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My name is Amani Hanafi. I earned a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education, and have been working in the education field for over 15 years as a director, curriculum developer, educational consultant, teacher trainer, teacher, and coach. I have worked in educational development in the United States, Egypt, India, Nepal, and Argentina.
I aim to improve the way we educate and ensure that those who are not receiving their right to education, receive it.
It's TIME to TEACH!
For the past 3 months, I have been creating and implementing a curriculum to teach reading through football (soccer) (View "Where has Reading on the Pitch been implemented so far?" further below).
I am raising funds to take this program to Greece, where currently over 62,000 Syrian refugees are living. According to the the U.N. children’s agency, the war has reversed 10 years of progress in education for Syrian children.
In Greece, with your support, I will give refugee children the gift of reading. Reading can make their already challenging journeys in life easier, and with this tool they can then educate themselves in the future, and further enable them to help their community and society as a whole.
What makes my curriculum one of a kind is that it uses the universal language of football to teach reading. This methodology is remarkable because it overcomes many of the obstacles that all children, refugee children in particular, might face: insufficient classrooms and school supplies, language barriers, monotonous, repetitive teaching methods and lack of physical activity.
While I’ve already implemented Reading on the Pitch with both English and non-English speakers in the United States, taking this program to Greece will give me the opportunity to teach in a context with very limited resources, where classroom settings are not readily available, and English is not the native tongue. These challenges will test the limits of this curriclum, and give light to further development.
In the future, I see Reading on the Pitch implemented in many countries, settings, and languages, reaching underserved and vulnerable populations worldwide.
SO HOW DOES IT WORK?
Picture this: when a coach is coaching soccer, and they tell a child to run to the cone that says the Number 1, or they tell them to run to the GREEN Cone, they are inadvertently teaching them numbers and colors.
This program intentionally teaches Letter Sounds and Names, and then connects those sounds and names to make words.
View more lessons under "Example Lesson Plans" that can be found further below.
WHY IS THIS PROGRAM BENEFICIAL?
· Teaches the tool of reading that will empower individuals to further educate themselves.
· A classroom is not necessary, something that refugees do not always have.
· Football (soccer) is a universal language that will bring people together without the need for a common tongue.
· Sportsmanship and team-work are practiced, integral in survival within any community.
· Exercise and play will improve mental and physical health.
WHAT IS THE IMMEDIATE PLAN AND HOW WILL YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT HELP NOW?
· Airfare to Greece to implement the Reading on the Pitch program and continue to develop curriculum.
· Living expenses in Greece (6 months) while I implement, develop, and train locals on the ground to continue implementing the program.
· Equipment (balls, cones, jerseys)
· Website Creation for Reading on the Pitch where progress/events on the ground will be communicated.
· File for NGO/501(c)(3) status here in the United States in order to continue funding this program in the future. (Currently Incorporated in California and Board of Directors has been formed)
WHAT IS THE LONG TERM VISION?
· Implement Reading on the Pitch in the US and abroad (Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, etc).
· Create programs for Youth and Adults.
· Translate the program into other languages, with an emphasis on the languages of countries that refugees are moving into (ex. Teaching German to those moving into Germany).
· Create a one time downloadable app/memory sticks for easy distribution to underserved populations worldwide (I am currently in contact with an organization creating an offline education device that can be used anywhere, anytime, without requiring access to infrastructure. My goal is to upload this curriculum on this device so it can be distributed worldwide).
· Adapt reading program to various sports (“reading on the mound” for baseball, etc…)
· Develop Math Curriculum for various sports ("math on the pitch", "math on the mound")
WHERE HAS READING ON THE PITCH BEEN IMPLEMENTED SO FAR?
I have conducted two Case Studies in San Francisco, California in 2016-17.
Non-English speaking children from Yemen ages 4-9 in a recreational center
· All of the students were able to read their first word after the first lesson.
· Most students understood the meaning of the word after the first lesson.
· Most students could respell the word after letters were rearranged after the third lesson.
· By the seventh lesson, nearly all students understood the benefits of sportsmanship and teamwork. They created their own teams, rotated players throughout the game, and held one another accountable in fair play.
English speaking children ages 4-6 in a school setting
· Almost all children improved in their knowledge of the letter sounds/names after the first lesson.
· Children who regularly had a hard time sitting still in a classroom setting showed im
provement in their reading skills by the third lesson.
· Nearly all students could read and understand the concept of diagraphs (eg. sh, ch, th) by the fifth lesson.
· By the fifth lesson, all but one student understood the benefits of sportsmanship and teamwork through appointing positions, rotating players throughout the game, and holding one another accountable in fair play.
EXAMPLE LESSON PLAN
- Marria Nazif
- fady magdy
- Theresa Jones
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