Creating a holistic learning space for children who need additional support

Enrichment Centre at Ahavat Zion School
DONATE
REQUESTED DONATION:

$275,000

STATUS:

FOR DONATION

AREA:

PROJECTS / EDUCATION

PROJECT

Provide good quality equipment and full-time professional staff for the Enrichment Center at Ahavat Zion elementary school.

OBJECTIVE

Create a holistic learning space where children can receive academic and emotional support, outside the framework of the formal classroom.

IMPORTANCE

Effective schools address the whole child: their emotional, social, and academic needs. The Ahavat Zion Empowerment Center can serve as a useful model for other schools.

THE BACKGROUND

Ahavat Zion is an elementary school located at 16 Kohnstamm Street in the Old North neighborhood of Tel Aviv. The school has approximately 700 students, including a special education stream. Its pedagogical
approach is personalized, innovative, and holistic, catering to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs. Ahavat Zion aims to create learning environments that are inclusive, supportive and help students develop their strengths and self-awareness. The school offers informal as well as formal educational experiences and gives students the opportunity to choose lessons according to their areas of interest or learning styles, such as group work or independent learning. The school timetable is flexible and incorporates technology to enable differentiated learning.
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THE NEED

Non-classroom-based learning is very important at Ahavat Zion but has been constrained by a lack of break-out spaces. Until recently, the only available spaces were corridors, an art room in the large air-raid shelter, a room in the outside shelter, and the library. There was also a need for a holistic space that could provide additional learning support for students as well as address their social and emotional needs through music, storytime, art, or small group or individual engagement with teachers. To address these two needs, teachers and parents at the school worked together to convert the outside air-raid shelter into an Enrichment Center by painting, furnishing and equipping it with materials, games, and computers. Established in February 2018, the Enrichment Center is the first of its kind in Israel. Operating five days a week from September-July, the pilot has proven to be a hugely successful model. The Principal at Ahavat Zion is in discussion with other schools about replicating the project.

THE PROJECT

Approximately 200 students use the Enrichment Center per week. The center integrates mainstream and special education students and caters to students on the autism spectrum, students with academic difficulties, and students who need extra emotional support due to challenges at home or school.

The Ahavat Zion Enrichment Center is designed to be a welcoming and comfortable space, offering:

– Educational games for various ages and levels;
– Computers with learning games to assist with literacy development;
– A reading area with books;
– Creative area for drawing, painting, etc.
– A Big Brother/Big Sister program wherein students from high grades mentor students from younger grades. – Relaxation area with comfortable furniture, music, etc.

Following the success of the pilot, Ahavat Zion plans to professionalize and expand the Enrichment Center over the coming three years, as follows:

Year 1:
2019 – 2020

Consolidate the work of the center manager, who is responsible for all aspects of the Center’s operation, from maintenance to the preparation of educational materials or games, student support in all its forms, and facilitation of group and individual learning. The Manager is also in regular contact with classroom teachers to update them about individual students; progress and well-being. Purchase educational games, learning aids, and materials.

Year 2:
2020 – 2021

Create a permanent, purpose-built space in the school for the Enrichment Center which enables different learning groups and activities. This will involve proper design and construction, and the purchase of furniture and equipment.

Year 3:
2021 – 2022

Maintain and develop educational offerings in the center.

THE INVESTMENT

The requested donation is over a three-year period.
Year 1 $52,000
Year 2 $150,000
Year 3 $48,000
Total Cost $250,000
Management Fee $25,000

REQUESTED DONATION $275,000

 

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