Learning to work together

Children in TYO's Core Child afternoon program work together The third week of the Core Child afternoon program just finished. Children in this program are 6-8 years old. Each week of the twelve week session, Core Teachers implement lessons from a curriculum specifically designed for children from our target areas. Children from TYO's target areas are generally considered 'at risk'. They come from large families in poorer areas and therefore do not always get the home support needed. While education is greatly valued in Nabulsi society, often times parents do not have the educational background required to assist children with their studies. As such, TYO Core teachers work hard to ensure children get the extra support they need while they are at TYO.

Each week of the program is given a theme and subtheme. All activities, be they in the computer class, sports class, art class, or health class, are all designed to introduce students to the given theme and teach them related concepts in a fun and engaging way. This week’s subtheme was Collaboration.  All activities in this week were designed to get children working together in a positive way. Further, given that gender equality is one of the foundational concepts taught at  TYO, all collaborative activities also contained an element of gender mainstreaming. For example, in computer class one of the activities for the week- “Copying Creations"- gave children have the opportunity to work in pairs- sometimes boys and girls- on computers so they could practice working with others to achieve a specific goal. In this particular activity one of the two children in the pair draws one of their family members whom the child likes the most on the Paint Program (which they are already familiar with). The second child then draws an image  similar drawing to the one the partner already drew. This activity implements the concept of collaboration with the children while doing something fun and engaging- working on computers!

In a highly digitized world, it has become even more important that children learn how to work collaboratively in a positive way. Students' early exposure to social media has already introduced them to a form of digital collaboration, so it is important that they are able to model positive means of collaboration learned in the classroom. Fortunately, after concluding a week of collaboration-based activities, it is clear that this is an area that seems to come naturally to students!

This program - as part of Student Training and Employment Program (STEP!) - is sponsored in part by the Abdul Hamid Shoman Foundation.

-Ahmad Bshara, Core Child Teacher