Project archive for Jerash

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.

English Summer Camp in Balila

Award Amount: $58.60
Volunteer(s): M. Madely
Locations(s): Balila
Dates(s): July 2007
Participants: 80 girls, ages 9-17

The first three days of this camp involved an intensive training workshop for a previously selected group of 15 girls I know to be strong English students and willing to help me with the camp. All of these girls had participated in “English Team” the previous semester. My sister was here at that time, providing an incentive for the girls to come and help, as they had the chance to meet and talk to an American girl closer to their own age who did not speak Arabic. During those 3 days, we talked about how they would work with small groups of girls to make sure everyone had a chance to participate, and to give each participant more individual attention. We decorated the room and also made visual aids for the camp including interactive posters for the days of the week, weather, and calendar. As all the other teachers were busy with their families over the summer, I found that having students help worked out extremely well. They showed up every day and actively kept the other students on task.

The rest of the camp was held on weekdays. 4 groups of students came in, for one hour each. I worked with Tawjihi alone on grammar, then my helpers came in to assist with the other three age groups. Besides the Tawjihi group, every group focused on review of material they should know by now, such as letters, handwriting, basic phonics, greetings, weather, days of the week, describing yourself, and shopping. My helpers were amazing in facilitating a beneficial learning environment. They truly exceeded my expectations in their dedication to the project and the amount of help that they provided me. On fashion show day, two of my helpers brought bags of dress-up clothes to make the fashion show more entertaining for the girls. Most writing activities were done either on the board, on paper with pencils and crayons, or on white-boards made for the purpose from cardboard, paper and contact paper. Special white boards for tracing letters were made and used extensively as well (and are still in constant use this semester). The calendar, days of the week poster, and weather poster are also in use this year by all 6 of the English teachers in this school.

Finally, on the second to last day of camp, all of the TEFL trainee girls came to visit for one hour. My helpers and campers welcomed them with much fanfare, and really enjoyed meeting several new Americans! Students have already started inquiring after spots in next year’s camp…

The Monastery, PetraRoman Column in Jerash
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