Project archive for Irbid

Three Village Spelling Bee

Award Amount: $42.00
Volunteer(s): M. Pezzicara
Locations(s): Hofa, Qum, and Al-Kharaj Secondary Schools
Dates(s): December 2012
Participants: 15 boys

Along with 2 other volunteers in their respective villages, we held a 3 village Spelling Bee among the 6th grade.  The children were all given one month to prepare, and a week prior to the competition, each school choose 5 students to represent their school.  All the words were selected from the Action Pack Curriculum, with some harder words taken from outside the textbook if the selected vocabulary proved to be too easy for the students.  The competition format was taken by turns, with the students given an unlimited amount of time to spell their word.  The first round allowed for 1 mistake, with subsequent rounds not allowing any mistakes.  The final student was declared the winner.  All students receieved participation prizes, with the winner also taking home a trophy to his house for one night, and after it was displayed in the school.  The trophy will be passed around to other villages for subsequent competitions.  Funds were used exactly as planned, for the trophy, snacks, and transportation of students.  The trophy was the most expensive item, and will not need to be purchased again.  For subsequent competitions, the transportation will be paid for from school funds, leaving only a small cost for snack and juice.  Overall, the event was a complete success, which is why we have all decided to continue the competition on a monthly basis when school is in session.

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.

Hollywood Hofa Presents: Hard Luck

Award Amount: $90.00
Volunteer(s): K. Bellows
Locations(s): Hofa, Um Qais
Dates(s): July 2010
Participants: 15 male

I ran a movie camp this summer for English students from my 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th grade classes.  The film, “Hard Luck” was conceived by the students and is a tale of ancient betrayal, revenge, and adventure.  The students and I wrote the script and they were the stars.  Filming at Um Qais, their idea, was one of the highlights.  I used FOJ funds to secure a driver to Um Qais, buy props for the film, and, most importantly, buy food and drinks for the shoot.  My students were creatively empowered by the whole movie-making process and got to practice their English skills in a non-traditional context.  The movie turned out to be a great success and was a lot of fun for all involved.  Many thanks to FOJ for making it possible.

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.



Women’s Fitness Club

Award Amount: $60.00
Volunteer(s): M. Estrella
Locations(s): Ramtha
Dates(s): August-January 2009
Participants: 12 female, ages 14-30

The Women’s Fitness Club offered women in Ramtha an opportunity to take care of their health through exercise routines. In order to provide a variety in the exercises we did, I chose to do aerobics, yoga, dance, and pilates. Privy to attending the sessions, many of the women mentioned certain back, joint, and muscle aches. So, I decided to include massage therapy as a way to reduce the physical impact our sessions would have on their bodies.

Although the fitness club specifically catered to older women, my younger girls within the Youth Center began to show interest and so the program expanded. Overall, both women and girls really enjoyed the music, the exercise routines and certainly spending time together.

Thanks to your financial support, I was able to purchase yoga mats, a scale, and  fix the stereo system. Please note that I was able to take pictures of my younger girls, however my older participants were not comfortable having their pictures taken throughout our sessions.


English Art and Games Camp

Award Amount: $205.00
Volunteer(s): M. Madeley
Locations(s): Balila
Dates(s): June-July 2008
Participants: 120 girls, 7-17 years old

Training Camp and English, Art and Games Camp were two consecutive and related camps that were executed to fulfill several goals.  The objectives of the Training Camp were to plan the English, Art and Games Camp, and to train 20 talented, hard-working girls with whom I have been working throughout my service in working as a team and responsibility.  I taught them how to do each of the art projects and games I had in mind, and we tried them all out, including Duck Duck Goose, jump rope, Capture the Flag and a marble run.  They added their own ideas as well, and we did those too.  As a group, they decided on the camp schedule- when we would do each project.  They also each chose English warm-up activities for the English component of the camp.  Finally, they decided who would lead each activity, and who would help in which component each day.  I also worked with the girls on team-building activities that would help them work together, since each of those girls is very willful and not accustomed to working with so many other girls as talented as themselves.

The objectives of English, Art and Games Camp were to improve English skills, promote confidence and creativity in art, and to provide more ideas of fun ways for young girls to engage in physical activity.  100 girls from 3rd grade through 11th grade registered and participated in a daily schedule including an English activity, an Art project, and a new Game.  The last day of the camp, mothers were invited to attend as well.  In the art room, many of the art projects completed during the camp, such as play-dough sculptures, paintings, pencil holders, dream catchers, friendship bracelets and stained “glass” (waxed paper), were on display, and mothers were invited to take home their children’s work.  Then the graduation ceremony was held in a large room.  Each of the three groups performed a song and a skit, both in English and both prepared during the English sessions during the previous week.  Each participant received a certificate, and 15 participants received awards for their outstanding efforts.  All the English Team members who helped were also recognized and received a gift.

The Friends of Jordan grant enabled me to purchase materials, especially for the art projects, such as paint and paintbrushes, paper, posterboard, string, tape, glue, markers and chalk.  We also purchased rope to make 9 large jumpropes.  Thanks to the funds, this year’s camp was much more fun than last year’s, and all of the participants enjoyed the variety of activities that they had never had the chance to try before.


Summer Camp and Garden

Award Amount: $150.00
Volunteer(s): J. Cho
Locations(s): Al Turra
Dates(s): July-August 2007
Participants: 31 girls, ages 14-16

The garden project at Al Turra Secondary School for girls was implemented as part of an English summer camp. The first week girls worked on english activities which focused on the environment. They designed the color scheme and placement of the gardens around the school, and strategized how best to implement the project. During the second week painting and construction began. The funds were used to purchase paint supplies, cement, cinder blocks, and dirt for the garden. (more…)

Doqara Summer Camp

Award Amount: $150.00
Volunteer(s): V. de Bruyn
Locations(s): Doqara
Dates(s): July 2007
Participants: 87 students, grades 1 to 8

Summer camp activities included arts and crafts activities, English games, science experiments, team-building activities, computer projects, and school beautification efforts. Specifically, arts and crafts activities included making bracelets, snow globes, woven placemats, picture frames, paper mache rattles, and string and stick “eyes”. English games included board games like hangman and word tic-tac-toe, word-searches, and other games like “upset the picnic basket”, Bingo, scavenger hunts, and matching capital and small letters and ordinal numbers. Students also listened to a story and drew a picture about it.For science projects, students built and “exploded” a volcano using baking powder and vinegar. As team-building activities, students worked together to build a tower, create a mural, and go on a scavenger hunt. On the computers, students practiced writing their names and words that corresponded with the letters of their names; they put these words in different fonts. To improve the school grounds, students planted flowers and painted murals on classroom walls. I judge the camp a huge success by the excitement of my students.

“Thank you so much for the opportunity you gave my students and myself. It made my day to go to camp every day and see the smiles on my students’ faces.” V. de Bruyn.

Habibi Program

Award Amount: $60.00
Volunteer(s): A. Ko
Locations(s): Dair Abi Sa'eed
Dates(s): June - August 2006
Participants: 39 male student, ages 12-19

The Habibi Program was implemented to raise participation in academic activities given by myself at the youth center. We based two activities, the Daily Question Program and the World Club, on the Habibi Program. This program used a token system which rewarded students for their participation and allowed them to exchange their tokens for prizes each Thursday.

The funds were used to buy enticing prizes like football jerseys, notebooks, hats, bizzur (sunflower seeds), pepsi and other small trinkets. Students would come to me and eagerly want me to check them off that they answered the question correctly or make sure that I saw their two pieces of information for the World Club. As a result of this program the youth learned about world geography, ways to transmit AIDS, local history of their town, world religions, main functions of their city, basic health practices, a little bit of business economics and some history of the youth center. One co-worker helped me facilitate the Daily Question Program, on days I weren’t in the center, and also the World Club. He is pictured in the first picture. His involvement helped the program a lot and gives me a small hope that he could continue it if he wanted to.

“Thank you for your support and for giving us volunteers a way to implement our programs if our center can’t support us financially.” – A. Ko

The Kings' HighwayThe Monastery, Petra
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