This is the first year that we are conducting the Libraries-in-School Program at Our Lady of Merces Primary school in Merces. Our sessions are conducted in standards three and four; two divisions each. The classes have a large number of students, close to fifty each. The school teachers are present for each of our sessions.
This school has many Hindi- speaking students, and hence we use a lot of Hindi along with Konkani when interacting with students. We started in the second week of June and have conducted four reading sessions as of now. We have got an eager response from the students. The teachers also have shown us a lot of support. I have enjoyed interacting with the children during each session.
I feel that these students are bright but are yet to acquire English listening comprehension, articulating and writing proficiency. Some students have difficulty in recognizing letters. But I like the way how the children are eager to take books home and how they want to show their books to their friends and partners. It is like they have got their hands on a treasure chest. And when I tell them that they cannot take a new book unless they have returned the previous book, their disappointment is very visible. Hopefully by the end of this year, at least majority of these students will have achieved some part of our goal..
We go in teams of two each as we have parallel classes in this school. I along with Krupa are a team and Deepali and Sakshi make up the other team. We get together every week and decide and discuss about which stories based on a particular theme would work for these children. Each class is different in its own way. We have done stories based on Monsoon and folktales. The story “What a song!” was a big hit in standard four.
I feel the students in this school have a lot of potential and we at Bookworm can play an important role in helping the students realize that. I believe that becoming proficient in English will give the students a major confidence boost that will be carried over to other academic activities.