RFS Students Visit Amary Friends Preschool

Trip Start Mar 04, 2007
Trip End Jun 15, 2007

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Flag of Palestinian Territory  ,
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

RFS Students Visit Amary Friends Preschool

For the first time in many years, two specific Quaker classes have been added to the Ethics track in the Ramallah Friends School curriculum.  Starting in the past school year, juniors took "Quaker Faith and Practice" and 8th graders took "Quaker History."

The Quaker History course was rescheduled until the final term so I could help with the early history. I developed three PowerPoint presentations for the first three lessons.  We (Joyce Ajlouny and I) started off with the work of FUM, focusing on Quaker schools worldwide.  It was moving to watch the students see the conditions of students in Turkana as they tried to study.  They all wanted to adopt it as a service project and raise funds for desks.

At their Open Day, they collected donations and sold mechanical pencils to raise money for the students in Turkana.  They had prepared several nice posters explaining the schools in Turkana and how they hoped to help.

Then Joyce took over full time and taught the history of Ramallah Friends School and the influence of Quakers in the Middle East.  The students decided to add another project - this time the Friends Play Center at the Armay Refugee Camp. 

On a Sunday morning, students arrived at Amary to interact with the preschoolers and to hand out gifts they had purchased from the donations.  At first they remained in two groups.  The preschoolers sang some songs and showed off they knew the alphabet and could count to ten.

Then paper and colors were handed out and the 8th graders joined the preschoolers as they drew.  Face painting started and there was much laughter and joy in the room.
Each preschooler received a wrapped gift - coloring books for the girls and a car game for the boys.  See them holding up their gifts?

One 8th grade boy said to me as we were waiting for rides, "They need us to come."  Several girls said, "Let's make this a yearly class project."  Overall, the feeling was positive and very supportive.  There is much hope for these young people with compassionate hearts.

Note: The PowerPoint presentations will be available to download from the Friends United Press website in time for fall classes.
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