The new academic year has begun at Shema Kolenu, bringing with it a fresh wave of enthusiasm and determination to advance and develop.
One of the most exciting innovations is our new national support group program for middle school students.
Until now, Shema Kolenu only ran support groups for high school girls and our female alumni. Their great success, the warm feedback we received from the girls and the impact they had on their lives inspired our Social Experiences Committee to open similar groups for middle school students.
Current research proves that being part of a peer support group is an activity of supreme importance for children, youth and adults with special needs. When they are together with equals, they absorb a vital social experience, genuine understanding and complete identification with their challenges.
Shema Kolenu’s experience has proven that participation in these groups empowers the girls, giving them new strength and skills to cope with their surroundings in regular society.
Today, the hearing impaired are completely integrated into the hearing society. This is Shema Kolenu’s motto too, but even more. We want to ensure that they become an integral part of society, contributing to their fullest potential on equal terms. Our support groups are one way of leading them to this goal.
The new support groups enable Grade 6-8 students to meet their peers and discuss mutual problems and challenges, draw strength from each other, have fun, share ideas and enjoy a relaxed and accepting social situation.
The weekly sessions will not just include sitting in a circle and talking. The facilitators are keen to ensure a wide variety of activities including games, life skills development and even group day trips.