BEST: AlQuds Bard’s English Student Tutoring
“New year, new students, new location !
With the cooperation and support of PAL (Palestine Animal League), we are able to hold our sessions close to the students schools.
The support of the CCE and PAL together have made the biggest of differences in what we are able to do in our program. This is a taste of some of our amazing lessons!”
Ayat & Laila
Ayat Kanaan and Laila Jaber decided to form an after school English program for students in public or UNRWA schools. These children do not have the same opportunity of being educated fully or correctly in the English language compared to private schools. We teach English from their curriculum and maintain certain themes each week. However, we aim to do it in a manner that includes games, songs, and activities to make it interactive. This made the students become more comfortable and love learning. Since each session is on Thursdays where it is the last day of their week and after a long day at school, we concentrated on making it as fun and interesting as possible.
Although this is an English program, we wanted to focus on providing a safe environment outside the pressures of being a young child trying to survive in middle school. Our students are boys and girls in the 4th and 5th grade. It is at this stage where each is attempting to solidify his or her identity as an individual. Especially among their peers. With our program, we wanted to show each student that he and she could confidently answer a question or speak in English without fear of being ridiculed for being wrong. As we walk them from school and stop by supermarkets, we speak about getting healthier snacks and respecting the elderly drinking coffee by the street. We explain that harming each other physically or by words is not acceptable and that apologising is crucial. Our program educates young boys and girls English with lessons of life. It is our hope that they will also grow to give back to the community. Witnessing them demonstrate English words to younger kids in the playground is proof that it is possible.
We are planning to expand our project on a broader scale next semester by including more college students to volunteer and become teachers. We also want to take BEST’s students to various other locations where we can teach English through volunteering. An example is to plant trees while learning about names of plants and the environment. We hope that our project will encourage others to teach interactively to promote love of learning. Alternatively, we also aim to develop the students’ willingness to be giving, kind, and confident in his ability and potential.
We are not teachers. We speak and listen to them as companions. There is tremendous change in the way they act compared to how they are in school. On the first day, they were defensive and wary in our intentions but as each class progressed, mutual respect was formed that I think can alter the way an entire society can function. If these children in middle school change their perspective to the better, they will grow to be contributors to the community and teach others the same. An unbreakable chain that will benefit our society will then be formed.