2011 Peace Corps Jordan Annual Report
Peace Corps Jordan Consults with Partners on Program Updates
As part of the review of its Special Education, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and Youth Development programs, Peace Corps held consultative meetings with ministry officials, Jordanian experts, field level partners, and Peace Corps Volunteers in July. Participants reviewed the goals and objectives of each of the project plans providing feedback on accomplishments, importance, and feasibility of each objective. Input from participants is a crucial part of the review and enhancement of our programs. Project reviews will continue through the first half of 2012 as we broaden input to include more current and former Volunteers though internet based surveys and the directors and staff at the schools and institutions where our Volunteers work.
Special Education Project
Teaching Children with Autism
Peace Corps Volunteers carried out trainings for teachers to help them meet the specific learning needs of children with autism. A Volunteer in Mafraq carried out extensive training for a Special Education Center Autism teacher in autism best-practices. The training included Applied Behavioral Analysis, Discrete Trial Training, Picture-Exchange Communication Systems, Social Stories, Visual Schedules, and positive reinforcement. With the help of center staff, the Volunteer translated autism data-tracking forms into Arabic to enable the autism teacher to create specific goals, break down tasks, and track student progress. The autism teacher is now running programs and gathering data independently. The Volunteer also did a lot of hands-on work renovating the autism classroom to improve the students’ learning environment. The Volunteer arranged the classroom into different sections (ie: story corner, computer area, play area, academic area, independence area), to provide the consistency and structure that is so important for autistic individuals. After the renovations, this model classroom is simple, organized, and a much better place for the children to learn in. This training was replicated in different formats by 4 other Peace Corps Volunteers in different Jordanian communities.
Results of Special Education Volunteer Work in 2011
Goal 1: Peace Corps Volunteers and counterparts enhanced the health, well- being and self reliance of over 460 individuals with special needs. Volunteers set up curricula for classes on shapes, colors, hygiene, social skills, letters and reading Volunteers worked closely with teachers and students to promote enhance vocational education programs such as furniture and brush making, handicrafts classrooms, as well as greenhouses, courses in farm maintenance, and animal care skills training programs. Goal 2: Peace Corps Volunteers modeled appropriate skills, methods and personal approaches with over 260 staff, parents and caregivers when working with individuals with physical and mental challenges. Volunteers provided hands-on training and led discussions regarding behavior modification strategies including environmental triggers, behavior instigators, positive supports and programming. They promoted positive reinforcement environments for the students at centers, discouraging physical punishment and providing positive dealing with students’ behavioral issues. Goal 4: Peace Corps Volunteers increased the social awareness, recognition and acceptance of persons with disabilities through educating over 200 individuals, and developing linkages with over 10 public institutions. Volunteers developed linkages with universities and youth centers, and facilitated Disability Awareness Workshops there that included video discussion, disability awareness games and discussions, and opportunities for further volunteerism. Volunteers used photos and videos to document student activities to highlight participants’ abilities, raise their self-esteem and spread awareness of persons with disabilities.
Volunteers created Mother’s Groups to share pertinent information about students’ education, providing lectures and training on how to best support children with special needs, as well as a forum for parents to communicate with each other about the challenges and successes of raising children with disabilities. Goal 3: Peace Corps Volunteers worked with staff and students at 17 Special Education centers to enhance facilities and resources. Volunteers and their partners obtained grants to create or enhance playgrounds at Special Education centers, providing a place to learn, play and develop social skills and creativity. Volunteers created multiple practical resource materials and games that improved eye-hand coordination and cognitive aspects of students.
19 Special Education Volunteers served in Jordan in 2011.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Classroom Innovation in Karak: A Peace Corps Volunteer developed a project to help students make their own magazine and review “Action Pack” units at the same time. This provided students with more writing opportunities, a creative outlet and a way to share their successes and progress with their parents. The Volunteer brainstormed topics with students and then assigned each student a topic to write about and illustrate. After the Volunteer created a cover and assembled the magazine; each student had the opportunity to take the final product home to share with her family! This long-term project teaches students patience, perseverance, and allows them to visualize possible futures. It also ensures that key English concepts are reviewed and helps students to retain vocabulary.
Results of TEFL Volunteer Work in 2011
Goal 1: Approximately 5500 Students enhanced their overall life skills by developing English skills for listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in age-relevant contexts. A Volunteer started weekly journal writing assignments to improve writing and conducted extensive game-based review sessions. Another Volunteer facilitated an after school English club. The club used games, songs, and activities to reinforce English language learning. Goal 2: 650 Jordanian English teachers improved their English communication and teaching skills through teacher-toteacher exchanges. A Volunteer provided three weeks of teacher training sessions focused on the application of lesson planning, grammar teaching and classroom management techniques. A Volunteer presented model lessons in several schools after determining the needs of both students and teachers. Goal 3: School resources and facilities were developed or upgraded to provide enriched learning environments for students and teachers in 8 schools. One Volunteer, along with her counterpart, obtained a grant to renovate the school computer lab, purchasing new equipment and training teachers and students in the use of ICT resources in teaching and learning English. Understanding the importance of a comfortable learning environment, one Volunteer and her counterpart obtained a grant to purchase 22 gas cylinders, new heaters and curtains to place in each classroom. Goal 4: Volunteers promoted collaboration between 2015 community members and schools. Upon request, one Volunteer taught a TOEFL preparation class for community members. Upon request, one Volunteer taught afternoon classes to university students and employees. Upon request, one Volunteer provided a class teaching mothers how to teach English to their children.
32 TEFL Volunteers served in Jordan in 2011.
Character Development Martial Arts Camp
Peace Corps Volunteers carried out a first-of-its-kind “Character Development Martial Arts Camp” in Mafraq and Tafila. The program was a collaborative effort between PCVs, the Jordan Olympic Committee (martial art practitioners), the Higher Council for Persons with Disabilities, the Ministry of Youth, a female self- defense instructor, and the Jordanian Special Olympics Organization. 78 boys from the Mafraq and Tafila areas, including 24 boys with disabilities, were trained in Karate, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jujitsu. 15 girls from Al Qadissiyya (a village known for its conservative values), including 2 girls with disabilities, were trained in the fundamentals of health, fitness, and self-defense. PCVS used martial arts as a forum to engage the youth in fun activities while addressing special needs awareness, critical thinking, health/fitness, discipline and self-control. 21 Youth Development Volunteers served in Jordan in 2011.
Youth Development Project
Results of Youth Development Volunteer Work in 2011
Volunteers partnered with the John Hopkins /Jordan Communication Partnership for Family Health program to deliver a training of trainers for Volunteers and community partners. The “Arab Women Speak Out” training focused on decision-making and various women’s health issues, including healthy lifestyles, general health issues, smoking, and chronic diseases. Goal 1: Peace Corps Volunteers engaged over 4500 Jordanian youth in activities to enhance their life skills and reinforce a positive transition to adulthood. The National Physical Education Youth Games was a partnership between Peace Corps and the Ministry of Youth and Sport. This event concluded a 3 day sports, fitness and healthy living camp in Ajloun for boys and girls from participating youth centers. The ultimate goal was to emphasize the importance of leadership, teamwork, and a healthy lifestyle through team sports. Two Peace Corps Volunteers created a “Brain Camp” curriculum to address the issues of critical thinking, creativity and decision-making. Many Volunteers implemented Brain Camp activities in their communities. At the end of “Brain Camp”, each participant practices using all the techniques and skills they learned throughout the camp by coming up with a solution to a real-world problem. Volunteers assisted to develop, run and coordinate summer camp activities for youths at the “Mabarrat Um Al Hussein” orphanage that had previously had fewer summer activities for its residents. Volunteers carried out an Autism Awareness workshop, providing a unique opportunity for university students to learn about autistic children and how to work with them. Goal 3: Volunteers assisted communities to identify and increase ways to support the development of over 10 youth- led initiatives in their communities. Volunteers participated in English ACCESS activities, enhancing interactive exercises in class, supporting and organizing out-of-class English enrichment activities, and teaching students with dyslexia. A Volunteer, along with center staff, started a Vocational Program series to increase awareness of career opportunities for girls in the fields of tourism, health, and small business.
Goal 2: Volunteers worked with over 350 staff, community and youth leaders to define, prioritize and address youth and community needs leading to a more effective youth serving organizations. Volunteers and staff created an Extracurricular Room at Al al Bayt University and a Girl’s Youth Center Gym in North Shouneh, led a Woman’s Health Campaign in Aye Girls Youth Center in Karak, established a Computer and Language Lab in Wadi Musa Girls Youth Center, and obtained and put to use a Braille Embosser for the visually impaired at Mutah University.
Enhancing Water Awareness
Volunteer Community Projects
In 2011 Peace Corps Jordan launched the new “Enhancing Water Awareness” (EWA) program. Throughout the year Peace Corps Volunteers trained over 440 community youth in the areas of water issue awareness, water conservation, and critical thinking. The EWA program also funded joint Volunteer-community grants to build a rainwater catchment and storage system at a village school in Hofa, Irbid, launch a youth film club to create local films about water issues at the Princess Basma Center in Karak, and carry out a water and energy use audit at an orphanage in Marka.
H2Hope A Water Conservation Curriculum for Peace Corps Jordan
Peace Corps Volunteers Promote Cultural Exchange The second and third goals of Peace Corps are to promote enhanced mutual understanding among Americans and Jordanians. 88% of our Volunteers in 2011 report an impact in increasing Americans’ understand of Jordanians, all of this before they finish their service, go home, and begin the major goal three work. They do this through blogs read by friends and family in the US, correspondence exchange programs between US and Jordanian students, articles about Jordan in their hometown and University newspapers, speaking engagements while home on leave, etc… 95% of our Volunteers report enhancing the understanding of Americans on the part of Jordanians. While many Volunteers hold special events to share American culture, much of the impact in this area is made through Volunteers’ participation in community events, family dinners, school events, and simply taking the time to drink tea and chat with local friends and colleagues.
Peace Corps Jordan
Peace Corps Volunteers began their work in Jordan at the invitation of His Majesty King Hussein in 1997. Since that time more than 500 Volunteers have worked in Jordanian communities. 72 Peace Corps Volunteers served in Jordan in 2011.
The Peace Corps has three simple goals:
1. 2. 3. Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women. Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served. Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
Peace Corps Jordan Leadership
Alex Boston Bryan Butki
Director of Programming and Training
Mathue Schwenk Lana Momani Nawal Najjar
Director of Management and Operations
Teaching English as a Foreign Language Program Manager
Special Education and Youth Development Programs Manager
Contact Information • P.O. Box 354, Amman, Jordan 11118 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Telephone: 06-461-9144 • Fax: 06-461-9351 • Website: jordan.peacecorps.gov
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