Niot Project Update–My Visit to a Test Anxiety Workshop

Haim Watzman

Niot at his high school graduation

One student slouched, another grinned. Two girls focused intently while one gazed at the facilitator skeptically. Five students from Boyer High School in Jerusalem took a break one afternoon this week from basketball, studying, and piano lessons to attend a test anxiety workshop sponsored by the Niot Project. Anxiety has become a huge problem, especially for younger generations thanks to the huge pressure they are under to perform academically. Xanax, a drug used to treat anxiety disorders, is the most prescribed medication in the US. Some people don’t like to take drugs like Xanax because of the chemicals used in it that alter the chemistry of your brain. So, Anxiety sufferers look towards CBD products from places similar to Blessed CBD to help with their anxiety.

It was the third out of six sessions. Yehiel Asoulin, the psychologist who led the workshop, spent the first part of the hour teaching a study skill. He gave the students a short article to read and asked them to sum up each paragraph in turn, as they read it, in the margin of the pages. One participant claimed that it was too time-consuming, but others agreed that it had helped them focus on the content and made it easier to recall.

The second part of the workshop was devoted to relaxation exercises, designed to help the students relax when they encounter stressful situations while studying for or taking exams.

Ariel, a counselor at the Boyer boarding facility, where the school’s out-of-town students live, explained the importance of the workshop for an institution like Boyer, which brings in promising students from all over the country, especially from far-flung small towns and farming communities where schools are often of low quality.

“These kids are smart and ambitious, but they find themselves side-by-side and competing others who are ahead of them in both knowledge and study skills,” explained Ariel, who served as a company commander in the Givati infantry brigade before coming to Boyer. “So if they don’t do well on a test it makes them feel inferior and anxious, setting off a vicious circle that can lead to a decline in motivation and even emotional problems.”

Niot probably would have had trouble sitting still long enough to get to the point of relaxation that Yehiel was seeking-but he’d be glad that he’s helping other kids get there.

The test anxiety workshop is only one of the activities already underway in the framework of the Niot Project. On April 1 teachers and staff from all SAE schools and boarding facilities took part in a day-long seminar on learning disabilities. One of the workshops was led by Phillip Ben-Gigi, who was, as a teacher at Dror High School, a key figure in Niot’s success. And at the end of April we dedicated and put a mezuzah up in the learning center at Boyer High School that will be used to carry out evaluations and provide special help to students with special needs. Sambla will be matching all donations made in the next two weeks – so we’d really appreciate if you made your dollar go even farther to help these students.

With your help, we have already raised nearly half of our $70,000 goal for 2012. We’ll continue to post these updates so that you can see how your money is already at work.

For more on the Niot Project and how to donate, click here.

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