As the academic year draws to a close, the LiS team plans end-of-the-year activities at the schools in which they have conducted sessions. This year, for a change, the Team asked the students of classes 6A, 6B, 5A and 5B from Adarsh V V High School, Margao, to let us know what they thought of our sessions with them. The kids were given a date and a time. They were also told that, besides these 4 classes, there would be at least one class who had never experienced a LiS session, in the audience.
On the planned day, a few of us went to the school wondering what, if at all, the kids would have in store for us. While we went about a few of the regular LiS-related activities like Book Talk and collecting story books, we found a general air of excitement in all the 4 classes – kids were whispering to each other, furtively passing bags and papers. A few asked to leave the room ‘for practices’. By the time the classes were all led out to the School Hall for the programme, the Team got the feeling that there were surprises in store.
It took a few minutes for the 4 classes, as well as their ‘guests’, Std. 7A and 7B to be seated quietly. Class 6A went up first. First they sang a ‘Thank You’ song to the Team.
Next, they tested the audience’s knowledge of some of the stories read aloud to them – some kids acted out parts of a story for everyone to guess. There were 3 stories and all 3 were guessed almost as soon as the actors walked onto the ‘stage’.
They ended their ‘session’ with a reproduction of Nabiya, the story of an Afghani girl who wants to play football in spite of all the opposition she faces.
Class 6B started their ‘session’ with a quiz on some of the stories read aloud to them. They tried giving points to the classes who answered correctly, but kids were answering so quickly, the point system was shelved.
Then they entertained us all with a great production of an all-time favourite – Ismat’s Eid, an amusing story of an evening in the life of Ismat. In their excitement, the actors collected at one corner of the ‘stage’, which led to the students of class 7 being unable to follow the proceedings for a few minutes. Unfortunately for them, the rest of the audience knew exactly what was going on, so no one noticed the shift on stage for a while. This class sang a song for the Team at the end of their ‘session’.
Class 5A came up to the stage next and told everyone that they were going to enact a LiS session. The Team exchanged glances – what would they do? A few kids played the students in the class and 2 girls were the 2 LiS team members which usually conduct a session. From this point on, the Team were kept amused and entertained – we did not look at how the rest of the audience reacted – we kept trying to figure out who were the LiS people being ‘represented’ on stage. For the first time, the kids showed us – in the most polite and diplomatic manner possible – how we looked to them. You had to be there!
With only a few minutes to spare before the end-of-school bell, 2 boys from Class 5B came onto the stage and read aloud from a book about dolphins. Unfortunately, their act was curtailed by the bell as well as some restless kids who would miss the School Bus.
While leaving the Hall, the kids told us that most of the ‘acts’ had been planned by the kids themselves, with some help from their teachers. They also told us they had a great time in all our sessions and they hoped they would see us next year.