Emerging as a response to the Syrian crisis, Paper Airplanes is a digital solution to refugee education access. Paper Airplanes provides personalized tutoring through Skype, matching refugee students predominantly in the MENA region with personal tutors. We focus on providing English, Turkish, and computer coding courses to refugees no matter where they are, providing instruction and fostering cross-cultural dialogue. It is a 501(c) 3 registered nonprofit organization.
How does your innovation work?
Paper Airplanes focuses predominantly on English
, which is the major language of regional and international universities, as well as most major job sectors. Our main program is the English Tutoring Program, providing students in crisis areas with free English courses through Skype. We have three additional pilot programs, aimed at diversifying our services while relying on the same successful model of our English program.
How it Works:
1)Students and tutors apply separately online. They go through a light screening process and then are hand-matched by our staff.
2)After going through an orientation, they are virtually introduced and meet for 10 weeks over Skype. Our volunteer tutors rely on a four-level curriculum to provide personalized instruction.
3) Students take a diagnostic, a midterm, and a final English exam. Many students receive additional assistance in test-specific training.
4) Students continue until passing through our Advanced curriculum, at which point their English has reached a high operational level.
Why It Matters:
Teaching English provides a medium for pairs to learn about each other, the cultures they come from, their passions, families, dreams, and how current events have effected each other. Our lessons are as much about fostering cross-cultural understanding as they are teaching English. We hope to bring tutors and students closer together for lasting relationships beyond the virtual classroom. We hope to help students obtaingeneral English acquisition, as we recognize its importance in higher education and employment, and its relative inaccessibility. We also provide additional test-specific resources supporting students taking the TOEFL and IELTS exams.
So far we have served over 1,000 students, and hope to continue providing useful skills and languages through Skype to those who need it most.