• On June 21st, hundreds of ‘College for All‘ pupils and staff from throughout Israel gathered at the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Academic College for the organization’s annual “Peak Day” event.

    Established in 1999, College for All (CFA) is an Israeli non-profit organization that operates unique educational centers throughout Israel’s disadvantaged areas, for children who possess potential for individual and academic excellence. CFA aspires to nurture and promote excellence in children and youth whose social and economic circumstances would otherwise hamper their potential for success, by providing them with a top quality, socially-minded curriculum. Each year, as part of its work plan with the children, CFA’s senior management, lead by Executive Director Dr. Shmuelik Weiss, stage a fun-filled and challenging day event in which CFA pupils of all ages throughout Israel compete as a group in various subjects and fields taught at College for All.

    Each center, be it the Sderot center, Akko center or any other of CFA’s 22 centers, chose delegates to participate in the event, who worked together as a team. They were divided into classes and quizzed by the staff on various themes, concepts and subjects from the College for All curriculums, such as mathematical thought and language concepts. The children were also quizzed on general knowledge concepts they had learned throughout the year, and were asked to make connections between them.

    In addition, the children were given missions beforehand, to be completed at their centers: for example, as part of their CFA curriculum, the children partake in unique architecture and mathematics course named “Kungulu”. One of this year’s missions was to design and build a miniature structure model (house, building, castle, etc.) and bring it to the event. The judging panel, comprised of men and women from the field of education as well as volunteers from other fields, observed the models, took notes and asked questions. This year, the 1st prize in the “Kungulu” category went to the Neve Ofer (Southern Tel Aviv) center. In a moving closing ceremony at the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Academic College’s main hall, all participating children received collective and individual prizes and recognition from the senior staff and teachers.

    The event was first and foremost constructed as a day of fun for College for All pupils. The senior pedagogical staff walked around dressed in costumes and dispersed soft drinks and hot dogs during breaks from competitions. The event’s formal purpose was to summarize the pupils’ accumulated knowledge in fields such as general knowledge, language skills and mathematical thought, but it was not the only one. The event encouraged camaraderie, cooperation and partnerships as a method of achieving success, as well as advocating the message that winning 1st prize isn’t everything; it’s the experience and effort that truly matter.

    For over a decade, College for All’s mission has been to nurture and cultivate talented students from impoverished neighbourhoods and Israel’s  social and geographic periphery. Each College for All pupil that begins the program stays on board for a period of 10 years, until graduation from high school. Events such as the annual “Peak Day”, as well as CFA’s unique pedagogical and social outlook and work plan, not only consider the children’s path towards academic success and excellence in school, but also their journey towards becoming thoughtful, caring young adults, who have high self esteem and feel they can rely on their peers for support as well as offer it. They are well on their way.

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