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Mobile Outreach Program
The w(heel)ill to learn
January 31, 2014
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Blog post by Sebanti Chatterjee

My association with Bookworm started not so long ago. It was during the last week of November that I actually got involved with the wide range of activities that are carried out here. The first site which introduced to me MOP activities was St. Inez.

Children at St. Inez have these elements of enthusiasm, mischief and innocence. It is not to say that the other sites do not elicit such vibes but unlike the other sites, here, the mood is always determined by the confluence of the aforementioned elements. There is a balance somewhere and a wonderful understanding amongst the children. Sujata and Shreya are undoubtedly their favourite teachers and the bond that the kids have with them are quite special. They also look forward to meeting Niju Sir every once in a while.

What amazed me a great deal was gaining acceptance as their library teacher in such a short time. I haven’t been going there regularly as the nature of my work with the organization did not require my presence every week at a particular site. However, I noticed with every visit they welcomed me into their secret world a little more benevolently compared to the last one.

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The kids are really friendly and all they actually want is someone who would not be cross with them for the predictably similar patterns of mistakes. They look forward to the time when they can animatedly express their guesses during the read aloud story time or the time when they can exhibit their flair for painting and an occasional trial with writing.

No! of course writing isn’t their cherished activity but they do not shy away from it either. They know that it comes with the holistic song-game-story-activity cycle. Since they are always enthusiastic towards the rest of the wheel, they would never like to break the cycle. The children simply love the song time and are never tired of waiting for their favourite ones. Games too turn out to be exciting. Individual reading at the site is quite fun. All the children love to read and are prepared to forget whether are ready to manage their comprehension skills or phonetic expertise. I love it as the children take the plunge and every time despite obstacles- big and small, they emerge victorious.

Akshada’s frequent ‘miss mujhe pata hai ye’ (miss I know it), Manoj’s interruption while someone else is reading with me by supplying him or her with the forthcoming sentences in the story, Jatin’s naughty stunts to grab everyone’s attention, Rekha’s calm presence, Sampada’s measured responses or Vaishali’s know-it-all confident demeanour makes the site absolutely delightful. The children treat the library as a space where they have the opportunity to discover themselves a little more closely. They are keen observers, fast learners and trouble makers in a fun way. Now how often do we get to meet such characters? I am not sure about everyone but I look at them as a fresh breeze which needs to be informed about the directions of its journey every now and then.

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