This week children in TYO’s Core Child morning and afternoon programs just completed their second week of summer programming. They learned all about their families. Family plays one of the most important parts in one’s life. The people that surround children as they grow and develop play a tremendous role in refining personalities, creating a sense of identity, and molding ways of thinking. With that in mind, one of TYO’s goals is to work on the concept of family with children for this week so they can develop a strong understanding of their families, learn how to appreciate them, and how to increase their own sense of belonging within their families. This is particularly important in the Palestinian context given the family as the root of culture. Historically, Palestinian culture has been the real source of strength that holds people and the society together in spite of outside political challenges. ‘Culture is a very important means by which Palestinians have held onto their identity, values, norms, and traditions. It is a glue that maintains the link between the Palestinian people, no matter where they reside and their ancestral home.’
At TYO, we believe that the the family has the biggest impact on shaping children’s personality. As such, in this week we focused on increasing children’s sense of belonging within their families, responsibility to their family, and helping to children to understand the relationship between children and adults. These goals were specifically planned to be implemented through fun and engaging activities. Children got the chance to do new and creative activities that best serve the week’s goals. For instance, in both morning and afternoon programs children made posters of their families, which allowed them to practice creative expression. Each child made his/her own family diagram using different shapes of carton, with each shape representing a different member in the family. The children were so excited to decorate their posters and bring the finished product home to their families as a gift.
It is TYO’s mission to offer high-quality early childhood programs that enrich children’s social, intellectual and physical development as creative and engaged citizens as well as to provide safe spaces for all community members enjoy. And we believe that to achieve such goals, the family is the main key where change can begin. As such it was a true joy to watch children engage so enthusiastically in this week.
–Core Child Teacher, Ahmed B.
The Student Training and Employment Program (STEP!) – is funded by the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation.