Arts for Childhood

June 8, 2013 ANERA
Early Childhood Development, Education, Music and the Arts
A Palestinian preschooler enjoys painting at an Arts for Childhood music workshop in Bethlehem, part of ANERA's early childhood development program in the West Bank.

The Reality in the West Bank and Gaza

Palestinian children suffer from many risk factors, from poverty and malnutrition to psychological traumas arising from the constant political conflict that surrounds them. Only one out of three preschoolers has access to a child-safe school, trained teachers and basic resources. Arts education is a rare luxury despite the fact that research shows its profound impact on a child’s cognitive, physical and emotional development.

ANERA’s Response

Through its early childhood development initiative, ANERA is building and renovating preschools, training teachers and providing educational materials across Gaza and the West Bank. Arts for Childhood is a cornerstone of the program, incorporating music, dance, drama, photography, art, storytelling and handicrafts in classrooms and summer camp settings. Our goal is to integrate arts into preschool curricula, encourage the love of learning, promote the benefits of creative thinking to parents and the community, and strengthen the connection to cultural heritage.

How It Works

Step 1: Work with preschool teachers to offer arts activities.

Step 2: Coordinate special training for teachers to help them integrate arts into curricula. 

Step 3: Involve parents and the community in arts programs to expand appreciation for arts and cultural heritage.

Step 4: Organize summer arts camps and involve local artists and teachers to bring music, art and drama to preschoolers and their families through colorful, fun activities.

Arts for Childhood

Tahreer, a summer camp supervisor in Gaza, sits with come kids as they paint.Teacher Areej El-Jamaal sees a lot of benefits from ANERA’s summer camp in Gaza: “The children come from poor families…so I am delighted that they have had an opportunity to have fun and also develop their creative abilities.Read more >>

Showing children the difference between an oud and guitar at the Bethlehem Governmental Preschool; music class is an important part of ANERA's early childhood development programming in the West Bank.

At four preschools in Nablus and Bethlehem, more than 80 children aged between three and five participated in a music workshop sponsored by ANERA’s Arts for Childhood initiative. Read more >>