Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Stephanie Greenberg, a kindergarten teacher at Bi-Cultural Day School in Stamford, has been awarded a TALMA Fellowship.

Founded in 2014 by the Israeli Ministry of Education and its partners, The Schusterman Family Foundation and The Steinhardt Family Foundation in Israel, TALMA: The Israel Program for Excellence in English is both an English-immersion program for low-income Israeli elementary schoolchildren living in the Israeli periphery and an international fellowship for educators around the world.

TALMA’s international educators devote their summer to volunteer-teaching. In return, participating educators—TALMA Fellows—receive an all-expense-paid summer of top-notch professional development and networking opportunities in Israel. Each international teacher is partnered with an Israeli co-teacher to encourage sharing of skills, areas of expertise and technique. TALMA teachers learn from one another while strengthening  cross-cultural communication and leadership skills. TALMA Fellows take the lessons they learn in Israel and bring them to their communities around the world.

“TALMA is a very exciting opportunity both because of the opportunity to work with children learning English in Israel and also because of the professional development opportunities,” said Greenberg. “After teaching in the morning there will be opportunities to connect with educators from around the world. I hope that I can bring back a better sense of understanding for helping children learn English, as well as connections that will further bring together schools around the world.”

According to its website, the TALMA “team” enlists “highly qualified, passionate and open-minded teachers from around the world to educate, inspire and lead in our informal, experiential summer learning program for low-income elementary school students in the Israeli periphery.

While Fellows spend their mornings teaching in their placement schools, several afternoons and/or evenings each week are devoted to enrichment. TALMA brings Fellows a variety of first-class speakers, workshops and experiential learning opportunities that enable participants to gain exposure to innovative and entrepreneurial social ventures that are changing the social justice scene and pushes them to grow their leadership.

TALMA organizers—the “TALMA Team”—select Fellows based on a combination of professional qualifications in the field of education; demonstrated commitment to TALMA’s vision that one day all children will have access to an excellent education; and proven leadership, action and mindsets that reveal a lifelong commitment to serve as a change agent in making this a more socially just world.

“The Talma Fellowship is a great honor and Stephanie, who joined us last year, was selected from many educators around the country,” said Rachel Bahar, head of the Bi-Cultural early childhood program. “We wish her much success and look forward to her sharing her experiences with us upon her return to America.”

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