For parents who cannot otherwise afford after-school enrichment programs for their young children, YEDID´s children´s empowerment programming gives immigrant or at-risk children the opportunity to advance their skills, increase self-esteem, and narrow the gap between them and their more advantaged peers.
In the low-income areas where YEDID operates, families are rarely able to enroll their children in extra-curricular activities in order to strengthen their academic and inter-personal skills, improve their self-esteem, and occupy them after school. Without educational enrichment, these children risk being permanently left behind. As a consequence, many children from low-income families enter first grade already behind their peers and the chasm only widens as the years go on.
These programs are run predominantly but not exclusively for Ethiopian immigrant children. A large number of Ethiopian adults are illiterate in their native Amharic, and do not possess even a rudimentary knowledge of Hebrew or mathematics and so are ill prepared to equip their children with the skills they will need to succeed in school.
YEDID has developed several unique programs for children including:
MILIM: MILIM (“words”, in Hebrew) is a successful “head start” program for immigrant Ethiopian kindergarteners and their parents. MILIM meets in the after school hours over the course of a few months and teaches the four basic learning skills that children need to successfully enter first grade: literacy, coordination, social competence and comprehension. To ease absorption into Israeli society, the groups also observes national holidays and commemorations and they learn about Israeli customs while comparing them with Ethiopian traditions.
Simultaneously, YEDID also works with parents to facilitate an understanding of the Israeli educational system, encourage them to be partners in their child’s learning, and empower them to create a home environment most conducive to learning.
Story-Time: is a low-cost, high impact program that is part of YEDID’s mission to empower people to help themselves. Reading a book or hearing a story read by an adult advances reading comprehension and listening skills, the use of imagination and the world of creativity. In addition, it teaches sensitivity and creates a non-threatening atmosphere in which to develop abstract thinking. Story-Time aims to use stories and educational activities built around them to reduce the gap between low-income children and their peer by encourage reading, learning and creativity, and raise self-esteem.
YEDID has many years of experience in running these programs in our Tzfat and Ashkelon Centers. At the end of MILIM, all children who are old enough confidently move on to first grade thanks to the additional instruction received at YEDID. Story-Time participants return week after week and show marked improvements in their Hebrew and communication skills