Apply to Join
 Children  Israel Project #19235

Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children

by The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Children
Visitors after the lockdown
Visitors after the lockdown

At the beginning of the covid-19 virus lockdown in Israel in mid-March, the Zoo was closed to the public for an extended period for the first time ever in its history.

As a result the therapy programs at the Zoo were also stopped.

The dedicated staff of the program continued to hold weekly staff meetings online and kept in contact with the school groups and the children, sending them videos and pictures of animals depending on the child's level.

When online schooling resumes, the staff were able to hold class sessions online with some of the schools.

After nearly two months of closure and after lobbying by the Zoo Association that we lead, the Government allowed limited visits for families with special needs kids, who had an especially difficult time under lockdown. The joy of these children being able to visit the Zoo after weeks inside their homes was something we won't forget for a long time!

The Zoo is open to the general public but with limitations on visitor numbers. Group visits have also not been allowed until this past week and it is lovely to hear the noisy sounds of children by the lake again. A number of groups came this past week and now the school year has come to a close and the summer holidays have begun.

Keep safe and stay well, 

Rachael and the AAT Team

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

The first half of the school year is almost over and has, so far, been a great success for the program.

The addition of a second Arabic speaking therapist has meant that we have been able to double the amount of therapy groups from the Arab population .

Rami, the new therapist, is proving to be a popular addition to the team, not only because he is the only male out of our seven person team, but because of his excellence in teaching and ability to connect to the children.

The expanded team is working well together and overall the department is running sixteen groups on a weekly basis this year.

Stay healthy!

Rachael and the AAT Team. 

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Feeding the giraffes
Feeding the giraffes

The new school year is off to a great start in the Therapy Program with 16 groups already signed up for weekly session and another 10 groups for the shorter 5-week program. In addition, there are groups coming in for special experiential sessions.

Other exciting news is that for the first time a male therapist has joined the Animal Assisted Therapy Team. His name is Rami and he is an Arabic speaker and together with Abeer, also an Arabic speaker who has been part of the team for many years, they have four Arabic-speaking groups coming to the Zoo this year. This is also the first time we have had this many groups from the Arab sector as part of the program.

Keep Warm, 

 

Rachael and the AAT Team

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Interactive class at the Animal House
Interactive class at the Animal House

The Program has been in recess over the summer hoilidays and just restarting now with the new school year opening at the beginning of September.

Last year, for the first time, we were unable to accept all the groups that requested to participate and we chose to give priority to the weekly therapy groups over the yearly experiential groups.

The AAT program has potential to grow to even greater proportions after we have invested in building a solid foundation both in content and with the staff team.

The Zoo has no lack of animals but unfortunately has a severe lack of suitable space to run the classes, a major problem which needs to be addressed to enable the program to expand even further.

Currently, the Zoo has two large classrooms in the Animal House building adjacent to the Rappaport Children's Zoo. The acoustics of this structure is not amiable to small groups and, as all of the Zoo, is over 25 years old and needs renovating.

The immediate solution is to refurbish and divide the existing rooms (oen pictured) to create three of four small classrooms.

The long-term and ideal solution is to build a specifically designed building to house the program (together with all of the Zoo's educational programs.) The Zoo hopes to develop a plan and locate resources to make this into a reality in the coming years.

Looking forward to a fruitful new school year, 

Rachael and the Therapy Team

Meeting the giraffes
Meeting the giraffes
With Shalom the rhino
With Shalom the rhino
Checking the rabbits
Checking the rabbits
Classroom in the Animal House
Classroom in the Animal House
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

As children in Israel finish up their school year and start summer holidays at the end of the month, the AAT program is also finishing up it work with school groups for the year.

This year we ran at the Zoo some 14 weekly therapy groups and another 5 groups of classes from special education frameworks who came bi-weekly for experiential afternoons with a special guide.

As well as special education classes, we have also hosted a number of groups of youth-at-risk this year.

This week the break-up parties are being held at the end of the session and there have already been sad tears of goodbye - from the therapists as much as from the children!

Have a safe summer!

Rachael and the AAT Team

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem

Location: Jerusalem, Israel - Israel
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @BiblicalZoo
Project Leader:
Nicole Wexler
Jerusalem, Israel
$17,127 raised of $20,000 goal
 
282 donations
$2,873 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.