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12/22/2015 - Remedial Instruction Pilot Project Inaugurated with Nitzan Organization, Aims to Assist Negba’s Most Learning Disabled Kids

Negba’s after-school programs strive to help underprivileged children develop their educational capacities – and their social, emotional, and cultural capacities as well- to the same levels as in children born into families with greater opportunities. Sadly, what we have discovered is that some Negba children lack the most basic skills in reading, writing, and math, which they should have acquired in first grade. Whether due to home circumstances, or whether due to cognitive learning disabilities, these kids can’t progress educationally without fundamental building blocks. They then develop extremely low self-esteem and shamefully conceal their deficiencies.

Negba’s Remedial Instruction Pilot Project aims to address this problem. With a new collaborative partner, Nitzan- the Israeli Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities, Negba now offers individualized instruction for select children ages 7-9 and teens ages 13-14 at Negba’s after-school Houses and clubs. And the project is already making an impact.

“I practice math equations that are hard for me”, said Tehila, a 5th grader. “It definitely helps me. I understand things in school more quickly now.” Yuval, in 4th grade, agreed. “Gila (the instructor) gives me reading assignments, and then I have to answer questions and play games to see if I understood what I read. It’s fun, and helps me in class, too.”

An innovative and experimental aspect of the initiative will include some of the Negba children receiving the instruction on the premises of their school during school hours. Weekly guidance by Nitzan’s instructors will also be given to Negba’s counselors caring for the children, to improve their abilities in preparing appropriate educational activities. And communication will occur weekly with the teachers of the children in the project to monitor and report on each child’s progress.

At the conclusion of the first year, Negba will conduct an evaluation of the pilot and assess each child’s progress, albeit knowing that most of the children will require an additional 1-2 years of remedial instruction to make a lasting impact. This evaluation will help us determine how best to proceed with each child, and it will also measure whether the remedial instruction is more effective when conducted during school hours or after school hours.

Orly, a 6th grader, is a Negba child not yet enrolled in the Remedial Instruction program. But on a few occasions when a child in the program was absent, Orly participated. And she sorely wants to join: “Math is very hard for me in school, and the instructor helped me with fun games to learn multiplication and fractions. If I could receive the special instruction regularly, it would help me so much."

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