The libraries have become a big hit with kids and their English reading fluency has remarkably increased apart from other benefits such as Reading Comprehension. Teach for India fellows do not teach local languages i.e. Hindi and Marathi. Parents have started approaching us pointing out how the kids are least interested to learn these languages and how they see a big gap between kids’ level of English and the local languages. If we can include the Marathi and Hindi titles in our classroom libraries, it will hopefully create an interest in these children to learn those languages as well. The Marathi and Hindi teachers too will have an alternative medium to teach their subjects (they always keep asking us for ideas and ways to make their classrooms more fun and creative).
Lastly, about our school–it caters to the marginalized sections of society–kids coming from low income–daily wage earner families. Parents are educated up to 7th to 12th standard at maximum in most cases, English is not spoken by anyone in their communities, semi-slum living conditions, crime, alcoholism, corporal punishment are some of the issues faced at home.
The packet of Hindi and Marathi Pratham books were received with great excitement by children in Class 2, 3 and 4 at Epiphany School, Guruwar Peth, Pune. I personally used a Marathi story to conduct a lesson in Marathi (which I had never done with the kids before). I must say that it was the most super-hit lesson in my two years of teaching ever as all the kids could completely comprehend what I was saying, they loved the pictures, found the story extremely funny (the washer-woman gives bath to giants). The books are now handed over to Marathi and Hindi subject teachers. They conduct reading class for kids using these books. Also, the end of the year oral exams were based on these storybooks wherein kids had to read a paragraph or two from Pratham books. Kids love these stories and find them more interesting than the usual SSC textbook.
Thanks so much!
Thank you Vipul for being such a great and enthusiastic teacher and for helping us get closer to our mission of ‘a book in every child’s hand’.