May 30, 2019

Always Learning--SCC Teachers, Mothers, & Children

Mothers in a training session
Mothers in a training session

The Spafford Children’s Center (SCC) has been around since 1925—and the understanding of child development has changed markedly in almost 100 years. SCC has always incorporated new theories and practices by stressing advanced training for teachers, social workers, and specialists. The skills they learn are transferred to state-of-the-art services for mothers and children. Support the learning environment at SCC by donating to the American Friends of the Spafford Children’s Center (AFSCC) through GlobalGiving at https://goto.gg/31839. 

Staff from SCC’s East Jerusalem and Bethany locations participated in three days of intensive training on early childhood developmental assessments. They were taught how to evaluate the learning needs of children according to a standardized methodology. SCC also arranged nine intensive training sessions (3 hours per each session) for parents and families. SCC experts and external trainers conducted sessions on how to support children with learning difficulties. Parents learned to create their own teaching tools and activities at home using very simple materials to help their children learn and thrive. 

The sessions also discussed the psychological and emotional issues for children who are detained or arrested by the authorities. All SCC services recognize the impact of trauma on child cognitive and emotional development. There is counseling, art and dance activities, educational tutoring, and speech therapy—organized in an individual plan for each child—to reduce the effects of trauma and increase self-esteem and confidence. 

Please support these innovative services by supporting AFSCC on GlobalGiving at https://goto.gg/31839.

Every donation makes a difference; we hope you will help.

Kids being creative with simple materials
Kids being creative with simple materials
Learning about healthy food at SCC
Learning about healthy food at SCC
Mar 8, 2019

Play for Fun and Learning

Free Play area at SCC
Free Play area at SCC

Children need space—but in the Old City of Jerusalem there are few venues for free play; places where kids can be kids in safety. The Spafford Children’s Center now has a play room full of colorful toys that encourage young children to engage their imaginations, develop problem solving skills, foster their resilience, and conquer fears. Supported by UNICEF the ‘Free Play’ program lets children choose what they want to do and how they want to play—either alone or with others. Play is a fundamental part of the learning and developmental processes for children and SCC welcomes children through age 3-1/2 to run, tumble, climb, and giggle and yell with joy. The early childhood development specialist at SCC observes the play and identifies any delays or concerns that are discussed with the parent and incorporated into a comprehensive plan for the child and family. This program now has 30 children and more come every week. You can help children grow and develop through GlobalGiving at https://goto.gg/31839 .

The mothers at SCC beam as they watch their children sheltered for a few hours from the stresses of living in an area suffering from constant uncertainty.  They are trained in the importance of early childhood development and realize the significance of paying attention to the milestones of their children. The mothers engage with the teachers, specialist, and social worker to craft an intervention plan that will help their child grow and develop. The limited resources of these families do not interfere with their desire to give their children the best start they can. At the SCC they find supports that will serve their children well as they grow up in an unpredictable environment. Support these families through GlobalGiving at https://goto.gg/31839 .

Fun times at SCC
Fun times at SCC
Starting early with children at SCC
Starting early with children at SCC
Dec 17, 2018

A First-Person View of SCC Success

Now is the time of year when people give to causes they support.  We hope you will be generous in your gifts to the American Friends of the Spafford Children’s Center through GlobalGiving at https://goto.gg/31839.

In December, if you begin a recurring monthly gift, GlobalGiving will match it for one month.  Your end of year contribution of $50 becomes $100!  AFSCC will be grateful to receive your monthly donation through 2019.  Your donation each month will help the Spafford Children’s Center in Jerusalem provide tutoring to Palestinian children who attend schools with class sizes of 50 or more; will assist mothers who want training in ways they can reinforce the learning of their children at home, and will go toward cultural activities like art and dance that allow traumatized children to express their joys and fears.

AFSCC’s Chair, Rev. Matthew Dayton-Welch visited the Spafford Children’s Center recently. Here is his report.

Last month I spent several days at the Spafford Children’s Center in Jerusalem and Bethany to witness firsthand the impact that the SCC—and our donations—make for many underserved children. In Jerusalem, the center was bustling, with every classroom occupied. Children were receiving the personalized academics for which the SCC is so renowned. (They even let me teach an Arabic lesson.) In the auditorium, musicians from a local orchestra performed lively Palestinian folk tunes as children and mothers clapped along. In the dance room, a dozen girls were learning ballet and, in the halls, mothers were making new friends.

The center in Bethany, a close suburb of Jerusalem, serves a different set of needs. Its clientele are West Bankers and most are unable to access the resources once available to them in Jerusalem, so SCC-Bethany offers them the same tailored academic support and therapeutic resources, while also providing quality pediatric healthcare. Recent US funding cuts to UN agencies like UNRWA has resulted in unmet needs among Palestinians. The vaccine refrigerator in Bethany, for instance, is nearly empty. The work of SCC has never been more important. With your help, the SCC can see that children in Jerusalem and the West Bank are provided the opportunity to dream—like all kids should.

(No donated funds are used by board members who visit SCC).

Give as generously as you can—a one-time gift or a monthly donation—to the American Friends of the Spafford Children’s Center through GlobalGiving at https://goto.gg/31839.

AFSCC Chair, Rev. Matthew Dayton-Welch visited SCC
AFSCC Chair, Rev. Matthew Dayton-Welch visited SCC
 
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