The project was planned for Jerusalem City Council as part of the Unique Kindergarten Program, which is a program aimed at designing kindergartens innovatively so that they answer the needs of children in the 21st century. Consultants for the Ray of Light project included The Institute for Democratic Education.
This Kindergarten was designed for local children, including those living with their mothers in a neighborhood shelter for women avoiding domestic violence. As part of the planning and design process I consulted with a psychologist specialized in working with children who have experienced violence.
Early on in the design process the teacher had emphasized her need for a space that allows her to work with children on motion and sensory integration, as well as a stage to encourage children to preform, and which could be used during the evening for lectures for the parents. Special design features include therapeutic and specially-designed accessories to help and support children who have suffered from violence.
The newly-designed Kindergarten contains four areas:
- Motion & sensory integration space – an area that encourages motion and allows one-on-one instruction.
- Play area with stage & costumes – in order to encourage children to express themselves.
- Creation & exploring space – for learning & creating.
- Quiet space – that includes special therapeutic accessories that encourage children to share their feelings in a non-violent manner.