(Posted by Natasha)
Sessions at Chicalim MOP start with a lot of excitement and speculation about the book in front of the children. Silence descends when the book opens and the pages turn. Sometimes, the children volunteer to read aloud. The art and craft activity is fun time with the boys and girls working in perfect harmony on their creative works. From ‘ Bindi Su’ to ‘Handa’s Surprise’, to ‘Rosie’s Walk’, and ‘Susheela’s Kolam’, the children have always been learning something new about science, geography, history and culture.
We started Chicalim MOP with a group of enthusiastic children from our ward in Naquelim. We were not sure how these sessions would progress and sustain. We loved books and were hoping through these MOP sessions, where we met the children every Saturday, they too would come to love books. Along with the story reading sessions and activities (word games, art and craft) the children started borrowing books to read at home.
The time to exchange books is what we are most proud of. Books are organized according to age appropriate colour codes by two children every session. Books are exchanged in 5 minutes. Every session, one child takes on the responsibility of writing on the library cards.
While we want the children to love books, and use some of their free time reading, we also want them to know more about the world around them. We decided to add the ‘tour around’ component to our MOP.
Bookworms in a van– The children visited the bookworm library in Taleigao where they came in contact with over 1000 books as they toured the library. They chose books of their choice for their MOP box and also tried their hands at baking cup cakes, a first for most of them.
101 FIRE! – The Chief Fire Officer at Vasco Fire Station showed the children the workings of the fire engines, how they attend to emergency calls in the port town of Vasco and explained how the rescue operations take place.
Rome of the East – A trip to Old Goa’s ruins of St. Augustine’s Monastery and Museum of Christian Art, got them in touch with Goa’s unique artistic and historic past.
Once upon a Feast – On the eve of the feast of St. Francis Xavier, (patron of the Chicalim Church) the children listened attentively to Mia Lourenco’s ‘Once upon a Feast’ in a perfect setting, seated on the benches of the Church while St. Francis Xavier watched from the top of the main altar.
Children’s Lit Fest- Arriving at Garcia de Horta garden in Panjim, the children from Chicalim MOP mingled with children from other MOP sites. They had the opportunity to listen to stories by famous children’s authors and were part of the Million Crane Project.
We are sure, that during this year, these children have learnt to love books, and it is our dream to continue giving these children an opportunity to express themselves though story telling, creative writing, art and craft, and any other form, in the hope that they become the bright future of Goa.
Thank you Bookworm and MOP team for making this happen.