First Day of the Summer 2009 Session!

On Sunday, June 14, 2009 Tomorrow’s Youth Organization began its Summer 2009 Session in Nablus.  Approximately 180 children are registered for the Morning and Afternoon Core Programs.  An additional, 170 youth and 40 women are enrolled in classes taught by the five International Interns.  As part of an intensive four-month training program lead by MaDad, the Core Program teachers spent the last several weeks focusing on revamping their programs to focus on the Holistic Integrated Approach to early childhood education.  Similarly, the teachers and interns have transformed TYO’s classrooms and shared spaces into enriching, safe and familiar spaces.  The first day of the session was met with excitement and enthusiasm.  The Core Program participants, the majority of whom attended TYO in the spring, were awed by the changes.  The teachers were motivated by their energy and eagerness.  Additionally, under the leadership of Imad Mansour, the Volunteer Program is off to a great start.  Fifty-one service-minded students from An Najah University will join the TYO team as volunteers. It was a fantastic beginning to an important summer for all! TYO is grateful to the National Beverage Company who generously donated juice boxes to keep the children happy and hydrated during the first day!

Ahmad, Health Teacher The children weren’t as anxious as they were last session.  Today was a first day unlike any other.  As the children entered our Center, they ran excitedly to their previous classrooms  They didn't know we had made changed so we had to help them get to the right class, but they were so eager. They asked so many questions.  I was so satisfied with my first day. It was incredible to bring the children into our redesigned space and feel their excitement and hear them express their happiness.

Please click to read more about the team’s thoughts on the first day!

Sameeha, IT Teacher The children were surprised by the new look.  After they saw what their first classroom looked like they began asking about all the others.  They wanted to see and experience everything.  When they saw the new computers and color printers, they got so excited.  They all wanted to play and learn on the new computers.

Rana, Art Teacher This program is new and we have many different stations within new classroom.  The children have so much new stimulation. They want to try everything.  They are so happy with the changes to the classroom and the program.  They were smiling and wanted to start playing immediately.

Haitham, Sports Teacher It went very well.  It is a new experience for us—different from all other sessions.  In this difference, there was a challenge for the team.  I felt a bit anxious before the children arrived.  Would they like the new classrooms? Would they like the new program and games?  Once the first children arrived all my anxiety disappeared.  It was incredible.  One child said to me, “The rooms are different! There are new toys!” All of the children kept saying, “Wow! Wow! Wow!” I told the children we respect you, like you and always want to provide the best for you. It was a beautiful day.

Suhad, Psychosocial Specialist Over the seven weeks since our last program, the Core Program teachers have learned incredible amount of new information.  On the first day, we focused on not mediating the children’s experiences with discipline.  We want to give the children the opportunity to jump right in and feel the excitement of the new space and program.  Discipline may prevent chaos, but it also limits creativity.  On the first day, the teachers focused on how to feel secure and in control amidst free play and what may look like chaos.  It was a great day and it went very well.  It exceeded my expectations.  When the children saw the new rooms, they liked them so much.  Their behavior showed us how at home they feel here. Their eyes told us they missed us.  It was a beautiful day. We saw how much of an impact we have already had on these children by helping them create positive memories and filling them with happiness.  Now, we get to do it all over again.  It is extremely exciting.

Imad, Volunteer Coordinator It was a very interesting day.  Everything went well, including the distribution of volunteers into each classroom. Our new volunteers are particularly excited and really enjoyed their first day.  They are so excited to be involved with TYO.  It was a very nice day.  I left so happy.