The two educators' teams, some 30 teachers from Dekel School in Karmiel and A-Sallam School in Majd el-Krum, met on Tuesday November 15th in order to plan together the joint students' activity around healthy existence.
First the educators had their own conversation about the nature of healthy existence and nutrition and how they are guided by the Jewish and Muslim traditions.
Then they planned the activities of the students: designating groups of students that will research kinds of traditional foods as well as preparing a booklet on medicinal plants and how they were used traditionally and for what purposes. Each group of students will focus on the research of one plant and write an entry in the booklet, which will finally be published for all students and parents.
Each of the teachers will now return to his/her class and explain to the students the whole concept, so that they will have good understanding of the ideas and goals of this project and the way it integrates the Jewish and Arab culture and tradition, shows the common in healthy existence and brings the two communities closer together.
The encounter was very successful!
Four preparatory encounters took place in preparation for the new school year's cooperation:
1. On 15 August 2011 the leading teams of the two schools met. These included the two principals and vice-principals as well as the leading teams of educators from the two schools.The encounter occurred in the beginning of Ramadan. The History and Islam Teacher Mr. Nader Taha explained the meaning of Ramadan, why do Muslims fast in it and the importance of charity and good deeds. Then the teachers broke the fast together as they heard the call of the Muezzin.
2. On August 22nd, some 20 educators from the two schools came together in order to plan the joint activities during the coming year.
3&4: On October 13th separate encounters took place in the two schools, with the participation of some 60 students, guided by the schools' counselors.
The students shared what they liked and did not like about the encounters of last year and what they expect from the encounters in the coming year.
In September 2009, the long-time cooperation between A-Sallam School in Majd el-Krum and Kalanit School in Karmiel had to stop. A few months later we found a way to cooperate with the nearby Gilon School. After 4 cooperation-building encounters in February 2010 – of the two principals, the full management teams, plus the coordinators of age-levels and land-knowledge (to plan the detailed work-plan) and the classes' educators – held 10 students' encounters with this school and A-Sallam School, between March and June 2010 with focus on the environment.
Sadly, the project suffered additional challenges when the Gilon School decided not to continue with the partnership with A-Sallam School. Therefore a new partnership was formed with the Dekel School from Karmiel, whose principal Ms. Amit Yaniv knows the principal of A-Sallam, Ms. Najeeba Sirhan, for many years of good cooperation, since her time as a teacher in Kalanit School. Consequently we are now very hopeful that this partnership will last for a long time.
After meetings of the management teams and of the full educational teams to plan the program, along with a preliminary encounter of the students, it kicked off on December 2010 and ran through the end of the school year in June 2011. We are now optimistic that this cooperation is again long-term one.
Soon I hope to report about individual encounters.
It is a long time since we shared an update from the field. This is due to the fact that local strikes put extra load on the principals of the two schools and I do hope we will soon be able to share these updates.
However, I do want to update you in the mean time that the encounters between the two schools continue as planned, twice a week, and are very successful.
I do hope to write again soon.
Some 300 students took part in this joint day of the two schools.
First they went through workshops in the classes about the rights of the child and his/her duties.
Then they took part in a special procession in the streets of Majd el-Krum, accompanies by Hebrew and Arabic music as well as by a clown who organized activities for them.
Finally they came back to the A-Sallam School, had a light meal and continues with different activities: painting on their faces, folk dances and singing in the two languages.
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