I work as a pre-school teacher, in Pre 1A. I joined the "Active Nurturing Playground" project last year.
I feel that the Active Nurturing Playground (ANP) has opened new horizons for me in my work with children in the sensory-motor area. This is a very crucial area at the pre-school age, since, as is well known, physical movements are the first skills that develop in the young child.
The ANP project created an enabling environment in my pre-school class, one that enables all the children, not just those with challenges. All of the children have an opportunity to engage in sensory motor activity in a fun and enjoyable way that effectively enhances the learning process, social skills and behavior.
The ANP gave me the tools to more easily pinpoint the child with challenges and to help him as much as possible.
In addition, the project gave me marvelous tools and the ability to pass information on to the parents and to clearly define their child's difficulties. In this way, I am able to foster in them trust and acceptance. As a result, they are willing and able to act on the recommendations given to them.
The ANP kit contains varied and challenging equipment. The mentor, does wonderful work, conveying her subject in a comprehensive, clear and structured fashion.
Her cooperative efforts with us, the pre-school teachers, and with the children in the group, produce real results in the field. Here is a striking example of a case in point:
The mother was ill with cancer, and her hospitalizations were frequent. Each time the mother was hospitalized, the child was passed from one neighbor to the next, until a family was found that would take her on a regular basis each time the mother was not at home. In addition to this difficult family background, she also had personal challenges.
There was a gap of two years and three months between her and her classmates. She had difficulties in organization, language retrieval, and understanding instructions. At snack time, she would become very dirty and this automatically created social rejection as well.
Into this mess stepped the wonderful project of the ANP.
Before we became involved with the ANP, we worked a lot with the child in group and individual work. The miracle was that the girl's motivation to learn was very high. She was willing to give up on free play time in order to progress and learn. In addition, she received therapy once a week at the Child Development Clinic. Still and all, her progress was in tiny, baby steps.
The minute we started working with her in the ANP, it was as if the cork was pulled out and everything started to move. She needed this motor activity in a massive, basic and consistent dosage.
We came to a stage that the Child Development Clinic wanted to close her case. They said: "The child has closed gaps in an amazing way. What happened? A miracle?" No!
She simply had not had the opportunity until now to engage in so many varied activities. We divided the children of the class into groups of five, and included her every time. In this manner, she had many opportunities to upgrade her abilities with the teacher's guidance.
I feel that Ezer Mizion has succeeded in giving us a product that we can use. This is a project that suits us perfectly – its content, the lectures, the mentoring staff. In this way, a bond of trust is formed between us, them, the children and the parents – and the results are self-evident.
This entire project is not something that "was, and is finished." It is a new direction that has penetrated and will remain forever.
It's just wonderful – thank you! We will be very happy to keep up the fertile collaboration in other projects in the future.