Saving A Generation Through Education
Kayany x BOOKR Pilot Project to enhance English learning and motivation for Syrian refugees children and youth in Lebanon
New technologies can be challenging at first – but it’s definitely worth the ride. Kayany Foundation’s amazing schools are changing lives in refugee camps in Bekaa, Lebanon and English language teaching plays an important role in that. Join us and immerse yourself in this project about dreaming big, gaining confidence and never ever giving up on education, not even in the most extreme situations.
Meet Kayany Foundation
Kayany Foundation is a Lebanese non-governmental organization founded almost 10 years ago in response to the Syrian crisis. Kayany creates educational programs for Syrian refugee children and youth. Kayany took a leading role in bringing quality education to “out-of-school” refugees in Lebanon, giving them support to not stay behind in their studies and the chance of a future career.
Our vision is to save a generation through education.
And their impact? They provide classes and mentoring to more than 3500 of the most marginalized Syrian refugee children and youth.
It’s undeniable that the work they do is crucial and can alter the entire future of these children. To do so, Kayany needed the most dedicated educators, a great plan for methodology, and lots of resources and tools – preferably ones that support inclusion and can work with children of different ages, levels of knowledge, and backgrounds. That’s where BOOKR Class came into the picture.
Kayany schools and the English language as their runway
These kids are eager to learn and dare to dream big: many of them aspire to be doctors, nurses or teachers when they grow up and they view our school as a runway.
English classes are one of the main subjects they learn – but why is English important to these children?
Besides enhancing their chances to apply and attend university, speaking English gives them self-confidence and they feel cool speaking it 🙂 which is something they need in those difficult times in their lives.
You can really feel that they’ve been traumatized, so any program, tool, or effort that gets them excited about the subject, the world around them and their future, in general, is indispensable.
Launching a pilot project
Working with what we most believe in, we embarked on a six-month-long journey to help Kayany implement and utilize the power of stories to make their English courses even more effective. Let’s start with the hard facts!
4 amazing, dedicated ESL teachers participated in the project, implementing BOOKR Class into their lesson plans with the continuous assistance of BOOKR’s Customer Success team.
Overall, they involved 60 students during a 6 months-long period. We conducted interviews with them before and after starting out with BOOKR Class – aiming to understanding their needs and their struggles in order to better support them and measure results afterwards.
They used the BOOKR Class library application in classroom activities, as a warmup exercise, and part of their project work as well.
Amazing results showed signs early on
Qualitative interviews with the teachers at the end of the project provided us with interesting and oftentimes surprising insights.
Learning with a digital tool, being exposed to native narration, pronunciation and animated content that helps them understand the context was something new for the students.
They are learning English in a new, unique way and they definitely benefited from it. Especially when it came to confidence speaking the language, they quickly repeated what they heard and understood and enjoyed being able to communicate in a different language.
Learn with pleasure, and you’ll never forget
Kayany pupils showed a high level of engagement in the classes and were especially amazed by the variety of books they could choose from.
According to Anas, one of the participating teachers, “the stories were like them” so they could easily relate to some of the books which boosted their interest even more.
The animations make them excited while the text highlighting facilitates the understanding, so they don’t get confused or bored.
A teacher’s best friend
An exciting message we received from this project is the continuing demand of printable additional materials that we also offer. The strong marriage of traditional education and technology is undeniable – which is why we keep producing and uploading those extra materials on a daily basis.
The app and the Teacher’s Dashboard is created with educators in mind. For a school like Kayany, the most important features that made their work easier and more effective were:
Detailed search engine
Flashcards and lesson plans to reduce preparation time
Accessing BOOKR stories anywhere, anytime
One of the main features that made using educational technology for Kayany possible was the Offline mode in the BOOKR Class Library App. If an educator suspects that the internet connection might not be strong enough at school, all they need to do is download the books they wish to use while still connected to wifi. Those books can be played anywhere, anytime.
So many children in need in the world, but we are beyond touched that we got to positively influence the lives of some of them in Guatemala and Lebanon up until now – and we’re only getting started. We’ll continue trying to save the world one book at a time, the only way we know how: with the immense power of stories.