Today in Israel proficiency in English is crucial for academic achievement, opportunity for higher education and success in job placement. Also, the one area identified as the most problematic in terms of academic achievement for children of low socio-economic groupings is the study of English.
Support of English Language Instruction is envisioned as a means to open the door to professional educational exchanges as well as to new volunteer opportunities for the community, both in Detroit and in Israel.
For these reasons the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit is taking a proactive role in piloting an English proficiency program in the Partnership 2000 Region of the Central Galliee. The program trains teachers in teaching methods not currently offered by the Ministry of Education, assists principals in improving their English skills, and measures the achievements of students in grades 5 – 8. In addition, informal programs that will connect our local community to this effort are being planned (an English-speaking summer camp is being considered).
The Michigan Partnership 2000 Steering Committee is traveling to Israel May 6-10 for program meetings and to visit projects funded by JFMD. One of these projects will be the English Program, where progress made in the first year of the program will be assessed.