Sunday, April 09, 2006

Summer Camp at the Malleshwaram School...

The classes and exams for this academic year are completed. The mid-day meals have stopped. So do our children still want to come to school? Not surprisingly ( for DSF), YES! And they bring along a whole lot of enthusiasm and excitement with them.

The numbers dwindled occasionally but the zeal remained on a steady high!

Members of the Saranga Trust and Volunteers of the Dream School Foundation successfully ran a Week's summer camp in the Malleshwaram School, which culminated in a colourful display of activities and art today. Here's a brief summary -

The Work :

Activities were designed to engage the kids for 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours from Monday (3rd Apr) to Sunday (9th Apr). Interspersed with games, snacks and prayers, a break-up of each day's activity in the week that passed, are below :

Day 1: Mask Making, Games
Day 2: Badges with name embossing with Crayons and Colour, Poetry and Drama practice
Day 3: Leaf painting, Poetry and Drama practice
Day 4: Clay modeling, Paper-bag making, Poetry and Drama practice
Day 5: Vegetable painting with Paper-bag making, Poetry and Drama practice
Day 6: Mask Making, Poetry and Drama practice, Oil Painting, Games
Day 7: Science workshop, Games, Drama and Poetry recitation perfomances, Prizes and rewards.

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The Children:

While initially, there were about 20 children who regularly came to the camp, the numbers moved up to 30 - 35 towards the last two days. As Mrs. Hema pointed out, these kids, we believe, are very close to nature. Being simple comes naturally to them. They enjoy the simplicity of the art and activity with minimal expenditure and resources. They completely loved the free flowing, simple poetry, which revolved around nature, animals and people, taught to them from the books of the very famous Kannada poet, Sri. G.P Rajarathnam.

Pooja also points out that all age groups of children enjoyed playing with the colours. Girls and boys, alike, were pushing their artistic abilities to perfection, by demanding of her specific colours and combinations. The younger kids, quickly picked up clay modeling and displayed great talent.

While discipline has always been a problem, without the use of a stick in this school, among all the shouting and commanding silence, there were moments of spiritual silence and prayer.

Kids of the Urdu school also participated in the courtyard-activity with equal amounts of curiosity and eagerness to learn.

Alex of the 2nd Standard, Murali, Lakshmi, Deepa, Oviya and Vijay Kumar of higher standards were rewarded for their work, regularity and discipline during the week.

[Click on the picture to enlarge]

The People:

Mrs. Hema Srinivasan and Mrs. Shyla have lead this camp to see a successful completion. Their commitment to make the learning in this school enjoyable is beyond just the summer camp and has been evident in commanding the support of the teachers for a quite a while now. Our association with them, as Hema madam points out, is an example of how we can truly work together to get involved in the various facets of improving the school. People in the Saranga Network are from the neighborhood of this school and are participating in the schools betterment. This is possibly an example of true "Community mobilization". And to have educationalists, like them, is very promising.

Pooja registers the happiness on most children's' faces, the excitement they showed and just how quickly 2 and 1/2 hrs everyday would just pass by.

Together, the people involved, have demonstrated how two like minded NGOs can work in unison in a school with the philanthrophic intention of it's betterment being the only goal.

[Click on the picture to enlarge]

A Very Special Teacher:

Mrs. Prabha Sheshagiri, is a High School Teacher in Himamshu school. She gracefully spared her time today for our school as an associate of the Saranga Trust. She is running a very successful Balak Science club at home for almost 15 years and so she is well recognised even in the Nehru planetarium's science camps. She has been their camp facilitator for many years now. And Balak Science club is a partner of Saranga Trust.

[Click on the picture to enlarge]

As volunteers in classrooms we cannot ignore the amount of indiscipline that exists among any given group of children. But the magician, that Mrs. Prabha is ( although she insists that it was science and not magic), she captivated the audience for a whole hour by performing Science experiments. The children were at their best behavior, watching and thinking as each of her experiments unfolded. She was encouraging with her questions and the children were quick-witted with their answers. The explanations, that followed ensured a clear understanding among all of them. The children themselves re-played the experiments for their friends. A "Pied piper" of sorts... She even had us, volunteers charmed :)

The experience has helped us acknowledge, again, the fact that our children have a whole lot of latent talent, that we should take responsibility to groom and guide.

Thanks for the inspiration coming through from everyone involved,



Akash said...

Pictures could have been single & big size...instead of the small sized collage....seeing the faces & emotions of the kids...and the stuff they have done is worth more than a 1000 words ;-))

Megha said...

Hey btw, you can click on the picture to enlarge it.

Also that I think this way I've got more of the best pictures together. Uploading some 10 or 12 pics captured with an 8 meg pixel camera... means the file sizes are tooo spectacular...until we're sure we've broken the space barriers!