ACHLA: Learning Together
Organized by: Alan Sachs
Alan Sachs via Crowdrise
October 10, 2015
- ACHLA is a unique, extracurricular multi-language learning program for Jewish and Arab children living in Israel's Sharon region. We are hoping to raise $2,000 to help subsidize costs for staff and supplies for the 2015-2016 program year.
- ABOUT ACHLA: Though Israel's Jewish and Arab communities exist side-by-side and share many of the same shopping centers, parks and other public spaces, our school systems are separate and opportunities for social interaction and communication are rare, especially among children.
In the absence of such opportunities, our perceptions of each other are often driven instead by stereotypes and media images that feed intolerance and deeply undermine the foundations of civic identity and mutual acceptance needed in a shared society.
ACHLA is a unique space for children to gain exposure to each other. Using language as a bridge, we help our students learn to listen to the perspectives of others and challenge their own assumptions, while growing confidently in their identities. At ACHLA, we believe that Israeli society is strengthened by efforts to recognize, communicate with, and listen to each other.
The ACHLA program is designed to help our children develop these critical skills and enrich their knowledge and awareness of other people and cultures through language activities, joint play, and facilitated group discussions.
- ACHLA's GOALS:
- To provide a safe space to build trust, create friendships, and reduce stereotyping
- To increase knowledge of Arabic and English, together with Israeli Arab and Jewish cultures
- To encourage critical thinking, tolerance, and respect for others
- To expand understanding of civic identity and responsibility
- To build community and provide a stronger foundation for shared society through joint experiences and acceptance.
- ACHLA's ACTIVITIES: ACHLA meets on two Fridays every month, at the Berl Katznelson Educational Center in Beit Berl. Each 90-minute meeing is co-facilitied by a both a Jewish and Arab instructor. The first part of each meeting is reserved for focused language learning in subgroups:
- Led by our Arab instructor, Jewish students study Arabic in the framework of the "Let's Talk" educational program designed by Merchavim -- The Institute for the Advancement of Shared Citizenship in Israel.
- Led by our Jewish instructor, Arab students study English in the framework of American "English as a Second Language" (ESL) classroom activities, songs, and art projects.
The full group then meets for a small snack and a brief opportunity for open play and conversation.
The second half of each meeting involves a joint discussion, game, or project, co-facilitated by our Jewish and Arab instructors.