TYO launches a new literacy project in partnership with MEPI

Political strife and restricted movement have led to poverty, isolation and trauma in Nablus, particularly for the city’s 50,000 refugees and the 60% of residents under 25. The youngest segment of the population is most affected by this lasting reality. Attending schools that are understaffed and overenrolled, many refugee children in Nablus have slipped through the cracks. Today few of these children are able to read and write, resulting in increased drop-out levels and bleak outlook for the next generation’s productivity and life satisfaction. Gone unaddressed this problem will have lasting social, political and economic ramifications; Tomorrow’s Youth Organization (TYO) in partnership with the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) is proud to launch a new literacy project which seeks to close this gap now. Declining literacy is among the greatest problems facing the Nablus community. In late September 2010, the MEPI Local Grants Program at the United States Consulate General in Jerusalem awarded TYO a grant for its “Enriching our Community: Learning to Serve, Serving to Read” program. This program will use Scholastic’s My Arabic Library to teach nearly 400 children in Nablus how to read.

The project will engage thirty university students, ten mothers and several TYO staff members in a workshop series that will promote values of volunteerism and civic engagement. Through these workshops, youth and women will receive the necessary training to teach children (ages 6-8) how to read. Following the workshop series, these trained volunteers are committed to serving in TYO’s Core Program, infusing literacy-enhancing activities into TYO’s art, sports, health and technology classes for 160 at-risk refugee children.

After the spring session, these experienced volunteers will spend the early summer training with an additional fifteen volunteers for TYO’s summer program, during which they will teach 220 at-risk children (ages 6 -12) how to read.

The outcome of the TYO-MEPI collaboration will be a fully trained and committed volunteer corps and almost 400 children in Nablus’ refugee camps and other marginalized areas who can read!