped keep a register of attendance, translate words for me to the younger students, helped work with them when more hands were needed making clocks and telling time.  The two 7th grades actually taught two classes on colors and did a wonderful job.  One of the 6th graders came with the 6th and 7th graders as she wanted to learn more English.  One of the girls said that she gained confidence in speaking English, learned the value of being on time, and of organization.  In a short written survey I took after the program, the girls said they all liked the program, would come again next year, liked speaking English and there was nothing that they didn’t like.

Our country director and TEFL manager came to my summer camp and were very enthused.  The last week the new J10 group of  TEFL women (11) came to observe and participate as well.

There was a frustration on my part because many of the groups were too large for effective individual speaking in English.  There were two student teachers of English in our school who said they would help teach but they never showed up.  The children did review and learn new skills and seemed happy and the help that was there was wonderful.


FigsThe Roman Amphitheater, Amman
  • This Month's Poll

    How did you celebrate Ramadan?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...