DROR 2020: Sprinting into the Next Decade!
Updated: Feb 17
Each beginning of a new school year is accompanied with a feeling of anticipation – new staff, new students, new parents and the excitement of helping our new plans become a reality. When Chanukah arrives we begin to notice just how smoothly and successfully our new routines run, and we revel in a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Our tremendous growth is incredibly satisfying and we are feeling quite proud of our progress and our successes. This year's program has four groups of students, young women ranging from 7th -12th grades. There are two primary DROR Sheli (MY DROR) groups, one 10th grade group of Big Sisters, and an alumni program!
Some of our changes this year include having several levels of staff and mentors, each with their ability to give and receive. Esti, our program director, has four staff members, each leading their own group. We have older students who were previously in DROR programs who are now in a position to reach out to the younger students starting out at DROR, with supervision and guidance from Esti. The younger students interact eagerly with their mentors, as they take their beginning steps toward self-actualization and empowerment. We appreciate the dynamic interplay of giving and receiving between our newest DROR girls and our more senior students, all under the guidance of a loving and dedicated staff.
The 10th grade Big Sisters serve as tutors to the younger students, helping with homework, and offering a hand in friendship. The younger students are facing similar hurdles to what these Big Sisters have experienced. The Big Sisters are in a unique position to offer empathy and understanding, helping the younger students to both believe in their ability to set goals and then achieve these goals. The 10th graders in the Big Sister program receive age-appropriate leadership training as well as other programming. Our DROR Sheli students are gaining academic support, while learning to understand and feel more at ease with their bodies, their relationships, and the world around them. We believe in their power to change their own lives and eventually, will be Big Sisters to next year's DROR students.
Today, I'd like to talk about one of DROR's core values -– the importance of physical health. We use the word "sports" a lot at DROR to convey a range of activities, which we include in DROR's programming. We participated in a zumba class with our good friend, Abby Scheinfeld (Yudin), at our opening event, decorated water bottles, organized an optional hip-hop class, and we recently starting a running group in preparation for the Jerusalem Marathon’s 10K on March 20th! (Sign up here to join us!!) The run serves as a focal point for the young women's sports training and leaves them with a feeling of success, self-efficacy, and team spirit.
But the sports events and activities we organize mean so much more to us than attendance sheets and nutritional facts. Sports are an integral part of the lifestyle we are working to promote among our students. We want them to recognize that the choices they make have the ability to impact on and improve their overall health. When our DROR girls achieve an athletic goal we want them to have a sense not just of physical accomplishment, but of a personal one as well, that they have set themselves a goal and put in the time and dedication to achieve it. We love seeing the confidence they feel when they achieve these athletic goals, and gaining the understanding that they are taking steps to set their goals higher and achieve their aspirations.
Sports are something that can be shared with a group of friends or on one's own. The beauty is that each individual can track her own progress and achieve her goals at her own pace. We feel this is a great model for setting personal goals and we hope our students use their sports training as both a way to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, and transfer the goal setting skills to other arenas of their lives. With the great weather in Israel, we have the advantage of being able to spend lots of time outdoors!
DROR’s message to both our students and our dear supporters is – it’s time to get up, get out there, and get moving! If you are still on the fence, please let DROR's message of personal growth and improved health inspire you. Find an activity you think you will enjoy and take the first step. It's the perfect time for change and growth as we move into a new decade. Add this to you new year’s resolutions. Your future self, your family, and your friends will appreciate this investment.
Written by Executive Admin, Esther Cohney