English Access Microscholarship Program

 

 

Access is a global 2-year scholarship program supported by the U.S. Department of State for school students in Year 10. The program aims to contribute to the English language competence of highly motivated students by offering them after-school classes and intensive study sessions. Access seeks to equip students with firm English language skills that will prepare them for future challenges, such as further educational opportunities and better jobs. In addition to improving participants’ English, the program encourages students to develop a respect for and interest in other cultures, customs and beliefs. Students engage in discussions, games, community service, and other activities related to U.S. culture and values. The Amal English Department has been implementing the program since its inception in Israel in 2005. Approximately 95% of the students participating in the program pass the 4- or 5-point Bagrut (matriculation) exams.

 

 

 

 

Access Program 2023-2024

The ACCESS 2023-24 school year will be encompassing a broad mixture of activities.

These include a Graduation Ceremony and university experience for 12th graders who are about to complete a 2-year Access course, a Kick-Off Ceremony which will revolve around US art culture to celebrate the start of a new 2-year Access course for 10th graders, a new Service Learning Activity related to 'Generations' and various opportunities to participate in voluntary activities during the current war situation.

One recent voluntary activity gave ACCESS students from Alsayed Multidisciplinary High School in the Negev the opportunity to meet with US Ambassador Jack Lew during a joint initiative that involved packing food parcels.

Volunteering together with US Ambassador Jack Lew

 

 

 

Access Graduation Ceremony - 21.2.24 - 'Class of FY2019'

After 2 years of Access study, some 160 twelfth grade high school students from 8 Amal schools participated in a formal Graduation Ceremony at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv and received Certificates of Participation from the US Embassy.  24 of these students also received Certificates of Excellence.

The students were addressed by Cultural Attaché Caroline Platt of the US Embassy who stressed the importance of being fluent in English for a brighter future in today's world.  It is the US Embassy that sponsors the Access program which not only improves students' English language skills but also raises awareness about American culture and values, such as democracy and equality.   The students also enjoyed a guided tour and discussion of the photo-journalism exhibition 'Local Testimony' that is currently on display at the Museum.

Both teachers and students gave votes of thanks to the USA for its support of Israel during these difficult times, as well as to the US Embassy for investing in the Access program and to the Amal English Studies department.

   

NEW 2-YEAR ACCESS PROGRAM FOR 10TH GRADERS TO BEGIN IN SEPTEMBER 2024

Heralding the start of a new Year 10 cohort of the US Embassy's ACCESS program, a zoom meeting was held for the ACCESS teachers. These include a mixture of ACCESS veterans and those who are totally new to the program. Risa Levy from the US Embassy's Office of English Language Programs greeted attendees, stressed the importance of acquiring English skills and marked the successful collaboration between the Embassy and Amal.

ACCESS is a global program. It is organized and sponsored by the US Embassy in over 80 locations for the purpose of improving English skills among high school students around the world, encouraging leadership and raising awareness of US culture and values.

ACCESS has been running in Amal for the past 12 years. In February 2024, eight Year 12 classes completed the latest 2-year program, while in September 2024 another eight classes from Year 10 will begin. The following 7 Amal Multidisciplinary High Schools will be participating in the new cohort: Taibe (2 classes), Yanuach Jatt, Achva Gilboa, Ilut, Zarzir, Ahd Hura and Elsayad.

Zoom meeting with Risa Levy

Office of English Language Programs

US Embassy in Israel

Access during 2023

 

 

 

 

Preparing for the Future

On 18 May 2023, AIO Kamila Manzueta greeted 130 Access Alumni at their Alumni Activity Day in Na-Lagaat Center (NGO working with the disabled) in Jaffa arranged by ORT Israel and the Amal Educational Network and funded by the RELO and ECA/A/L.  Manzueta underscored the importance of English in the 21st century as a fundamental tool connecting us globally and helping diverse people build bridges of understanding. She explained why the Embassy invests so heavily in English and encouraged the students to stay connected with the Embassy and each other via social media.
The inspiring day was facilitated by IVLP alumni Hans Shakur and Muhammad Kabajah, who presented relevant workshops and sessions to prepare the Alumni for higher education, career planning, financial and decision-making, and future AI opportunities.  Israeli entrepreneur Yanki Margalit gave an inspiring talk on Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship. The event was an excellent opportunity for the graduates to network and discuss their futures and how they can empower themselves to prepare for the future and bring about change.

Access Activities during 2022

ACCESS is a two-year global program supported by the US Embassy worldwide that encourages 10th and 11th grade students to improve their English skills while learning about the United States' values, culture and way of life. In Israel, students from 6 Amal schools are currently participating in their second year of the program, while students from 8 Amal schools recently started their first ACCESS year.

Cultural Day at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art


Over 3 separate days during February and March 2022, over 150 11
th graders from 6 schools enjoyed a cultural visit to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.  This was an opportunity for them to hone their English skills as they participated in a guided tour of the unique Japanese Yayoi Kusama exhibition followed by a creative workshop – both held in English of course!!

Service Learning during March 2022

A US-prompted activity undertaken by 160 ACCESS 11th graders involved volunteering during Service Learning Day.  Each of the 6 schools chose a volunteering activity that appealed to its ACCESS students, ranging from planting flowers in community gardens to looking after abused animals in a pet shelter – including feeding and grooming them as well as cleaning out their pens!!  Students from three schools eagerly volunteered at the sanctuary on Moshav Herut and had an opportunity to practice their English speaking skills during a lively discussion on various aspects of cruelty to animals.

 

 

 

Access Summer Camp – June 2022

An English Summer Camp for ACCESS 10th graders was organized for the first two days of the summer vacation.  Some 150 students from 8 schools participated in experiential workshops on Storytelling, Debate and Photography. 

Opening Ceremony

The month of June 2022 formally heralded the start of the ACCESS program for 152 10th graders during an Opening Ceremony in the Kaufmann Auditorium in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. In the presence of distinguished guests from the US Embassy, the event included the awarding of participation certificates, a musical interlude and greetings.  Students also enjoyed a specifically designed guided activity in English dedicated to American art, which gave them a chance to familiarize themselves with some of the museum’s artwork as they strolled around. 

   

12th graders from 6 Amal schools who completed the 2 year ACCESS program attended a Graduation Ceremony at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva.  Students received certificates of participation from the US Embassy. 

Access graduation 2022

 

Special Events 2020-2021

Special events held as part of the program in 2021

The opening event of the new cycle of the Access program took place on November 10th, 2020. The event, which was held on Zoom, was attended by 10th graders from seven selected schools.

The event was opened by Ms. Alice Murray, who serves as Regional English Language Officer at the U.S. Embassy, who said:
“One of the most important things about mastering a new language is the fact that you are going to be able to have a better understanding with other people around the world, not just Americans, folks in Asia, folks in Europe, folks in Africa.”

The event included greetings from the Director of the Amal English Department, Dr. Rachel Tal, representatives of the teachers and
the students, as well as reading of American poetry, a screening of videos prepared by the students, and an acoustic musical performance by the singer Carlie Fairburn.

Another key aspect of the Access Program is its Service Learning Project, a unique experience that gives students an opportunity to give back to their communities. Service Learning integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection. The participants learn and grow through active participation in thoughtfully organized service that addresses the needs of a community.

In the current school year we held two Service Learning days, one for the 12th graders and one for the 10th graders. We implemented community service learning activities that could be carried out without risking the students’ health and safety, during this challenging school year.

12th grade students – December 2020

10th grade students – June 2021

This year the Access summer camp, for the 10th graders, focused on the topic of “Women as Pioneers, Leaders, and Influencers”.
The students experienced two days of enriching learning about the history and path that powerful and inspiring women have made from the Jewish, Arab and Bedouin sectors in Israel and around the world.
Learning was accompanied by fun activities that included photography and ODT workshops. At the end of the summer camp, the students enjoyed the screening of the film Gifted as part of Cinema Day, in one of the largest movie theaters in Israel.

Click here to watch a video of exciting moments from our Access 2021 summer camp