Mumbai Mobile Creches is a group that sets up centres for children in rooms on construction sites. They have a creche for the below threes, a preschool for the three to five year olds, a bridge course to support older children enter the local municipal school, and an after-school programme to assist children with their homework and studies. These centres are run by specially trained staff.
From the 14-16th of March, a 10 member team from the Mumbai Mobile Creches were sent to Bookworm for an exposure visit.
The exposure visit began with a visit to Mae dos Pobres Primary School, Nuvem. The purpose of this visit was to observe a School Book Treasury (SBT) intervention in a mainstream aided classroom. SBT sessions were also conducted in a mainstream low cost school and a Government Primary School during the course of the exposure visit. This left scope for an assessment of the customization and details of working in diverse kinds of classrooms having a diverse assortment of learners.
The MMC Team observed an SBT session in this Nuvem classroom
As the children listened to the story, so did the teachers
They made notes, discussed and even got involved with the activities as they happened.
They interacted with the children
This was followed by an orientation to Bookworm as an organisation. During the course of this discussion, the Bookworm team members spoke about their workings at Bookworm and shared insight into the organisations programmes and goals.
It also gave the two teams a chance to get acquainted with each other.
Chetna an Niju spoke about the organisational structure in Bookworm and how the programmes function and Priya gave them a run through of how the Bookworm library space functions, the activities we have, the membership structures etc.
The first session we had with the team focused on link observation to practice and theory.
Following this, the second session required them to get “hands on” with the books. And so, they explored the library’s shelves and even got involved in a scavenger hunt that required them to pick books of various categories off the shelves.
Though it was fun, the intrinsic value of this activity was to provide an orientation to the diverse collection, genres,types and varieties of books. This session led to a discussion on how a reader may select books and furthermore, how an educator may use a specific criteria in the selection of books.
This session was followed by simultaneous trips to 2 of Bookworm’s Mobile Outreach Program sites; Chimbel and Tonca. The MMC team split up into 2 groups for the visits.
This visit enabled the team to observe the “outside of a classroom” work that Bookworm does. Also; as they had already visited an SBT class; the customized use of the Bookworm lesson plan in diverse environments would also become clearer. As part of the session, book selection procedures were also discussed, and the differences in the books chosen would be highlighted.
Furthermore, the features of the extension activity and its strong pedagogic link to literacy were highlighted with the sessions. Tonca did “My Grandfather’s Stick” and Chimbel did “Days With Thathu”.
The kids at the site were excited to have “the new teachers” visit their site.
A quick round of introductions was done as the team got acquainted with the kids on the site and vice versa.
Sujata conducted the MOP session at Tonca that evening
The MMC team got involved in the children’s free browsing time and the children read to them
My Granfather’s Stick extension activity required the children to stick a cut out of a stick given to them and then create a scene from their imagination to highlight a use of the stick
They told each other stories
The MMC teams’ exposure visit to Bookworm also included a Cholta Cholta walking tour of Panaji with Pritha. This walking tour aimed at exposing the link that this program has to heritage.
To bring their world and ours together, a session was organised based on Selecting and Planning a Lesson that linked the MOP observations to the MMC site and planning for the same.
5:00 p.m. and time for another MOP. This time, the team visited the Taleigao MOP site. as we’ve found, each of the sites has its own idiosyncrasies and highlight feature/s. That feature of Taleigao would be the fact that this demography is largely a preschool category of kids. Chimbel which is hallmarked by the diversity of the kids at the site and Tonca which is still a comparatively new site; were valuable points of comparison. The team was enabled to see the varied poulations of the MOP sites and the specific planning that goes into transacting a session at varied sites.
Preschool morning was the last on the agenda. Always a fun and hands on experience, the use of a book in the library space was also part of the observations.
And then what was left was the filling in the gaps. The team’s questions, queries, doubts, as well as their feedback, suggestions, observations were taken in. The learning experience was a 2 way process. While they take back their experiences and learnings from Bookworm, we take back their valuable feedback, the rich sharings of their own experiences and work.