"...I had 13 failing grades"
…I had 13 failing grades!
Tafnit “Start” Program graduate
Vav Comprehensive School, Beersheba
My story begins in 7th grade when I still studied at a different comprehensive school in Beersheba. I simply didn’t study, and I knew how to want to cut classes better than to hope to learn something.
I preferred to sit smoking behind the building with my friends and do absolutely nothing, or after my mother would drop me off at school in the mornings I’d simply see her driving off to work, and as soon as I saw her disappear into the distance I’d go back home. That’s how I spent three years at that comprehensive school. Also they knew how to be nasty to me, so I didn’t feel like putting any effort into studying.
At the end of 9th grade, after I had thirteen failing grades on my report card, they told me that I was going to be in the …….. track where you finish twelve years of education without being eligible for matriculation.
Of course I knew that I didn’t want to finish school in that track, and I also didn’t want to stay at that school at all.
I preferred to stop studying and start working, or to change to Vav Comprehensive School, because all my friends were there.
I went with my mother to Vav. I was scared because I knew then that they might not accept me because I had thirteen failing grades. A few days later they called us at home, and told us that they have Nissim Cohen’s new project – the Tafnit “Start Success” Program – and it’s worth us hearing about it.
After a few days Shula Luk, the program coordinator, came to out house, and showed us the project and my chance to complete twelve years of schooling with a matriculation certificate.
I wasn’t that excited. I realized that I’d have to study hard and make lots of effort, and that wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. But I agreed. I said to myself, ‘the main thing is to study’.
I started a day before everyone else on the 31st of August 2004. And I didn’t really want to do that either.
That day I met our (amazing) teachers who worked with us for three years. From that moment on all my marks were always over 80%. And when I got 80% I was disappointed.
The “Success” project pushed me into wanting to study and to want to succeed, and motivated lots of other students in my class, most of them with a similar background to mine. The project changed me completely, not just about studying. I’m more serious
when it’s needed, and more giving, and give of my best. And now, because of the project, I know that there’s no such thing as “I can’t”. (There is such a thing as “I don’t want to.”) And I can, and everyone can do it.
We had the most incredible teachers during those three years in the project, warm and loving. They did everything so that we would succeed. If we “fell” they helped us up and they didn’t let us lose heart or give up hope.
Apart from the teachers, we also had tutors in our class – mostly university or college students, fantastic people who also helped us tremendously. When we needed extra help, our tutors were there, together with the teachers, to help us.
Our homeroom teacher, Nurit Ezra, who always knew how to be available for us, invested every effort, and her whole goal was that we succeed.
In addition to our regular school schedule, of six to eight hours a day, we also had study marathons at Beit Yatziv.
We would have fifteen hours of intensive study, from 8 am until 11 pm for three days before every approaching matriculation examination.
Does it sound difficult? Yes, it was really difficult. But it was an amazing experience, to spend fifteen hours every day with your friends, including teachers and tutors. And now, after three years, I can see and feel the positive results. I’ve completed twelve years of study and, of course, have a complete matriculation.
I’m proud of myself, and want to thank the “Success” project, that gave me thechance to succeed!!I hope that this project, with its proven results and success will let every school take part.
A giant thank you to everyone!
"Without your program my daughter would have been totally lost"
Without your program my daughter would have been totally lost
without the “Start” Program my daughter would have been totally lost! The person who invented the program and made sure it would take place at our school is a genius. I can see the great change in my daughter during the year she was in that class.
Before she was in that class, my daughter didn’t believe in herself at all, and had no self-confidence or self-esteem. She didn’t have any motivation to study and felt different to everyone else, and in despair.
Today she is thriving. She comes home with a smile on her face and with good marks, and she feels good.
Today she wants to study and she’s pleased that she’s succeeding. Today she feels equal to everyone else. She likes school and her class. She has learned to have confidence and faith in herself. I feel the change and am happy together with her.
This is a fantastic program for students who are having difficulties or who have lost faith in themselves. The staff provides everything you need for the children to succeed. Everyone can do it.
The honest truth is that I’m over the moon, and so is my daughter. There has been a tremendous change in her.
Today her studies are her top priority and I’m sure, God willing, that she’ll manage to get her matriculation certificate with good grades, something that would have been hard to believe would have ever happened without the program.
Mother of a student
in the Tafnit “Start” Program
Tuviyahu Comprehensive High School, Beersheba
"I suddenly understood that it's not impossible"
I suddenly understood that it’s not impossible
Vav Comprehensive High School
The Tafnit “Start” Program – A Success!
If I would stand in front of a cliff and I would ask a person with no legs how long it would take him to climb it…?
What do you think the answer would be?
Do you think it’s even possible????????
That’s what I felt like when I first joined the project.
A three year old cliff that was far higher than what I had imagined was
possible to climb.
Who is clever enough for those?
After the first study marathon they tested me on what we’d learned, and I
couldn’t believe it.
I got 100%. Can you understand it?
All of a sudden I realized that it’s not impossible.
With the right tools, even someone without legs can climb a cliff that is far
higher than what seems possible.
But it all depends if he wants to!
The key is to want to!!!
Whoever wants to can succeed!
"You are the best of the best"
You are the best of the best
V. and Y. from Beer Sheve
In the 2004-2005 school year a decision was made to open a Tafnit Program class that
gives students, of whom some have learning disabilities, some a lack of motivation to
study, and some all kinds of other problems, a chance to be eligible for a atriculation
But all of them had the abilities within them to succeed with a little help, push and the correct guidance. Indeed they were given the opportunity to study in small classes and
groups, to be given practice marathons, repetition, and assimilation of the study material
with tutors who provided help and support, and teachers who were leaders who continued leading their students even when crises arose. And there were plenty of crises.
As parents, we saw for three years how our children were changing direction, maturing
and becoming more serious, taking on responsibility, and not just for their studies.
They were given tools to cope with all kinds of difficulties and different situations, and to
know that one must not give in easily, and learned there are ways to overcome problems
and to succeed. In this way a type of familial, warm environment was created between
students, parents and teachers.
We were all full partners in the entire process which eventually produced results, and
boasted an outcome in which 85% of the program graduates passed the matriculation
examinations; something that will open doors to them in the future. We were also given
the good news that the program is not yet over and they will continue to receive guidance
for the duration of their army service and up until they study in institutes of further
I sincerely hope that this program will continue, and expand, allowing future pupils to
benefit from it.
To all the staff that was willing to improve the group and give us the feeling that the sky
was the limit… We would like to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts! For the
successful conclusion; the friendly and positive environment that is the pinnacle of
society and community; the politeness and nobility of endless work and social dedication.
We would like to show our appreciation for the wonderful and devoted multi-faceted
partnership and hope to continue it. You have left us anticipating more!
It simply warms the heart to meet people who have contributed to our lives and are
willing to inculcate social values of expanding horizons and knowledge, in society at large
and in the individual community.
You are the best of the best, and we pray to continue to be blessed with talented people