ESRAmagazine

Saying Thanks with a Slice of Cake

End of term ... students and tutors smile for the camera at the Harel- Ulpanat High School, Nahariya. Story and Photos by Michael Jaron

There we were on a brisk January morning, gathered at the gate of the Harel-Ulpanat High School in Nahariya, shuffling our feet against the morning chill. Ten volunteers, put together by Hazel Michaels of North Coast ESRA, at the starting gate so to speak, to begin tutoring 18 senior high school students in an effort to increase their conversational English proficiency skills.

Then, just as quickly as it had started, by mid-March we had reached the finish line, the concluding session of this year's tutoring program and we were hosted to coffee, cake and a final tutoring session.

It was a festive setting that began with students and tutors alike sitting in a semi-circle, and individual students expressing their thanks and appreciation for our time and efforts in improving their conversational English skills, for listening and for helping.

One girl went so far as to independently produce a laminated thank you card for each of the tutors.

The volunteers in turn expressed their feelings and well wishes to the students. Photographs were taken, and an article was slated to appear in a local newspaper.

Mercedes, the English Language Coordinator, facilitated the program with inspirational readings and songs. We were treated to a delicious homemade Thank You cake and coffee. 

Students with Michael at their final practice for the English conversation exam

Then we broke up into groups and went through a final rehearsal for the conversational portion of the English Bagrut examination.

Both young women in this photo are 18 years old. The young woman to the left, whose father is a rabbi and whose mother is a teacher, will enter the National Service to work with troubled children. The young woman to the right is going into to the IDF. She has taken all of the pre-qualifying examinations and is waiting on test score results so she can choose a unit. Not one of the several students that I worked with expressed a desire to leave Israel.

None of this would have been possible, but for the determination of Hazel Michaels who put our group together. It was a most rewarding experience and I personally look forward to doing it again next year. 

 

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Wednesday, 25 November 2020

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