Education, empowering

The soil of little minds dreams in Amman, Jordan

Welcome to the Alphabet kindergarten

Lost in the pure naive heart of a child
A smile that brights my way
Breaks my fears
And make me love my everyday
Paves the path of happiness
And when a child says ‘’I love you’’
sets the path of meaningfulness.

It’s where the land is fertile to creat the uncreatable, see the invisible, portray the unimaginable
Small world of big dreams and intangible characters
How fertile can be a ground
To cultivate, expand and allow dreams to survive and thrive?
In a toxic atmosphere that misdrive
And it makes me wonder ..
How can we keep this soil alive?

Ana Forte, 2018

Why I travel for ?

My passion about travel doesn’t come from what contains in the map. Actually the true essence of it never comes mapped out. It’s about the culture, the taste, the smell, the people and the patterns. It’s endless the amount of knowledge acquired during a journey and the more you blend in the more you will gain.

During my trip to Jordan I was conceded the amazing opportunity by one of the most beautiful souls I met in Riyadh to visit The Alphabet Kindergarten in Amman. I was absolutely amazed with what I found. Although a pretty young kindergarten born from the love of two young  inspiring entrepreneurs, alphabet kindergarten is an extremely well designed space that meets pretty much all children needs. Far from the conventional classroom and playground I was used to portray.

It made me question the challenges of nowadays education, wonder if children needs have changed and think and reframe my perception on kindergartens.

Importance of early years education 

We often hear parents saying how much money they invest on college education for their kids, sometimes even how far they have send them in order to attend the best high schools or universities. But we don’t seem to hear as often about the investment done on their early years. Does that really matter?

Amin Siam and some of the children from Alphabet Kindergarten

After some research I realized that the needs of a child remain the same, however our society has massively changed. As the world becomes more and more driven by technology it is hard to keep kids away from it. Television, video games, tablets, smart phones, computers are everywhere and Jordan is not an exception to it. Nurturing focus, imagination and creativity and parenting in the digital age can be tough and that is why parents and kindergartens are now facing more and more challenges to raise children who reach their highest intellectual and social/emotional potential.

Our houses are filled up with screens and electronic toys and devices that easily captivate the attention of our kids and teach them in a passive way as well as encourage low attention span.

img_1705Also society has become more competitive and jobs more demanding. The expectation for either men and women are set at such a high level that it becomes harder to raise our kids. Although we all dream about having successful kids, unfortunately we are slowly killing their chances of their success by encouraging passive learning, setting up too many rules, over concern about safety and focus on their behavior instead of praising their character.

Although success comes later in life, the early years are of crucial importance for the development of skills for academic and professional achievement, a secure emotional attachment, social adjustment that will set them up to succeed in life.

Alphabet Kindergarten 

Alphabet Kindergarten is a place full of colors and life. It seem to address all the children needs. I could not anticipate what I was going to find until I actual experience it with my entire 5 senses.

img_1709-1The kindergarten contains and inside and outside space and plenty of opportunities to develop their imagination, creativity, break their fears, acquire new skills either in a supported and unsuported way. I learn from the teachers that the intension is to support their development but also appeal to their creativity and allow them to experience a sense of achievement by succeeding by themselves or even experience failure with the encouragement required to never give up.

img_1075-1I got to meet the entire team who work in this little land of dreams, they made me feel extremely welcome and they shared their passion for those kids and that place. Is inspiring to see the mutual love and respect among them.  The teachers Dania, Aminh, Sana and Shireen, nurture an immense love for the kids. Their kindness and friendliness gives to children the healthy dose of the warm-and-fuzzie required to thrive as healthy, happy and well-rounded individuals. I was specially pleased to meet Shireen Shaban who seems to always go an extra mile for the sake of those kids.

Apart of the classrooms, there is also an indoor and outdoor playground, a meditation room, musical instruments, a little farm and just recently a little pool. Everything is strategicaly designed with a intension behind it.

The pool in such a community space appeal to a community challenge and break their fear of water by experiencing it and by visualizing another kids doing the same.

The meditation room glows, in the dark where they can stare to the ceiling stars, breaking their fear of the night/dark and allowing imagination to drift away.

I found interesting having such a well designed space almost exclusively for meditation. Although meditation has been gaining a lot of popularity in the last few years and its something I practice myself in a regular basis, little I knew about the benefits of it in early ages.

Several studies suggest that kids who practice mindfulness acquire some positive traits such as self-control, attentiveness, empathy and respect for others as well as it improves their memory and their ability to regulate emotions. Also, mindfulness for children is extremely easy to learn. Their minds have less biases, barriers and predetermined notions, allowing them to achieve relatively pure mindfulness experiences.

There are also taekwondo classes taking place which I had the opportunity of taking part of. Although the teacher is there to support them, she does not set rules, she guide them throughout the way and let them use their creativity to interpret the task.

Alphabet kindergarten reflects the mentality of the country and the people of Jordan. With education at the top of country development agenda, Jordan comprises one of the highest literacy rate in the middle east and in the world and the highest number of research and development in the Arabic world. In accordance with UNESCO, the literacy rate of Jordan in 2015 was 98,01% and is also one of the few active educational systems who provide structured education on gender equality.

Also the example set by the Royal women of Jordan, Queen Rania and Queen Nora, who are very active advocates on human rights namely for education and gender equity, philanthropism and social responsibility seem to be deeply embraced concepts on the region.

Thanks Amin Siam and Paris Elsmadi for paving the way to a better future

Thanks Shireen, Dania, Aminh and Sana for all the daily endeveour on setting this kids up for success

Keep up with the great job!

Love you all and thanks so much for sharing your love and passion with me 😀

Click in the links bellow to follow Alphabet Kindergarten for more news and updates on their amazing work:

Alphabet Kindergarten facebook

Alphabet kindergarten (insta)

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