November 19th, at Hand in Hand School in Jerusalem, Bring It In - Israel Winter Fellows used games and drills from the Bring It In - Israel curriculum to run a joint practice for 2nd and 3rd grade Arab and Jewish children from Beit Safafa and Katamon. The children are part of PeacePlayers International's (PPI) program that uses basketball to unite and educate Arab and Jewish children and their communities. The 2nd and 3rd graders, lovingly called "Mini's" by the PPI staff, were meeting for the second time. Bring It In - Israel Fellows focused on honing their skills coaching with enthusiasm and excitement. PPI Joint practices, or Twinnings, require a high level of energy and excitement from the coaches to ensure that the children have a positive experience. Similarly, Fellow lead Israel sports Days in Israel and back home in North America are designed to be packed full of energy and excitement. Over the course of the Fellowship, coaches have gained the skills and coaching techniques to engage children and get them excited. The PPI joint practice was filled with High Fives, cheering, and a lot of laughter.
According to Bring It In - Israel Head Coach David Lasday, "Research shows that people learn more, and connect more with each other, in a high energy atmosphere. The Fellows have done a great job of taking the positive energy building coaching techniques we taught them and really making them their own."
PPI players left the practice excited for future PPI activities. Fellows left having connected to another important part of Israeli society. Fellow Judah Batist from Aardvark Israel said "This was a cool and unique experience, it was great to see the Arab and Jewish children cheering each other on, and playing together."Click here for a link to PPI's blog post about the event.