Hidden Sparks at the Society for Advancement of Education
In every classroom there are students who struggle with a learning or behavioral difference often they are misunderstood or overlooked .
Imagine if all teachers understood children with learning and behavioral differences and had the skills to approach them, if these students received the help they needed from the start.
The Society for Advancement of Education and and“Hidden Sparks” joined together in 2013 to present educational activities with the goal of creating a learning environment that enables and empowers all students in Israeli schools.
“Hidden Sparks” offers an innovative, sustainable educational program that examines learning through a number of “Learning Lenses” TM (neuro-developmental, temperamental, behavioral and ecological) in order to assist teachers to achieve deeper understanding of the diverse range of students in their classes.
Hidden Sparks provides a schoolwide training program facilitated by coaches with extensive training who are experienced in guiding teachers.
The coach leads professional development within the school through in-service trainings in which teachers go through a coaching process and building an internal coaching team within the school staff.
Hidden Sparks Principles
Search for Hidden Sparks
Every child is unique, with individual talents, strengths, affinities and challenges. HS believes in the importance of nurturing the “hidden spark” within each child and celebrating their uniqueness.
Collaborating with students in the process of uncovering and addressing their learning and behavior styles and needs fosters a sense of optimism about his or her future learning and growth.
Everyone is capable of change and growth. A powerful way to help students grow is to develop communities of life-long learners. The professional growth of educators and the development of school-based resources is best facilitated through a long-term, multilayered process.
Our coaches play an important role in this development within a school. They teach the ideas and demonstrate the practices which Hidden Sparks upholds.
The Value of Reflection
Supporting learners involves a process of observation, description and reflection. Using language that is descriptive and specific, learners are carefully observed through the multiple lenses of cognition, development, temperament, and behavior.
Reflection allows deeper understanding of ourselves and our students. Teacher and student awareness of individual learning and behavior strengths and challenges will empower schools to create solutions and meet the needs of diverse students.
Commitment to Collaboration
A commitment to the spirit of collaboration at all levels, begins with teacher-student collaboration, and teachers’ belief in their responsibility to help every student succeed. Collaboration includes teamwork among professionals, and within and across schools.
Collaboration increases our ability to help students succeed and underscores the critical importance of involving all who have a view of a child’s strengths and challenges in conversations aimed at understanding and addressing the child’s needs.
Debbie Niderberg, Executive Director and co-founder of Hidden Sparks, helped launch Hidden Sparks, from conceptual development to its present size and worked collaboratively to design its unique programming, to build the organization’s infrastructure, expansion and new programmatic and funding initiatives.
Prior to coming to Hidden Sparks, Ms. Niderberg served as the Executive Director for The Nash Family Foundation, where she was instrumental in bringing the Schools Attuned Program to New York Jewish dayschools, launching a kosher City Harvest program, an Israel-based medical fellowship, and grants for the first residential Jewish hospice in New York. Prior to this, she co-founded the Jewish Children’s Learning Lab, an interactive Jewish children’s museum in New York and managed the Outreach and Special Projects division for the Fund for Jewish Education.
She also serves to guide a family foundation with a special interest in job training for the Haredi sector in New York and has been instrumental in several job training initiatives.
Roxana Neiman, Educational Director of “Hidden Sparks” in Israel. Received her master’s degree in educational counseling and works as a cognitive-behavioral therapist, in assessment of learning skills, and in coaching for ADHD.
Roxana served as supervisor of school counselors for the Jerusalem district, and national supervisor of the department of learning disabilities. In the framework of her role, she developed the position of Mata”l – assessor of learning function in schools as part of the Elah Identification and Assessment Program of the Ministry of Education. In addition, Roxana teaches in teacher training programs.
Eden Israeli, Learning Disabilities Coordinator, Society for Advancement of Education. Established and directs the Niot Support Center for students in the schools of the Society for Advancement of Education.
Eden directs the “Hidden Sparks” program of the Society for Advancement of Education and serves as a coach for a number of schools. Eden has more than 20 years of experience providing therapy and teaching students with learning and behavioral issues, served as a district supervisor for the Ministry of Education and an expert in dealing with behavioral difficulties.
Claire Wurtzel, Co-Educational Director of Hidden Sparks in the United States. Ms. Wurtzel was the Director of Faculty Development for the New York City Schools Attuned initiative for All Kinds of Minds, an institute founded to help educators work effectively with struggling learners.
In her capacity as Director, she oversaw Schools Attuned courses, mentor training and facilitator training for over 400 New York City schools. She taught for 17 years at Bank Street College, where she was the director of the special education department.
For the past 30 years she has worked with teachers in the public school system in New York, and published books, articles and films to guide teachers.
About “Hidden Sparks”
Hidden Sparks is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to help children with learning differences reach their full potential in school and life. Hidden Sparks, which was founded in 2005, builds and supports programs for professional development in Jewish schools in the United States in order to increase understanding and support in a variety of learning environments for a diverse range of students.
The staff is made up of leading educators, learning experts, psychologists, school principals and curriculum development specialists. Hidden Sparks is honored to have been featured 4 times in SLINGSHOT, which recognizes the 50 most innovative Jewish organizations in the U.S, and in the new Disabilities and Inclusion Supplement., and has been awarded the prestigious Covenant Signature Grant.The organization’s website - Press Here >>
If you are interested in receiving more details about Hidden Sparks from the program staff and principals of the schools in which the program operates: