By Marion Jadon, Director
It is now twenty years since I founded the Sunshine School in Beit Hanina, an Arab Muslim suburb north of Jerusalem. From early childhood in England, I felt seized with a spirit of service to God to share His love with children in Israel. So in 1978 I became a teacher at the Anglican International School Jerusalem. Living in Jerusalem, I experienced the painful lack of trust and interaction between the different peoples of Israel. As a result, I felt an urgency to create opportunities to bring the diverse mixture of identities found in Jerusalem together within the context of a school for young children.
Sunshine School provides a vibrant, varied, and holistic preschool curriculum, which we adapt and update according to the tremendous diversity of students, together with contemporary research in early child development. Valuable, lasting education has primarily to do with life, so I have faith that our every day teaching activities will be blessed and create a loving environment.
Today Sunshine School serves 50 children, many of whom are Arab Muslim (some of them religious), a few Israeli children, and a great assortment of Palestinian Christians (including Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Syrian Orthodox, Baptist, and Messianic). There are village Arabs from Beit Hanina and more well-to-do Arabs from further afield, Galileans, Israeli Arabs, Arabs living in the West Bank (who have to cross a military checkpoint every day to come to school) and Armenians. In addition, we serve expatriate children, many of whose parents are serving in temporary postings to this region and who have sought the school out as a safe loving environment delivering an excellent curriculum. Last year the following countries were represented: Australia, Sweden, America, New Zealand, France, the Philippines, Croatia, Italy, Holland, Korea, South Africa, Norway, Russia, Canada, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. The School has never been advertised, and families come purely in response to its reputation.