academy for social leadership

Volunteering

 After-school Programs

There are many children who have difficult family situations that negatively impact their ability to learn in school: violence, neglect, a single parent, etc.

TAMIR Mechina students, under the supervision of Graduate Track participants and a professional staff, work with these children on a one-to one basis in an after school center. The program includes helping with homework, trips, games, and the development of a caring, supportive relationship and thus helps build the children's self confidence and provide them with a sense of accomplishment and respite from tensions at home. Mm students volunteer in the center three times a week.

More than Math

Arithmetic is a key subject in elementary school, and one which is often used to judge whether a child is a 'good' student or not. It is also a subject that many children struggle to understand and this leads to frustration, low self-esteem, and loss of motivation to learn. In this project TAMIR Mechina students teach children arithmetic using the Singapore Method, in which the former hare trained while at TAMIR. This project has been highly successful in the four years since it began and the 4th through 6th graders who are tutored by the Mechina students have shown significant improvement in their math scores and the small group setting in which Mechina students work with groups of three to four children facilitates the formation of positive relationships between the tutors and children.

The Therapeutic Ranch

Therapeutic horseback riding has long been known as a powerful tool for helping children and youth with emotional or physical difficulties. TAMIR Mechina students volunteer three times a week in the therapeutic riding center in Gamla where they assist the children alongside professional trainers. Both the children and the Mechina volunteers report of strong bonds being formed between them, and the horses, too. For many of the TAMIR students this is also an empowering experience as they have never before been around horses, nor helped younger children in this special way.

The Yish"ai Class

This is a special class of new immigrants from Ethiopia in one of the elementary schools in Katzrin. This class puts an emphasis on Hebrew writing and reading, as this comes more difficultly than speech, and basic arithmetic skills. Three TAMIR Mechina students have volunteered to help these children cope with the stresses of immigration that come from needing to learn a new language, become familiar with a new culture and make new friends. The Mechina students in this project are themselves veteran Ethiopian immigrants and so know the Amharic language and can easily understand the difficulties the children face, while at the same time serving as success role models who have become integrated into Israeli society.

Big Brothers

There are children who have difficult home situations and little support from their families: children in whose homes they may be violence, neglect, a single parent, a dysfunctional parent, and other problems. These children grow up with little self-confidence and with unmet emotional needs. They yearn for a positive connection with an older role model.

TAMIR Mechina students serve as 'big Brothers' to these children in program supervised by social services. Each Mechina student meets with his 'little brother' at least once a week during which time they do pleasurable activities – sports, hikes, and just enjoy each other's company. This relationship can be of utmost importance to the child who has someone to look up to, someone who values him for who he is, and this often has positive influences on other areas of his life, like school performance.

Volunteering