The HCEF HOPE Program (HCEF Outreach to Palestinian Educators) is hosting its first special education workshop designed to bring educators from the University of Cincinnati’s School of Education to work with Palestinian educators. The 28 Palestinian participants include principals, vice principals, social workers and all types of educators from ten elementary schools who are interested in learning and knowing more about identifying and meeting the differentiated needs of their students.

HCEF President Rateb Rabie noted: “Program HOPE brings new opportunities for American educators to interact with and share instructional knowledge with their counterparts in the Holy Land, providing an exciting enriching experience for both.” He further states, ‘This good program is in cooperation with the Latin Patriarchate School System and would not be possible without their support.’

This four-day program, which begins June 28 and ends July 1, 2010, will be held at the HCEF Ecumenical Center for Research and Development (ECRD) in Bethlehem, and will feature comprehensive workshops and coaching sessions on a variety of subjects for instructional enrichment. It will cover sessions on writing, the use of multimedia in the classroom, instructional decision-making and curriculum effectiveness measures. Various pedagogic techniques will be presented to use in development of new teaching strategies. Case presentations, provided by participating teachers and their pupils, will round out the sessions.

1Leading the program is Dr. Stephen D. Kroeger, Assistant Professor of Special Education at the University of Cincinnati. He is an eminent, widely published educator and scholar with extensive experience in the field of special education at middle and high school levels. This includes special programs working with children having behavioral and emotional disorders. He holds a doctorate in Special Education from the University of Cincinnati. Additionally, he has master degrees in Special Education from the University as well degrees in Theology and Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley. He has also worked as an educator in Peru, Central America and the Caribbean.

2Rateb Rabie commends Mrs. Nancy Hemminger, a long time HCEF leader volunteer, “Nancy has been the catalyst for this special education workshop. Passionate about this cause, she has given much of her time, and with the support of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, organized a pilgrimage to show solidarity and break bread with the Palestinian people.”

3Stephanie L. Ambary M.Ed., a veteran teacher of 23 years with the Cincinnati Public Schools will

also assist with the program. Stephanie has worked as a literacy coach providing professional development to the district’s elementary teachers. She is recognized by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards for her demonstrated achievements and professional commitment to students and their learning and performance.

In early July, a group of teachers and clergy from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati will depart for the Holy Land to visit schools as part of a mission trip and pilgrimage. The trip is sponsored by HCEF.

4This HOPE Program Special Education workshop is a part of the larger HCEF program Educate the Educators, which focuses on working with and supporting educators in the Palestinian area schools by working with the Universities in Palestine and the Ministry of Education. Patricia Parma, M.A., L.P.C., Counselor /Associate Professor of Student Development at Palo Alto College and HCEF Board of Director, is leading the way in the development of this HCEF program and is currently in Bethlehem preparing for a successful upcoming workshop and pilgrimage.