We Teach …
KG / Nursery
Giving children a good start in their education is vital towards their future success. Since 1952, JCC has operated a kindergarten serving the Sabra-Shatilla refugee community, later expanding with a nursery. Letters and numbers, music and art are taught through creative teaching methods as the children enjoy the colorful rooms seated on their small tables and chairs. A recently acquired playground will allow the children an outdoor space where they can play safely.
JCC recognizes that education is not merely academic, but that social and emotional development plays a key role in the development of a child’s growth. Thus, a variety of outings and activities are arranged each year for the children that include puppet shows, plays, carnivals, visits to local bakeries, and other fun places of learning. The children’s parents are also invited to be part of their education through participation in their daily work and in attendance at various celebrations, both Christian and Muslim, along with graduation day programs.
Unfortunately, due to low funding levels, overcrowded classrooms, and an inadequate teacher training, UNRWA has been unable to maintain a high standard of basic education within the camps. As a result, there is a high drop-out and failure rate. In an effort to combat this and enable children to succeed academically, JCC provides tutoring for at-risk children in three of its centers--Sabra, Dbayeh and Sidon. These classes provide homework support, intensive tutoring in a variety of subjects, and encouragement to continue studying, even under difficult circumstances. The results are noticeable, with the vast majority of students showing an increase in their grades after attending the tutoring programs. At the Dbayeh center, the services of a speech therapist and a psychologist are also available for those with special needs.
English Language Class
In an increasingly global world, English is becoming more and more necessary for those who wish to succeed either in schools, universities, businesses, or everyday needs. JCC has recognized this need and is providing English language classes at 3 of its centers--Sabra, Dbayeh and Sidon. These classes are offered to adults as well as children and aim to improve confidence in conversational and written English.
Literacy is taken for granted these days, which makes it hard to believe that there are youth and adults who do not know the basics of reading and writing--admitting illiteracy is embarrassing and very hard. Thus, attracting illiterate persons to literacy classes needs diplomacy and a lot of encouragement. This program is run in 2 of our centers (Sabra and Dbayeh) with teachers who have undergone special training in the latest and most effective methods of teaching literacy. Students of all ages and both genders have joined this program. As they slowly start to acquire this skill, happiness and confidence begins to enter their lives.
JCC School (Closed August, 2012 uncontrolled reasons)
Schools for the refugees and the poor of the local community were once a major part of JCC work. With time 14 of the 15 schools established in the 1950s were closed due to financial strains, while one school valiantly continues defying all the odds to its survival. Yet holding on to this remaining small school continues to be one of the important goals of JCC with its strong commitment to a good basic education.The school is small and is made up of two floors in a beautiful old building. A playground at the back allows space for sports and play. The classes run from nursery until the 9th grade when the students sit for a standardized government exam. The school capacity is between 110 -130 students with 12-14 students per class. The small class size allows for greater individual attention for children who may struggle in larger classes. The teachers are qualified, caring, and dedicated. A happy and relaxed atmosphere prevails where the parents are greatly encouraged to talk to the teachers and discuss the progress of their children. The curriculum includes all the regular academic courses, as well as computers, arts, sports, and educational excursions. Special occasions such as Christmas, Mother’s Day, Teachers’ Day, and the end of the year celebrations give the students a chance to perform and show their talents.