Too many children enrolled in Haredi schools are not realizing their full potential.

Research conducted concerning the Haredi community has found that these underperforming children suffer from learning disabilities, emotional issues and social problems and that Haredi schools often lack the appropriate staff, professional tools and resources to cope with these challenges. The lack of effective educational intervention to deal with these issues results in children dropping out of school and neither finding their place in the world of Haredi full-time Torah study nor having the skills needed to find gainful employment. This has numerous and very disturbing social ramifications for these children as they mature into young adults.

The Tivka Program, Shlavim’s flagship program, is a school intervention program that currently assists low achieving children, in dozens of schools across the country, who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

This program addresses the needs of these children in a holistic manner. The program introduces the concept of a professional team made up of various members of the school staff who identify those pupils with some combination of learning, social and emotional issues who are in need of intensive assistance. This team designs a personalized program for each child combining elements of remedial teaching, counseling, behavioral therapy and a “big brother” or “big sister” according to each child’s needs.

Parents are an integral component of the program, receiving regular reports on their children’s progress, individual guidance and access to parenting workshops.

Supervision and training are important elements of this program. School staff meets regularly with fellow team members to discuss each child’s progress and is provided with the appropriate training and support to assist children struggling with diverse learning and emotional needs.

Principals and school counselors attend capacity building programs that focus on strengthening leadership skills and building a better functioning school.

The Tikva Program is immensely powerful since it not only affects the individual child but the entire school environment. The positive influence of this program has been clearly demonstrated by an external professional evaluation. The Tikvah Program often turns children’s lives around.