It’s a dull grey Friday morning and an (even earlier) early start for the LiS team. Today we’re off to Salvador do Mundo to visit and pilot the program in a school there.
Unheard of to the young ones on the team, we talked as Sujata drove us there. We’d both planned sessions for the classes we were going to be in and we ran through them with each other before getting to the location.
Smt. Sunandabai Bandodkar High School. We stood at its gate for a second before we picked up the boxes and trudged on over to the school.
This is the first school that I’ve been to where students and teachers alike keep their footwear at the door. We stepped into a clean, neat and orderly foyer that had on boards around it charts and works done by the students. We met the principal, explained how our sessions happen and in not too long, ‘Brrrrrrrrrrrring!’; and we were off to our first class for that day.
Sujata and Sheena set off to one class, and Nagappa and I set off to another.
Tick! Tick! Tick! Tick! Tick! Tick! Tick!….where ever did the time go?! Not an unfamiliar ringing sound meant we both had to move on to the next classes. And so the next 40 minutes went off with a new set of kids in a new classroom, with different responses and feedback and different stories of their own to tell.
When we were done, and back in the van, we began to discuss what each of us had seen in our respective classrooms. In a short amount of time, we had arrived at the conclusion that here was a group of high school kids who were all enthusiastic about books, who all enjoyed being read aloud to and all of whom were in some way struggling with reading.
While for me as a newbie, it still occasionally surprises me when I see reading level statistics or encounter a class that cannot read. It should not in all actuality. It does persistently sadden me though. Where in heaven’s name is the system STILL failing these kids?!
So much to do, so little time to do it all! But that doesn’t mean we’re letting go that easily! We’re going back to that school in the coming term! Smt. Sunandabai Bandodkar High School has officially been added to the LiS family….
And as always, there will be stories to tell!