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המכללה האקדמית בית ברל > English > About Us > News > Newsletter > February Newsletter > Beit Berl Students Volunteer in Solidarity with Negev Preschools Surrounding the Gaza Strip

Beit Berl Students Volunteer in Solidarity with Negev Preschools Surrounding the Gaza Strip

Students in Beit Berl’s Early Childhood Education track were deeply affected by their volunteer work with children and educators living in the volatile area around the Gaza Strip, resulting in plans to deepen the relationship between Beit Berl and the region.

On a recent winter morning, two buses full of Beit Berl students and staff headed south to the part of Israel that has been plagued by almost incessant rockets and missiles, as well as by kites and balloons that cause wildfires. 70+ students from the Early Childhood Education track volunteered in different preschools in 11 communities, organizing activities for the children such as stories, songs and games, infusing cheerfulness into the lives of young kids who face fear and stress on a daily basis. Without being prompted, children brought up their traumatic experiences almost immediately, and openly shared their stories with our students.

After spending the morning with the children in the preschools, the  students convened at a local community center, where they learned from the region’s early childhood education experts about the impact the ongoing violence is having on the children’s emotional development and day-to-day lives, as well as about the ways these professionals are dealing with the situation. Our students found the experience extremely powerful and developed a strong connection to the people of the region. 

The project was organized by Sigalit Aviram Brill, Lecturer in Beit Berl’s Department of Early Childhood Education, and Dr. Yarden Kedar, Head of the Department. Dr. Kedar and the team are now planning to make these visits an annual event for Early Childhood Education students. They are also working on several follow-up projects designed to strengthen the bond between Beit Berl and the area near the Gaza Strip. One project already up and running is twinning preschools in the southern region with preschools that carry the same name in the country’s center,  encouraging the two groups of children to learn about each other. 

Beit Berl’s Department of Early Childhood Education is respected throughout the country for its B.Ed., M.Ed. and teaching certification programs. The curriculum combines theoretical and applied courses in an array of research fields, such as psychology and education, as well as structured, mentored fieldwork in kindergartens.

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