In light of the experience of the past year, this year emphasis is being placed on recruiting trustees principally from among Ofakim residents.
This year, 17 trustees will work with three groups - the graduates group from Noar Haoved veHalomed, members of the Afikei Orot garin (young couples who relocated to this city in order to participate in this program), and young women from Ofakim (community residents who will coach local children) who have committed themselves to work in the program for at least the next three years.
The program will operate in six schools in the city: the elementary schools Hagivah, Ashelim, Ben Gurion, and Abir Yaakov; and the Ofakim Comprehensive General High School and the Netiv Torani Ofakim religious high school.
Two hundred children from Grades 4-8 at the various schools will take part in the program. The children are being selected by the school counselors and principals, with the assistance of the welfare system and the truant officers of the city. The activities will be of a social, group-oriented and pedagogical nature, with emphasis on addressing the child's personal strengths.
Program activities we have begun implementing this year:
1. Recruiting trustees from among the three groups.
2. Meeting with all of the school principals and counselors in the city.
3. Training the trustees: workshops have been coordinated which deal with presenting the program, presenting the relevant institutions which operate in the city, a seminar on the process of mapping the children's needs, a study day about the "Council for Child Security" and a study day on the topic of coaching.
4. Visiting the schools and teaming up a trustee with a group of children.
5. Making home visits for each of the children participating in the program.
6. Starting educational-social activity, in activity groups during the afternoon hours.
7. Further on - Integrating the participants into activity groups which operate in Ofakim, including tennis, plastic arts, dance, capoeira, soccer, computers, English and more.
A steering committee was established for this program, which convened for the first time two weeks ago.