We are getting ready to go to back to school again: this time not as students but as agents of change. For this purpose we need every support that we could get and the best musical vibrations from around the world.
We look forward to move ahead with the AACT project during the School-Year 2011-2012. This occasion we will address the specific ‘at-risk’ situations that children face within the school framework. In 2011-2012 we aim to reach directly a diverse group of 100 Palestinian children (3rd to 6th grade, ages 8-12 years) and their teachers and families. We will ensure gender balance and the inclusion of different religious backgrounds. The project will take place at 4 local schools in Shefa-Amr, Ibillin, and Tamra indirectly benefiting 2,500 students.
Palestinian children face poor educational opportunities beginning in early childhood, making the deficiencies in the educational system the most worrying issue for the future of Palestinian society in Israel. Shortcomings and risk factors at school become evident in low academic achievements, isolation, troublesome relations with peers and teachers, violence, as well as high school dropout rates and lower matriculation scores, which have detrimental implications on social and economic development of Palestinian children. In addition, students rarely have the opportunity to develop their talents, lack any music-curriculum at schools, and their Palestinian identity and heritage is turned from a source of cultural pride to a source of differentiation and shame.
Therefore, the AACT project nurtures a sense of self-identity and dignity through music education as a positive tool for change for themselves, their schools and the community. The project addresses risk factors at school and a whole range of ‘lacks’ that Palestinian children face, including: music curriculum at schools, meaningful opportunities for the development of artistic talent and cultural expression, access to musical education, resources, services and facilities at high professional standards, as well as perspectives for the future. The program offers a nurturing and supporting environment conductive to the development and well-being of Palestinian children.
Regardless of whether you choose to continue supporting the AACT project with time, money, or good will, we are determined to continue this important work in 2011/2012 and to be great partners with you and responsible and effective stewards of your hope, time and resources.
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