The educational-cultural approach
Education and Culture
Education and Culture is under the direction of a coordinator, who possesses a Master’s degree in community mental health from the University of Haifa.
We ascribe immense importance to these subjects and to their importance on the educational life in the present and the future. Therefore, we invest a large amount of resources for each educator and child in the Children’s Home.
The rationale behind joining formal education and informal education is to enable the child to develop a wider understanding (strengths, subjects that interest, talents, difficulties, etc.) about a variety of their activities. Consequently, it is possible to build a personalized plan for them, advancing it according to their abilities and talents.
We firmly believe that this way we increase the possibility for every child to experience success, to improve his self-esteem, to boost their feeling of belonging socially, and to bestow upon them all the means to enable them to leave our home and lead independent lives.
In the area of education we offer a wide range of tools for success and improving the students’ achievements. Our students are spread out over 20 different schools in the vicinity of the community.
Active learning center – This center comprises a team of four teachers and volunteers. The center offers solutions to all the students’ study needs:
Homework assistance, extra lessons to strengthen the students in certain subjects, enrichment activities, an active library, and more.
Rehabilitative tutoring- This program has the goal of taking below-standard students and giving them personal instruction to raise their accomplishments to normal standards, and in some cases turn them into outstanding students. We attempt to close educational gaps; to provide the children with basic skills in reading, writing, and arithmetic; to help them develop skills to successfully meet the demands of school; to change the student’s self-attitude; and to strengthen their self-confidence. This program is carried out by a certified teacher who visits the Children’s Home three times a week and holds individual tutoring sessions.
An individualized program for each student – This is set up by the staff during regular meetings (once every three weeks) in which the entire team takes part: coordinator of the child’s residence, social worker, house mother, teacher from the education center, and education coordinator. Their goal is to discuss the situation of each student, to keep track of the student’s progress in studies and their behavior, to set goals, and to help them progress according to their abilities.
In the realm of culture:
We see great importance in occupying the children’s free time , so we offer a wide variety of activities for afternoon and evening hours.
Selection of extra-curricular classes – These are intended for all the children in the Children’s Home. The list is long and dynamic, challenging and brings out their creativity. The goal is for every student to join at least one of these classes. The classes offered include: Horseback riding, hip hop, martial sports, painting, movie, theater, soccer, electricity, piano playing, tennis, choral singing, baking and cooking, sports, and dietary health.
Individual classes – These are intended for children identified with special talents the goal being to develop the talent, to assist them in developing this talent and eventually helping them find a way to continue their advancement.
Classes offered under different educational frameworks – We encourage our students to participate in classes given by other organizations whenever appropriate and possible.
Activities for the entire Children’s Home – We have a tradition of events in which all the children participate. These engender the feeling of belonging to our entire community, and not just a small section. These activities bring all the students together for holidays, ceremonies, parties and shared celebrations. The activities generate an atmosphere of community with common interests, express cultural values, and enable everyone to see what is going on in the Children’s Home in general, and in the smaller groups.
We offer well thought out activities for weekends for those children who remain at the Children’s Home.
Group activity – Each group of children has one weekly group activity run by youth who are in their year of national public service. Educational activity – The goal is relaxation and enjoyment, and intended to form bonds within members of the group.
Values and community – This is a unique project in Israel. The youngsters from the older students’ residence meet with prisoners currently in jail. The students are exposed to the personal stories of the prisoners and to the prison conditions. This confrontation sharpens their values and understanding of terminology that might have been too distant from their reality for them to truly understand, such as: Assuming personal responsibility for actions, think ahead before acting, etc.
Graduates’ preparation for living outside – The program’s goal is to create a preparatory program for general integration into independent living. It gives the graduates 1) valuable skills to implement, 2) opportunities for practicing the use of these skills and, finally, 3) the ability to go out on their own but with appropriate mentoring. All of this is intended to enable a successful and healthy integration into society, self-realization, and an escape from the circle of poverty.
The program is built from three parts:
- Imparting skills and training to the 11th and 12th grade students in the Children’s Home.
- Starting independent living, just as others before have gone out on their own, but still being accompanied by counselors from the Children’s Home.
- Supporting academic studies.
Bar Mitzvah Project – “Conquering Mountains” – A social and educational project for students of seventh grade. This project is based on putting the students through various activities with the goal of connecting them to their personal identity at the critical time when they metamorphose from children to young adults. Additional goals are to create and strengthen their perception of belonging to a group, based on shared tasks and taking responsibility; experiencing making contributions to the world around them, both inside and outside the Children’s Home; to develop knowledge of the Jewish tradition and ritual connected with Bar Mitzvah. The project “Conquering Mountains” emphasizes the experience of group success and of each of it members, in particular. This is accomplished through trips to various locations around the country.
“Women’s Power” project – This is a series of meetings and basketball matches for groups of female students from the older and intermediate residences. The goal of the meetings is to strengthen the young ladies, to give them direction as women, and to grant them basic skills to use when encountering daily situations. This is accomplished through examples in the lives of the female players, conversations, and shared activities.
“Give and Receive” project -This is a program to create a long-term connection between the community of Mavo Hama and the children in the younger groups, and will eventually lead to families developing a connection and helping to take care of the children.
The program comprises four exciting meetings during the year, including activities shared by the youngsters of the Children’s Home and families of the Mavo Hama community. Through these meetings the children develop familiarity with the kibbutz and the families, and gradually a long-term connection evolves.
“Smart economics” project – This project aims at raising the student’s awareness and thinking about managing their economic situation wisely. We firmly believe that teaching the students about the subject and giving them tools when they become teenagers will be a major contribution to their future. The two organizations “At-risk children” and “Paamonim” (Bells), both NGOs, have joined together to the create the content we present to the students in this relevant and important area.