A typical 3 year old child from a disadvantaged family in the Yad Rachel Literacy Program has a limited vocabulary of just 500 words.
Among his normative peers in school, the number is well over 1,000.
That’s why Yad Rachel believes that an investment in young children yields the greatest return on investment: the growth of a child’s potential.
Background: Language serves critical functions in the life of a child. Children learn to use language to express their wishes, needs, feelings and experiences as well as to convey information and communicate with others. The development of language plays a major role in the development of learning and socialization, and children readily learn to use words to generate an endless spectrum of thoughts, ideas, and dreams. The process of learning a language is especially important for children who grow up with new immigrants parents, or come from other circumstances that may put them at-risk.
Program Goals: Yad Rachel strives to close educational gaps between underprivileged children and their peers, and to prevent the development of future learning gaps. We go to great lengths to facilitate the healthy and normative functioning of our children’s families by engaging the parents to become full partners in our efforts. In addition, we work in full coordination with the child’s regular teachers to supplement the work being done with each child at school.
Yad Rachel Literacy Programs aim:
- To promote active reading, writing and reading comprehension skills
- To expand vocabulary
- To promote morphosyntactic development
- To offer individual skills reinforcement where necessary
Yad Rachel Literacy Programs for kindergarten and school-age children are operated in Jerusalem and Lod, in partnership with the Municipal Education Departments.
Preschool Literacy Program: Children in preschool and kindergarten experience a formidable period in their early education and development. At this stage of life, children need a multifaceted and well structured environment that provides them with a wide range of experiences and opportunities in order to realize their potential. Meaningful, consistent, and age appropriate interventions can make a considerable contribution to a child’s future development. The Yad Rachel Literacy Program was thus designed to advance the cognitive, social, emotional and cultural competencies of preschool children, with a special emphasis on literacy and numeracy skills.
It has been well demonstrated that children who are exposed to a “literacy-rich environment” whether at home, in the classroom, or in other group learning situations, naturally develop a strong sense of curiosity and motivation to learn to write. These children readily internalize the cultural and social values represented and communicated through language-intensive activities. In a similar fashion, playing math games and participating in math enrichment programs in early childhood can prepare children for learning mathematics later in school. Together, these activities give children a “head start” in classroom learning, raise their self esteem, and can prevent any unnecessary experiences of failure.
Yad Rachel Literacy Program for School Age Children: Some of the challenges that our children face stem from inadequate language skills. Most of our children have not been sufficiently exposed to language both in oral and written form. This program was specially designed to help promote literacy skills including building vocabulary, and improving reading comprehension of narrative texts.
The professional literature has demonstrated that dialogic reading (when parents and children read together) contributes to the acquisition of reading comprehension skills in young children. Through the exploration of content, discussion and follow up activities, children develop morphosyntactic skills, a better vocabulary, and they are introduced to a range of literary themes while discovering the emotional riches of literary text. As a result, children then begin to think about the feelings they themselves experience in their own everyday lives, and to express themselves accordingly.
- To advance children’s early literacy and numeracy skills by providing a response to their unique individual learning needs and challenges.
- To create an individually tailored learning program for each child’s pace of learning and development, based upon observations and testing of literacy and numeracy levels.
- To reach and empower the parents by providing them with the tools to play and study together with their children, thereby also providing the basis for a stronger parent-child relationship.
- To design and implement proven intervention activities for our educational therapy staff based upon best practices.
- To promote the full educational and social integration of the children in their regular school classrooms.
- To strengthen and reinforce the child’s self esteem in order to help them realize their full potential at school and beyond.
- To establish and instill the necessary know-how and practices in the participating communities to ensure the successful on-going implementation of literacy programs.
- The program is conducted in small groups in order to focus on each child’s individual developmental needs and idiosyncrasies.
- Learning is facilitated by conducting a wide variety of activities such as games, artwork, and other hand-on activities.
- The program is consistent with the educational content presented in our After-School Centers, and is coordinated with the child’s school level and teachers.
- Special emphasis is given to the child’s range of abilities, interests, and aspirations, with attention directed to the child’s emotional, social and motor development.
- Yad Rachel endeavours to independently design and implement its own early childhood memory and cognitive skills programs, and numeracy programs for school age children.
- Considerable emphasis is given to enhancing and expanding the child’s relationship with their parents, and strengthening their role in the child’s development and education.
- Yad Rachel consistently works to maintain and improve the skills of its professional team who specialize in early childhood development and learning.
Yad Rachel’s Literacy Program is conducted in full cooperation with the Ministry of Education, the individual schools in which the children learn, and their staff members. Tests are administered in order to examine, monitor, and evaluate the reading and writing capabilities, and math literacy skills, of each child based upon Ministry of Education requirements, and are conducted at the beginning and end of each program year. The Literacy Program has consistently proven to be remarkably successful in closing educational gaps and promoting the normative functioning of Yad Rachel’s children in their regular school classrooms.
We trust you’ll agree that the Yad Rachel Literacy Program provides a significant intervention for young children at risk. We are convinced that our work helps to prevent child abuse and neglect, and the proliferation of developmental challenges and educational difficulties. We believe that this program helps to put children on a sure footing as they progress in the education system, and helps avoid the experience of failure and low self esteem. We are very happy to extend an invitation for you to join our growing group of supporters, and become a partner in our efforts.
For direct donations above 1000$ please contact Ira Elan. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org