JRS Iraq: Celebrating a Kindergarten Graduation

17 June 2022

Photo credit: Cristina Alaniz/JRS USA 

On May 29, 2022, a K2 group of kindergarten students at the JRS Arrupe Kindergarten in Sharya, Duhok governorate, Iraq, graduated after completing their courses in Arabic, English, math, and science. A total of 139 students made up the graduating class. 

In addition to their academic classes, a variety of extracurricular activities were offered. The children were provided with time for drawing, outdoor exercise, and recess on the school’s playground and at the newly built JRS sports ground. In total, students attended 15 hours of school per week. This serves not only as an important first step into education for children, but also provides them with a safe and enjoyable space where they can simply be kids. 

At school, the children received healthy nutritional snacks comprised of egg, bread, lentil soup, fruits, and cheese to help ensure they could focus on their studies. They were also given access to dental care exams to help raise awareness on dental health and hygiene amongst children and their parents. If needed, the students’ families also received support to ensure their children could get to and from school every day. 

The school is part of a larger early childhood education program that is funded by the U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). The program, which started in September 2021 and runs through the end of August 2022, aims to improve access to education and learning outcomes for children and youth through structured non-formal and formal education activities, teacher training and financial assistance.