Early Childhood Development
A Gift That Keeps Giving
Our Focus At GROW
The first step to cognitive growth and emotional resilience is achieved through helping the children actively explore their environment through play, communication, books and music. Each day children experience a comforting routine of stories, creative expression, and play.
We know that words matter, and we recognize that a high verbal count in English and Arabic is essential. At GROW, Children discover a love for stories, books, and reading at a young age. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who are introduced to reading at a very young age tend to read earlier and achieved greater excellence in school compared to children who are not exposed to language and books at a young age. Our staff read, rhyme, sing, and talk — knowing their activities profoundly influence literacy, language development, and the foundations for all other learning.
Our ECD Center works to help mitigate the toxic environment many of our children experience by giving them a safe, warm, and welcoming non-anxious climate to explore, grow, and develop.
Our Center prepares a child to grow into a critical and thoughtful human being through early cognitive development, valuing words, communication, and tolerance.
The Philemon Project’s (ECD) is making a profound impact on the lives of at risk children and their parent(s). We focus on four core areas in our work:
Meet Our Staff
GROW Center is female-run and embodies the best ideals of empowerment, equality, respect for the individual, strong work ethic, and dignity for everyone's rights. GROW trains its staff in the best practices of early childhood development and empowers them to facilitate prosocial behavior, provide activities that foster appropriate social, cognitive and emotional skills, provide necessary assistance to students' parent(s), and develop a social network with the community—all within a Christian worldview.
The Philemon Project provides a safe, clean, and supportive Christian environment for the children and essential work, training, and empowerment to its staff, ALL women—a societal group usually marginalized in the Middle East.
Our staff run five sections for our children. Each class section has one primary teacher and a teacher's assistant. Along with our teaching staff, we have four support staff and a director to oversee the day-to-day operation, and a nurse to ensure our children and parents' health and our social worker oversees our adult mentoring program enabling healthy, functional relationships between children and their parents.
A Message From Our Teachers
"For me being a teacher is not just a job. Teaching is not something just to pay the bills. It’s not a profession where you count down the hours left in the day. Children are the most important part of every society; that's why I chose this career path. I love teaching because teaching allows me to give a child the experience of someone who really understands them and accepts them for who they are. I love being an early childhood development teacher at GROW, because I am passionate about children and I enjoy interacting with them, I love to know their language. It is so important to guide children as they develop. I love to share what they feel and enjoy every second with them while also meeting their needs for health, safety and care."
- Eliza Kodjaian
"Teaching is my passion! At GROW, we work with kids from different diversities and intercultural backgrounds. Beside the early learning foundation that we're providing (alphabets; recognizing letters and sounds; identifying shapes, colors, and numbers), we are also shaping their lives, by teaching them from the very young age life manners and socializing skills. We also help our students express their feelings and emotions through songs, drama, and arts, and especially through creative play. Kids are worth investing effort in. I gladly choose to be part of this process. Being a teacher at GROW lets me invest my love, life skills, education and beliefs in my work."
- Nairy Mardirossian
A vital part of our commitment to wholistic development is working with the children's parent/s in our adult mentoring program. Our trained Social worker carries out this important work. Each session focuses on best practices and parenting skills, along with relevant parent-child developmental values and ideals. On average, we have a group of 10 parents consistently attending our adult mentoring sessions twice per month, touching a wide range of ethnicities and religious backgrounds. We average ten parents per session attending twice per month and observe measurable benefits from the adult mentoring program.
Some observable outcomes we see are improved parental empowerment and competency. Those improvements can result in changed attitudes, both in their parenting skills and in their self-esteem and feelings about parenting in general. Those improvements also increase prosocial behaviors among children and parents (e.g., empathy, sharing, helping others) and decreased adverse reactions (e.g., aggression, delinquency, hyperactivity). These positive improvements lead to new ideas, such as more social connections among parents exchanging parenting advice, giving emotional support to one another, and sharing resources.
Our adult mentoring program contributes to the overall well-being of the whole family. When a parent takes part in the mentoring program, they have a better understanding of the advantages of building a healthy family and that family's capacity to affect society for good. The value of building healthy members of a family is a step towards building healthy members of society and reflects strong values of the individual and her power in society; this power creates capacity for goodwill and strong social cohesion.