A Special School for Special Kids
Renanim is a regional school located in Kiryat Shmona that serves 120 children aged 6-21with physical and/or mental disabilities – Jewish, Arab and Druze – from 22 localities across the Upper Galilee and Golan Heights. The children suffer from multiple problems: over 100 children come from economically-distressed families and many from single-parent or dysfunctional homes.
Renanim guides its pupils towards maximum independence and integration in the community. Over the years it has developed a range of programs aiming to improve life skills and provide vocational training, the school runs specialized programs to enrich and educate the children with an emphasis on sport as a vehicle for strengthening the children physically, and for boosting independence, self-esteem and social skills.
The Need for an Appropriate Building
The school building was originally planned for a normative population, and it has not been adapted for the requirements of special education – not even the basic safety and accessibility requirements. Due to rocket damage during the 2nd Lebanon War, the school was closed down and relocated temporarily to another building which does not meet the functional, safety and accessibility needs and it is even more crowded.
In light of the above, it was decided to build a new custom-designed facility with all the required educational, paramedical and therapeutic functions. A leading grant was approved by UIA Canada and has been matched by a coalition of Northern Recovery Plan's partners (Rashi, Jewish Funders Network and Matanel Foundation). This philanthropic alliance joins the Ministry of Education, National Insurance Institute, and other governmental bodies to fund the project – including governmental compensation for the war damage.
Status of the Project
The project was completed and the school opened in September 2010.
|Photos: September 2009