PROGRAM DESIGN CLARITY: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Please succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details
a)We will be setting up the exhibit and inviting preschool and school aged children and members of the public to engage in the activities offered. Lesson plans will be developed to help prepare teachers to continue to work with children who have been to the exhibit. Teachers will be encouraged to continue activities modeled after the exhibit, amending them to suit their situations.b) Site to be determined within Herat, Afghanistan.c) 2-4 weeks. d)6 hours a day. e)Staff and teachers from AIL schools and Learning Centers and the Herat Office.
INSPIRATION: What do you consider the most important trends or evidence that inspire you to believe the world is ready to Re-imagine Learning? Please elaborate.
Research and observation is proving that learning by the young is more dynamic and complex than previously believed. The importance of play as a platform where interpersonal skills, self- confidence and knowledge are gained is being emphasized as crucial to later success in school and adult life. The play time of children is now seen as learning time and as important as the traditional structured learning environment. AIL has opened people’s minds in Afghanistan, especially through education of preschool and the young but also through introducing the concepts of love and forgiveness.
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?
Play is learning and has value beyond itself, as children learn about the world and themselves through the interactions they have while playing, whether with other children, or building blocks or coloring crayons. Children’s brains are growing and forming connections and this play time is vital to proper development of skills, both social and mental as well as physical. What the XOXO exhibit does directly links in with AIL’s approach to learning. This is not a lecture, it is a hands on, interactive experience of self discovery and engagement with others, while exploring concepts of emotion.
SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.
All funding will come from grants and donors.
Shipping & construction of exhibit $150,000
Travel & Transportation (consultants, students) 29,000
Salaries (AIL staff and consultants) 55,000
MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?
AIL is a non profit organization devoted to education, healthcare and training of the neediest Afghan people. This project fits into AIL’s mission as stated in its mission statement. The mission of AIL is to provide education, training and health services to vulnerable Afghans in order to foster self-reliance, critical thinking skills, and community participation throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan.
FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?
The funds would be used to set up the pilot project using a few components of the exhibit to test out people’s response and to continue the development of the follow up teaching component and test this out in the classroom setting. This exhibit is a new concept for Afghan society.
PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.
The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh developed the XOXO exhibit and have agreed to help AIL bring this to Afghanistan. In addition, AIL is working with Creating Hope International on materials development and logistics.
COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.
No, because we did not find anything that fit with what we are doing.
VISION: If you had unlimited funding, and you could fast forward 15 years to when your program has been able to achieve wild success - what will it have achieved?
XOXO mini exhibits in schools, XOXO kits available to teachers, some traveling XOXO exhibits, children’s museums with XOXO at the forefront in Herat and Kabul and 3 other large Afghan cities.
IMPACT - KEY METRICS: Please list the key data points that you would cite as evidence that you are able to achieve lasting learning outcomes. Please also share one data point for which you most hope to see better results over time
Lesson plans for teachers would include follow up interviews for children and questionnaires that children can fill out about how they are using the lessons at home. Key data points showing increase in: number of times love is shown, showing love to more people, being able to forgive, being able to connect with people, being able to connect with more people outside the family. We hope for better results for showing love for more people.
APPROACHES: Given the complexity of play, it is not surprising that there have been numerous research attempts to categorize the different types and approaches! Please indicate which of the following your project focuses on.
Pretence/ Socio-Dramatic Play, Creating a Supportive Socio-Emotional Environment.
AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.