January 30, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Israel

Youth Activation and Education in Israel

By Judy Ziv

The Israeli Board of Education has declared this years’ educational theme “The different one is me” due to non educational events that have happened in the country involving youth. Since then, there has been a big demand for our Special Olympics Get Into It program in schools- it fits the theme of the year. 

The Get Into It program varies in order to fit our potential partners. Programs we offer fit elementary schools, high schools, youth movements and adults. In schools, the curriculum consists always of 1.30 hour discussion about Special Olympics philosophy, the doctrine of Special Olympics, its history, who are our athletes, what is done in Special Olympics Israel and Special Olympics International. All fitted to the age of the pupils. We combine a short film in Hebrew about Special Olympics. 

Second part gives the participants an opportunity to physically implement the material that was covered in theory and demolishing prejudice ideas about Intellectual Disability. We have pupils volunteering in Special Olympics sport events and Young Athletes Program events- to the great joy and satisfaction of all sides. 

All our adult volunteers are briefed and guided before taking part in any event. A film about Special Olympics is shown and a Special Olympics athlete joins the guiding. We make it a point that only the ones who feel ready to volunteer with our athletes after the guidance take part in the event. During the previous summer, in our first “Camp Shriver," the Unified partners were kids from a youth movement. The partners and their parents were briefed shortly about the idea of the camp and only the ones who chose to take part in the camp became Special Olympics partners. 

We believe that it's all about education to accept and readiness to give.

About Judy Ziv: Special Olympics Get Into It Program Coordinator and Community Program Coordinator
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