$40,000 Pal Craftaid Gift Boosts Education in East Jerusalem
by Connie Depond
On an October visit to Jerusalem, Liz Knott, Pal Craftaid founder, and colleague Connie DePond, saw the reality of what a few structural changes to the Rawdat El Zuhur School in the city's eastern sector has done to enhance the classroom experience of its elementary school-age students.
The renovation was possible only through a $40,000 donation from Pal Craftaid's Knott-DePond Fund, a campaign run in 2010-2011 to honor Liz and Connie and to support the school's educational commitments to Palestinian children and families. The donation was coupled with a grant from the American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA).
Now, the old computer room is a sophisticated science lab that will expand instruction in chemistry, anatomy and health.
The assembly hall is soundproofed so that dancing and music programs do not disturb students in the library next door - and it deters outside noises from interrupting instruction.
A smart board with electronic tablets is available for students in the space as well. The old stage that crowded the space was given to a school that could use it. Now the open area creates a fantastic exciting place for dance and concerts.
Rawdat El Zuhur has a student body of 225 and offers courses from kindergarten through the sixth grade. Each year, Pal Craftaid resources support a specific partner-institution in its humanitarian work in the Occupied Territories. The Rawdat School was the focus of the 2010 campaign.