Increasing academic readiness and child safety

Extended learning and enrichment hours at school.
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REQUESTED DONATION:

$163,500

STATUS:

FOR DONATION

AREA:

PROGRAMS / EDUCATION

PROJECT

The Extended School Day program aims to provide additional learning and enrichment for students in grades 1–3 in elementary schools in south Tel Aviv and Yafo.

OBJECTIVE

The program aims to support and enrich children from low socio-economic areas educationally and socially, and to provide them with a safe environment while their parents are at work.

IMPORTANCE

The program strengthens the foundations for future academic success and improves access to opportunity.3

THE BACKGROUND

Over the years, the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality has invested considerable resources in strengthening and expanding learning and enrichment programs during the school day and after-hours. The Extended School Day program was recently established to extend school hours for children in grades 1-3. Operating in elementary schools in south Tel Aviv and Yafo, the school day now finishes at 4.00pm instead of the standard 1.00pm or 2.00pm.

THE NEED

All schools in Israel receive a socio-economic rank (1–9), which measures several variables. At the school level, it measures how peripheral its location is and the proportion of immigrants – their level of integration and whether they come from countries in distress. At the home level, it measures the level of education of the most educated parent and the family’s per capita income. Elementary schools in south Tel Aviv and Yafo have low socio-economic ranks: south Tel Aviv schools generally rank four or above while schools in Yafo rank lower. This reflects, in part, a student population characterized by low socioeconomic status and low cultural capital. Often, the parents of these children are in low-skilled jobs requiring long hours; consequently, they are not able to be present for their children until later in the evening, several hours after school usually finishes. For financial reasons, many of these families do not utilize the afternoon care programs or activities that are available elsewhere in the city. Children, therefore, go home alone, unsupervised, or grandparents may be involved.

The Extended School Day program is designed to:

– Support and enrich students educationally and socially;
– Support working parents;
– Improve the quality of education students receive in the afternoon hours; and
– Provide a hot and nutritious meal for a student population which, due to their difficult home environments, often come to school without eating breakfast.

In addition, after-school programs can boost academic performance, reduce risky behaviors, promote physical health, and provide a safe, structured environment for children of working parents.

THE PROJECT

The Extended School Day program is in its third year of operation and currently runs in 23 elementary schools in south Tel Aviv and Yafo. Approximately 63% of students in grades 1-3 participate in the program:
2,200 out of approximately 3,500 children. The level of participation varies between schools: some schools have a 100% participation rate while others have only 40-50%.

The schools with the highest level of need, given the low socioeconomic index of their neighborhoods, are:

– Dizengoff school in Kiryat Shalom
– Amiel Rambam school in HaTikvah
– HaHashmonaim school in Jaffa Gimel
– HaDekel school in Neve Ofer
– Hassan Arfa school in Ajami
– Achva School in Ajami

All participating schools serve a hot lunch as part of the program. The curriculum, led by the Pedagogical Division of the Municipal Division of Education and the Ministry of Education, is taught by a combination of
professional teachers and specialist educators. This is coordinated by a full-time staff member who oversees the program and ongoing teacher training. The program runs throughout the school year for over 10 months.
The average number of hours added to each class in each school is between 12 – 20 hours per week. Teachers offer a combination of classroom teaching and personalized tutoring in the core subjects of language, math, English and science lessons. Significantly, children who participate in the Extended School Day program learn English from first grade, a full year earlier than standard schools. Next year, the program also aims to add a special technology track, which will teach coding and programming skills. These have become essential skills for the high-tech sector, a major engine, and employer in the Israeli economy.

School principals can decide which subjects to offer from the enrichment program, based on the needs of the school and the interests of the students. These include music, robotics, art, sports, dance, yoga and meditation.

THE INVESTMENT

The Tel Aviv Foundation is seeking a philanthropic investment towards the operational costs for the Extended School Day program, including teachers, food, materials, equipment, security, transportation and maintenance.

Total Project Cost (23 schools): $7,930,000
Municipality Funding $4,170,000
Balance $3,760,000
DONATION REQUESTED Per School $163,500

Families make a nominal financial contribution for their children to participate in the Extended School Day program. Standard participation cost (Applications can be submitted for additional subsidies) 250 NIS per month. The participation cost for Arab schools in Yafo 170 NIS per month

 

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