The end-of-the-year feedback presentation with the Principal and teachers of Mae-de-Deus High School, Corjuem, Aldona, Goa, was scheduled for the 12th of April, 2016. She had hinted at some kind of felicitation in front of the whole school, but no specific details were provided.
Niju and Krupa collected me on their way from Panjim to the school, while Margaret and Monica had reached a few minutes earlier. To Niju and Krupa’s surprise, we entered the School Hall and walked down the aisle to our seats at the front. At least a hundred students, both Primary and High School, and almost all the teachers of the School, were present. The Bookworm team was thanked profusely, many times, for choosing their School and for the services provided (quote …. they came in quietly every Wednesday, read to the kids and left …. unquote). Almost all the Primary kids took part in the entertainment program arranged for our benefit, as well as for the Manager of the School, Fr. John Menezes, who was retiring from active service. We were felicitated with potted plants and gifts. The Principal has asked me whether I wanted to address the gathering, but I declined. However, Moncia volunteered to sing a song about gratitude, which everyone appreciated. We took pictures with the kids of each of the Primary classes. After the kids had left, we were given snacks and drinks.
Finally, all the teachers gathered for our presentation. The various elements of a LiS session were stuck on a sheet of paper. I showed this to those present and asked them to tell me which one came first. I had asked the teachers of the Primary section not to prompt the others, but it seemed that they were not too sure. Read Aloud and Game were suggested first, and then the only nun present said Book Talk. I told them a little about this ‘element’ and asked whether they knew what happened next. Someone said Browsing and Lending and then someone else said Game. This was soon followed by the other elements in the right order.
We ran through the slides. I stopped during ‘General Feedback’ and we handed out the notebooks – at least 3 to everyone present, one from each class to the Principal. There were smiles on everyone’s faces, as well as surprise at the work done. Some teachers liked the activity for ‘My Mother’s Sari’. We were also commended on covering a vast array of varied topics through our stories.
During question time, one teacher asked why we could not do some sessions with the High School – I told her that Bookworm did not have the human resources for this. Then the nun asked why we did this – what motivated us. I told her it was a love of books and children and the knowledge that reading is essential to the all-round development of an individual.
There were no other questions and only the Principal did not seem to be in a hurry to end the session. I had forgotten about the feedback forms and I don’t think anyone else remembered, either. We finally left the premises with a spring in our step – its nice to be appreciated.