Written by Barkha
We recently started our first LiS government school for this academic year. GPMS Kudchire, located about 50 kms from Taleigao. The school has embraced our program with much delight. We only run the program across std. 3 to 7 currently. Every Saturday morning we drive through breath taking views as we head to our final LiS School of the week.
We are welcomed with hot tea, fresh poi and bhaji and the warmth of the school each time. The school staff is most supportive and welcoming in their ways.
This space is very different from the school spaces we have been at previously. The children are calmer and quieter. They now recognize the red van and are extremely happy to see us. Yet, the teachers tell us they enquire if we will come back again which we think is a good sign. They are thinking of the library and of the sessions.
All the families in the village know each other. When a child is unable to come to class they send the story book with another child from the class.
The children have only just begun experiencing the magic of stories read aloud but every story brings more joy as we share them. The story selection is crucial and there is a conscious effort to find stories that children can connect to and relate to. The boys and the girls sit separately and there is little interaction between them outside of class. Within the class though, everyone tries to be a part of the story which is a lovely feeling.
The session for the 3rd and 4th standard children is a combined one. I have never been part of the session actively but the younger ones are most eager to learn and read. Their sessions are full of bright and beautiful collaborative activities and they are fascinated by every aspect of the session. The children in the older classes are often hesitant but extremely patient. They listen to the stories carefully and try their best to absorb as much as they can. Irrespective of the age, the engagement levels are highest at Kudchire.
Every session continues to be joyful and there is immense learning for all of us who are part of the sessions.