Source: Jaffa Institute Blog
Vita Zlotova, an Oranim Destination MASA Israel intern from Moscow at The Jaffa Institute, writes about her wonderfully rewarding experience as a tutor to small groups of deprived elementary school students in Jaffa.
The “Closing the Gaps” program is one of the wonderful initiatives of the Jaffa Institute which aims to provide children in underfunded schools in the Jaffa and South Tel Aviv area with additional hours of English language learning. The individual attention these children receive within this program not only allows them to improve their English but also compensates for lack of attention they are often exposed to at home, especially since many of them are coming from large and underprivileged families.
The diversity in our classrooms is astonishing: Arabic and Hebrew speaking children from various ethnic and social backgrounds and volunteers from all over the world - USA, Netherlands, Russia (like myself), England and Israel. A real cultural exchange is happening here and the opportunity to be exposed to various cultures is certainly valuable both for children and tutors. Personally, I feel so lucky to be able to meet all these volunteers from various backgrounds, each with his/her own story…
Taking part in the ‘Closing the Gaps’ program has definitely been one of the most meaningful and significant experiences I have ever had. It is so much more than worksheets and activities we do with the kids - it is establishing the connection, it is getting to know yourself better, it is having fun. Sometimes one hour spent with a kid can be more fulfilling and exciting than a full day in a ‘fancy, multinational, corporate’ office - trust me, I have been there, done that. Even if I do not pursue a teaching career, although I am now considering the option, I will always value every single minute spent with the kids. Their sincere smiles and their words of thanks are beyond rewarding."
Read the entire post on the Jaffa Institute's blog.