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What is Israel Connect?
Via video-conference, English-speaking volunteers connect with Israeli students on a weekly basis. Through 30 minute conversations, students can rapidly increase their fluency in English and improve their prospects both for post-secondary schooling and future employment. This rich and dynamic exchange is unique to the program and offers an individualized exposure to the English language not otherwise accessible in Israel. Studies have shown that immersion is the best way to learn a language, and in our experience, students have made tremendous gains — improving their English fluency, increasing their confidence, deepening comprehension, and gaining a more sophisticated and age-appropriate vocabulary!
How does it work?
Israel Connect volunteers are paired with students in Israel to share in a half hour conversation guided by an engaging curriculum. Due to the seven-hour time difference, these sessions take place in the North American morning while the students are finishing their school day in Israel. Every set of partners is given a consistent time and date on which they connect weekly. The program consists of 30 sessions between September and May. The students participate mostly from school computer labs, while the volunteers can work from anywhere with an internet connection.
Generally, the students are from 9th or 10th grade, and are preparing for their University Entry exam to be taken throughout the year of 11th grade. English comprises one third of this exam, and mastery of the English language is critical.
The ideal volunteer is generally a retired or semi-retired individual, with 30 minutes to spare in the morning. To ensure all parties are well prepared for success, Israel Connect provides training in the use of the simple video chat software, real time technical support ensuring a smooth connection, and a subbing system should volunteers be unavailable. No knowledge of the Hebrew language, teaching experience, or prior technical knowledge is necessary, but access to a computer with internet is required.
In addition to the growing group of committed volunteers of all ages, Israel Connect also reaches out to senior centers and nursing homes, providing seniors this wonderful interaction. Through technical training, Israel Connect allows even those who are less mobile to connect weekly with a student, enhancing their lives with a fun and meaningful virtual visit, while enabling them to contribute. It has been proven time and time again that consistent human interactions can greatly impact the quality of life of the aged, and our students are in a position to have a tremendously positive impact. A real win-win situation!
How is Israel Connect funded?
Israel Connect is built around a community of individuals committed to ensuring all Israeli youth have access to English language learning. This community is comprised of volunteers, donors, supporters, staff, teachers, principals, and Israel’s Ministry of Education. We ask that volunteers participate with a small monthly donation of $18.00 to help defray some costs of the program, or a one-time donation of $180.00. A Canadian tax receipt can be issued. If the cost of volunteering with us is a barrier to your participation, we will do our best to find a sponsor.
How do I sign up?
To join our team of volunteers, begin by completing the simple application form below. Upon completion, you will be contacted by an Israel Connect representative to fulfill some security requirements. Once the security requirements have been fulfilled, a training session will be scheduled to provide training on the use of the curriculum and technical software. During this training session, your availability will be noted, and session scheduled.
You are now ready to begin!
Thank you for joining our team of dedicated volunteers ensuring success of our future!
MAKE A LASTING CONTRIBUTION
To request information outlining the process to join our team of volunteers, please fill out the form below: