Through extracurricular classes in algebra and geometry two Syrian-Armenian school children, Natalie, 15, and Arev, 11, have not only improved their academic grades but have also learned about teamwork and social skills.

In 2014, Natalie’s family moved to Armenia from Syria. Due to a different school curriculum in Aleppo and the language gap, Natalie was having a hard time at the Charents Basic School in Yerevan.

“In Aleppo, Natalie and Arev studied math and science in Arabic, making studying it in Armenian in Yerevan pretty challenging. Natalie was good at math at her school, but here she couldn’t even understand the theory nor the calculations. She would come home every day in tears asking me to help her,” said Natalie’s mother, Talar.

In 2016, FAR launched a new project aimed at helping Syrian-Armenian children to better integrate into Armenian school life through the help of extracurricular classes. While many students coming from Syria know how to speak Western Armenian when they arrive they still need help with their courses, which are taught in Eastern Armenian. FAR’s project gives them a chance to receive more explanation and extra tutoring time and it’s proven effective.

“Currently, we have about 40 Syrian-Armenian students attending after-school classes. The subjects taught are mathematics, physics and natural sciences. We monitor the whole process and can proudly state that thanks to the program, kids have not only improved their academic grades but have also learned teamwork and social skills,” said FAR’s own Mane Khachatryan, Education and Science Programs Assistant, who has coordinated the program from the start.

“I can see the fruits of your labor. Now, my Natalie and Arev are among the best students in their class,” said Talar.

Natalie likes math very much and she is proud that she’s good at calculating—something she inherited from her grandfather. “I want to study math at university as well so I have to put in a lot of effort right now. I am thankful for these classes as they helped me to get back on track again,” she said.

Another educational project to support Syrian Armenians is FAR’s scholarship program that currently enables 32 such university students to study tuition-free for the academic year of 2017-18.