The key to breaking the cycle of distress must be found at school. Almost all of the children at the Home are mainstreamed into local and regional schools throughout the area and we are obligated to support the children and indeed the schools in their efforts.
The schools in which our children study continue to report that numerous students, younger and older, have difficulties in even performing the most basic tasks, often lacking even basic reading and writing skills, a vital key to their rehabilitation.
The Emunah Notebooks program provides tutoring and support five afternoons a week. Trained teachers and college students provide the children with homework assistance, extra lessons, and tutoring. Children receive individual attention and the positive results are immediately apparent. Almost all of the children receiving support are reported to show improvement at school.
In addition, we offer, without government funding or support, our on-campus "home" schooling program. These students, many of whom have not been to school regularly for months or even years prior to moving to the Emunah Center, show symptoms of school phobia or simply lack the skills and ability to function in a regular classroom due to emotional, social, or educational challenges. The goal of this initiative is to help the children to gradually recover what we believe is their natural desire to learn and to achieve what they have lost, and ultimately to integrate them into regular schools.
Sapir, a serious and well-liked 18 year-old girl, has lived at an Emunah Children’s Center for eight years. At the tender age of 8, Sapir lost her mother and was left at home with her abusive, alcoholic father and her seven older siblings. Sapir, the second youngest, was in crisis and was a very angry child. All who knew the family were not optimistic about her chances to break out of the cycle. Absent from school and physically neglected, social services placed Sapir an Emunah Home.
The early years were not easy, but after years of support and dealing with her issues, Sapir grew and matured. She began to show more interest and commitment towards her schoolwork and became highly motivated. “You’ll see,” she once told us, “I’m going to show everybody and become the first member of my family to go to university.”
Sapir has been one of the seniors to benefit from our Emunotebooks program over recent years, “clocking up” probably hundreds of hours with our tutors. Her achievements speak for themselves. She will graduate from high school in June and commence her 2-year military service. Since she will have a full high school diploma, following her term in the army, Sapir will have the opportunity to benefit from the Emunah Scholarship Fund and indeed fulfill her dream to be the first college graduate in her family. She has made herself, and all at the Emunah Center, very proud of her hard-earned accomplishments.