Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed

by American Friends of the Spafford Children's Center
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed
Help 100 traumatized Palestinian children succeed

The Spafford Children’s Center is busy now—children are running through the halls, wearing their masks, to classes in Arabic, English, and math. In addition, there are new activities for mothers and children with the psychodrama specialist and instruction in painting from a local artist. Down the hall is a workshop for mothers to learn about positive parenting techniques, human growth and development milestones for children, and ways to deal with challenging behavior. There are more needs SCC wants to be able to meet and with help from supporters like you SCC will continue to lead in trauma-informed educational and therapeutic services for Palestinian children and the parents.

Look behind the masks to see the smiles, the joy, and the fun children and mothers find at the SCC. Since 1925 the Spafford Children’s Center has evolved to meet the needs of Palestinian families and children. With your help SCC will continue to be a place of hope and healing for children and their parents.

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The Spafford Children’s Center, and all schools and organizations in Jerusalem, were closed on Friday, January 8 for two weeks due to rising cases of COVID-19 in Jerusalem. This is the third closure since the pandemic began and will again be devastating for the children and families served by SCC.

As SCC provides educational, therapeutic, and recreational services to Palestinian children with special learning needs, the Center is a lifeline for children who missed the meager online offerings of their regular schools due to a lack of wifi or computer equipment. The SCC Director and teachers had designed an intensive program that doubled the number of times children could come to SCC each week for Arabic, English, and math classes to help them make up for lost learning. Now that support has stopped again.

Once SCC is allowed to open the daily cleaning and disinfecting will continue. All children and teachers will again be required to wear masks, have their temperatures checked at the door, and wash or use hand sanitizer before and after every class. SCC is committed to maintaining a safe environment for Palestinian children and families to learn and grow.

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This year has been like a roller coaster. First the Spafford Children’s Center in Jerusalem was open for two months, then closed March through May, open again in June, only to close Friday, September 25 for at least three weeks by order of the local authorities due to the Coronavirus. The children, families, and staff of SCC are so disappointed. They loved being back at the Center for lessons in Arabic, English, and math; speech therapy, occupational therapy, plus art projects and fun games. Palestinian children, particularly those with special learning needs, were not well served by the minimal online classes offered by their schools, plus many lacked connectivity and computers to even log on. Once the SCC opened, they flocked through the doors to see their beloved teachers and friends.

Children and families felt safe at SCC. The Center had been disinfected, toys and desks the children touch were cleaned after every class, face masks were required, and sanitizer stations were in place. When the SCC is allowed to open again there will be additional expenses to clean the stone walls and floors of the 150-year-old building in the Old City of Jerusalem. Please help the SCC continue to be a place of healing and hope for Palestinian children and families.

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The Spafford Children’s Center (SCC) is open and everyday children line up, wearing their masks, to have their temperatures taken and to wash their hands and use hand sanitizer before running downs the halls to classes in English, Arabic, and math. At the SCC they get individualized attention in small classes of two or three students with one professional teacher. This is vastly different from the crowded classrooms they usually attend and worlds better than the online instruction they couldn’t access during the closure due to COVID-19.

Jafar’s family is very poor. They live in a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem. His parents did not have the opportunity for education beyond the primary grades and never learned more than a few words of English. They want him to master English as it may allow him to get better jobs than they have, but so far it has been difficult.

Bringing him to the Spafford Children’s Center is the first bit of hope they have had. Here the teachers assess what Jafar knows and what he needs to learn. They determine that he can’t distinguish some letters and gets confused with the long and short sounds vowels can make. He can’t read simple sentences and he doesn’t know days of the week, months, or the names for colors. For a 5th grader, he has some catching up to do.

The teacher gets right to work preparing colored cards to make a game of identifying days of the week and also colors. Soon he has moved on to writing and sounding out words and repeating words with long and short vowel sounds. Now he is asking to write sentences and read them aloud.

What Jafar really likes is the support of his teacher. She is always encouraging, telling him he can master the sounds and words. The two other kids in the class cheer him on—no teasing allowed here—and they all celebrate the achievements of each other. Jafar is not so shy anymore; he knows he can learn and succeed.

The American Friends of the Spafford Children’s Center (AFSCC) is devoted to raising much needed funds for the SCC.  Thank you for your past donations to AFSCC through GlobalGiving and we hope this report gives you an idea how important your support is to Palestinian children and families who live in difficult circumstances, try to learn in overcrowded schools, and face unrest and discrimination on a regular basis.  SCC has been a fixture in the Old City of Jerusalem for over 90 years and the need now is greater than ever. With help from people like you the SCC continues to be a beacon of hope for children and families.

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The Palestinian kids that the Spafford Children’s Center (SCC) serves struggle in the best of times—and these aren’t the best of times. They may have learning disabilities or they may have experienced trauma. When schools closed due to the Coronavirus, the few online courses offered for Palestinian children were not designed for kids with special needs—but the services at SCC are. One professional teacher with two or three children in a class allows for targeted, individualized instruction. Counseling with a social worker and assessments by a psychologist help the child work on the issues that get in the way of learning. And sessions for mothers help them learn how to support their children and reinforce the gains made. Sounds pretty good? It is! Comparing results from pre-tests and post-tests show that kids make remarkable progress quickly.

Please give through GlobalGiving at https://goto.gg/31839

The buildings at the Spafford Children’s Center have been disinfected; the teachers, therapists, and social workers have protective equipment; and the children are returning. The parents know their children are behind in school and they are desperate for help for their kids.

Consider the situation Palestinian kids have long endured: overcrowded classrooms, fear of police and military personnel, house demolitions in their communities, and trauma no child should have to suffer on a regular basis. The Coronavirus is accentuating these issues, and Palestinian kids are falling farther behind. They need your help now.

Think about eight-year-old Achmed. His learning challenges and the 45 students in his regular class meant he was constantly distracted and he thought he couldn’t learn. Once he came to SCC everything was different. There he and another boy worked with one teacher. She was encouraging yet demanding. She told him he could do the math problems—and he could, with a bit of help and focus. Then the pandemic hit. He missed months of instruction through his school and at SCC. But now SCC is open again and he is back—needing the help of his SCC teachers more than ever.

The Spafford Children’s Center has a recognized expertise in helping children and families through a wholistic approach that includes educational, therapeutic, and recreational services with a plan designed for each child. In classes of two or three children they learn English, Arabic, and math at their speed and with recognition of their needs. The teachers focus on what the child can do—not what he or she can’t do, shouldn’t do, or won’t do.

You will never make a more effective and efficient donation; all of your donation to American Friends of the Spafford Children’s Center (AFSCC) goes directly to the SCC. The AFSCC board members cover the costs of newsletter printing, postage, and other expenses. AFSCC is an all-volunteer organization so we pay no salaries or rent—your contribution goes to services for Palestinian kids and families. Please give as generously as you can through GlobalGiving at https://goto.gg/31839.

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Organization Information

American Friends of the Spafford Children's Center

Location: New Orleans, LA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Wendy Blome
New Orleans, LA United States
$51,973 raised of $100,000 goal
 
438 donations
$48,027 to go
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