Blog post by Deepali Correya
I am a volunteer for the Tonca MOP since mid-November and given that I am a preschool teacher, I was supposed to take the little ones under my wing. The little ones would approximately be between ages 4 to 7/8 years. This particular experience is rather a touching one as it just reinforces my belief that children are like sponge and they take in whatever we say or do with great alacrity and that does put quite a huge responsibility on our shoulders. Our actions and words do count in the long run.
The story that I was supposed to read aloud was ‘The Seed’ by Deepa Balsavar. It had a little girl as the main character who finds a seed and plants it in a pot and then starts wondering about what it would grow into…
As the story progressed so did the little ones imagination, I could actually see the brains whirring as to what that seed would grow into. After the story ended, there was this question-answer session which told me that they had already decided what it was to be and they were all set to draw and show me. The girls brandished the pencils and started drawing their favourite flowers and the boys drew humongous mango trees and coconut trees.
As the extension was drawing to an end, I just casually told everyone that maybe they should plant something and observe it for a week and then tell me about the outcome the next week. Imagine my absolute surprise and joy when the next week, these four little girls marched up to me with small pots. The girls had not only planted something but also had decided to gift them to me. They carefully placed those pots near my bike and waited to see whether I took them home after the MOP session ended.
Needless to say I was very touched by their gesture. This also reiterated the fact that the onus is on us as far as these children are concerned. What we read or talk about does make an impact on them. Alas! Sadly though three of the plants have dried up as they were branches planted in pots but one little plantain sapling is still going green and hopefully will grow into a banana plant.:-)