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TOGETHER we CAN make a change

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Amidst
a valley created by tall skyscrapers, nearly 100 kids settled down
eagerly in four little rooms of  Samridhdhi Bridge School in
Bellandur. Not for them the worry of a very hot sun, and its effects.
They were here to play, learn and have fun. And they did all this as
part of the Sunday Camp conducted by the Together We Can collective
of NGOs, of which Pratham Books is a partner. We believe we can nurture and resource the children of Bangalore for a self-sustaining life, over the next 5-15 years.

Volunteers
from Baale Mane had the children singing, dancing and playing games.
Volunteers from Akshara Foundation engaged the children with Lego
building blocks. Spaceships, rockets, apartments, and even a ‘diamond
shop’ got built in record time. 

The creations led themselves well to
a storytelling session with a volunteer from Pratham Books. Quick
sketches on a board led the children to make up some more exciting
stories. We had three storytelling sessions for children of three
different age groups.


We started with Haathi ka Bukhaar (Elephant’s Fever) in one
group. With the older group we could use the same story to talk about
hygiene,  temperature and mercury. We also played with our story
cards. Some of the children who had been in the bridge school for
over a year could read the Hindi cards. In the older group, the story
cards got converted to ‘money’! Different story cards represented
different denominations. The class became a ‘bank’ and we could share
a few basics about money. This reporter was a little distracted by a
little fellow who ignored her totally and instead applied himself fully to the task of tying a
balloon to a pole. But a storybook finally got him too. Aha!

While
the children thought they were just there to have fun, they
unconsciously learnt to read, comprehend, write and translate from
Hindi to English, or English to Kannada, and in some groups from
Hindi to Bengali too!
 
Volunteers
from Liter Of Light were also at the school to see how they could
brighten the lives of these children with their pet-bottle-based
solar lighting invention. 

Representatives from Centre for Education Innovations were
present to work on connecting CSR groups to Sunday camps.

The
good work done by Samridhdhi Trust and its teachers was evident in
the way the children communicated. This Sunday Camp was a few hours
of Sunday well-spent by all. So much to do, so much to learn!
Photo credits: Ramesh and Sridhar of Akshara Foundation.
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