Going to School Fund

Going to School creates design-driven stories to teach India's poorest children skills at school. We're an award-winning nonprofit trust with a 10-year track record of inspiring millions of children in India to stay in school, learn skills, use their education to transform their lives and create their own opportunities. Our journey began in 2003 when we created Going to School in India, a children's book that tells 25 stories of what school can be, from going to school in a tent in a desert to going to school in the dark with solar lanterns. We made the book into a pioneering TV series that aired on India's leading television networks reaching 65 million children. Our next series, Girl Stars...
Jun 29, 2015

Going to School Summer 2015

 

At Going to School, stories are the tools to learn. Everything we know, learn or share is through the medium of stories, either read or narrated orally. Going by the rate of unemployment, the future working generation are currently in school without the right set of skills to either get a job or create a job for themselves.  We are creating a set of design driven stories that each teach a set of entrepreneurial skills like making a budget, how to make strong social connections, learning how to negotiate, take a risk, innovate etc. We derive inspiration from real life success stories of entrepreneurs who take risks, identify problems and solve it by starting an enterprise.  

Our story books are read by more than 1, 30,000 kids in Secondary Government schools across Bihar & Jharkhand. Last year we printed one book for each child so that they can own it, take it home and read it with their friends & family whenever they want to. This is our third year in Bihar, and as we are just around the corner with this year’s annual report, s data shows that kids have announced their verdict- They love the Be! Books and the amazing way each book has been designed differently from them.  Children also loved playing the games and skills challenges that come as part of a complete book. This year, we have come up with five completely new story books that teach a universe full of skills, and with each book, there is one exciting new game that is followed up with an adventurous skills challenge.  We would like to share our new releases of summer 2015 with you.

Book 1: The Indian Train Journey: A Postcard Adventure. This book introduces the concept of entrepreneurs, enterprises and the different skills they have. The story revolves around the postcards exchanged between a brother and a sister. The brother meets new entrepreneurs in his train journey and writes back inspiring stories about them and their skills to his sister.

Book 2: The Book of Leaves. This book is based on a theme of Solution for Pollution and how the solution of using leaf plates is universal. The story starts with Archana, a real life entrepreneur who makes Areca leaf plates in Karnataka and how the same leaf plates are then made by our real life entrepreneur, Jitesh who lives in Bihar but makes leaf plates out of Sal leaves locally available to him. It focuses on the power of using local resources and being environmental friendly.

Book 3: From here to there, women drivers are everywhere. The book is based on how a young girl stops driving as she grows older, because she sees no role models, or other women drivers. However, in her search, she finds a large number of women drivers who drive autos, bikes, cars, and even tractors breaking the stereotype. This book gives an inspiration to women and young girls who ride cycles and bikes but eventually stop due to societal pressures. In a world where there are women pilots, astronauts, train drivers, tractor drivers, young girls should never stop riding their cycles.

Book4: Plan Bee is based on real life entrepreneur Neelakantesh who starts his own beekeeping enterprise. The story presents a solution to the problem of depleting nature of our farms due to the use of harmful toxic chemicals. The benefits of honey bees that help in increase the productivity of the farms as well as provide organic honey. This story introduces the concept of beekeeping enterprises that can help us save the farms.

Book5: Seher’s bolt of lightning. The book focuses on finding a solution to the problem of no electricity and how the protagonist does extensive market research before starting her own solar light enterprise. During her market research, she also meets our real life entrepreneur, Rita, who runs her own solar enterprise in Bihar.

With every skills book, a game was designed to teach a consecutive skill.

The Perfect Match Game that teaches how an entrepreneur looks at a demand and solves it for his customers by the perfect enterprise. With four set of shuffled cards- Demand, Supply, Enterprise and Customers, kids flip through, discover, and find out the perfect match for each demand.

The Cash Flow Game teaches children that in an enterprise, there are many odd situations that come up every day or every month. It is essential to keep a track of every transaction, money that was earned and money that was spent in a statement. This game comes with a board and a deck of cards with different situations where the player decides which situation to go with- to make the payment or incur the loss in the following months.

Social Connection Game teaches the importance of social connections and how we can connect to anyone through simply 5 people, including you. The concept is based on the theory of six degrees of separation which states we can connect to anyone in the world with the help of six people, including you. Children also add the place where they met a particular connection and the skill they used to reach the next connection.

The Marketing Game teaches children to choose between available options and make their best marketing strategy for their enterprise. The board game lets two players compete towards a better marketing strategy which runs against a time frame of 1 minute in each round.

The Business Plan Game teaches children how to make their own business plan by choosing the best options from a deck of cards for nine different categories that include which enterprise, what problem it solves, the risks, the customers, the skills etc.

Our brand new five books are also available to read online on our digital library www.goingtoschool.com as well as on our new book app Skool https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.goingtoschool.books, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

Links:

May 27, 2015

The Art, Light and Sound Show 2015

We believe in design driven stories and innovation. Every year, we add a new element, twist, new set of entrepreneurial skills, stories to our Be! Schools Program.  Before our skills stories reach 130,000 children in Government schools, these stories and games are first shared with their teachers. A massive teacher training workshop begins at the month of June across multiple districts of Bihar. Last year we took them on a journey of stories. We used movies, short clips as well as organised mock storytelling experiences for the participants.

This year 2015, we have geared up to an exciting new chapter. Lights were turned off, entry passes were collected and everyone took to their seats wondering what was about to start. This time we shared our stories through a grand sound, art and light show.

We created an experience as per the theme of our stories. The first five new stories for the year were told with the use of visual and sound effects. The first book was ‘The Indian Train Journey: A Postcard Adventure’.  The session was designed to make one feel as if they were on the train along with our protagonist, the postcards that came to her, the view it showed etc.  Post the story, they played a game called perfect match where they had to match a demand to a supply, an enterprise and also find their corresponding customers.

The second story was, ‘The Book of Leaves’ which was along the theme Solution to Pollution. The video showed how the pollution takes a toll on us and the time it takes to decompose. A banana peel would take two weeks, a paper bag would take 4 months but a plastic bag would take millions and millions of years. Post the video, we brought in alternate options to treat garbage at our homes and how we should segregate them. We also started clay pot compost which if started on a large scale, can be a prospective enterprise. Participants shared their ideas to solve pollution and how we can together bring a change. Post the story, participants played a game that taught them about cash flow. As part of their skills challenge, they were given a big desk of resources using which they made something useful that could solve a problem.

The third story was, ‘From here to there, women drivers are everywhere’. The video showed a large number of women drivers who drive autos, bikes, cars, and even tractors breaking the stereotype. This book gives an inspiration to women and young girls who ride cycles and bikes but eventually stop due to societal pressures. In a world where there are women pilots, astronauts, train drivers, tractor drivers, young girls should never stop riding their cycles. Post the video, teachers played a game which shows how we can use the power of social connections and the theory of six degrees of separation. They came up with fun, fictional stories to use their six cards or connections to reach to the person they want to meet. As part of their skills challenge, participants were given a blueprint of a cycle. While some transformed it to a cycle that could become a boat, somebody added a more comfortable seat. There was one cycle with a solar mobile phone-charging device. This activity brought out many ideas for innovation based on necessities they see around them, everywhere.

The fourth story was ‘Plan Bee’ which showed the depleting nature of our farms due to the use of harmful toxic chemicals. The benefits of honey bees that help in increase the productivity of the farms as well as provide organic honey. This story introduced to the concept of beekeeping enterprises that can help us save the farms. Participants made a marketing strategy as part of their skills challenge to market this concept to the farmers through slogans, catchy radio scripts, posters, pamphlets etc.

The fifth story was ‘Seher’s bolt of lightning’. The video showed how often when the power cuts, the helplessness people go through in the dark. The moment the fan starts again, the relief we get and the amount of ease having electricity brings to our lives.  The concept of using natural and renewable solar energy was introduced in this story. Participants played a game where made their own business plans to start an enterprise that would solve a problem in the community.

We ended the workshop with a fun photo shoot which had props from the stories we read about- a train, honey bees on sunflowers, a tractor. Teachers loved the concept of visual and sound show and their eyes were glued to the screens. They only wished if it went longer and never stopped. It gave them a broader sense of where the story originates from, what is the bigger problem the story is addressing to and how there are many more solutions other than the ones we are discussing in the stories.  The Art, Light and Sound Show was a huge success and we can’t wait to share it with hundreds of other teachers across Bihar. 

Seher
Seher's bolt of lightening
Plan Bee
Plan Bee
From here to there, women drivers are everywhere
From here to there, women drivers are everywhere
The Indian Train Journey: A Postcard Adventure
The Indian Train Journey: A Postcard Adventure
The book of leaves
The book of leaves
Feb 18, 2015

Skills Challenge Completed

In 2014, Going to School added a new chapter to the program- Going to School in Jharkhand.

Teachers loved the books and incorporated into their school routine immediately. Children were excited about each story, each game and most importantly, they were up for any skills challenge!

Girls read the story about Aditi who trains for a marathon and makes a plan to eat well, sleep well and be well. Strangely (because it is a story) as Aditi runs through the forest every morning, she meets amazing people who always seem to have good advice for staying healthy. After they read the story, then the skills challenge begins! We challenge children to make a plan for five days of what they eat, when they rest and what they do to be healthy. Once they’ve drawn their plan, we ask kids to interview a person where they live, who they think is the healthiest person they know. 

While children are getting ready to read new stories that we’ve designed for them for this year, we are having a fabulous time looking at girls’ skills challenge projects from rural Jharkhand. Young girls & boys from many school across Jharkhand have completed their skills challenges and have submitted us super skills projects.

This year, Going to School is creating five new, magical design-driven story book for children. The stories are inspired from real life hero entrepreneurs, inspirational women drivers, entrepreneurs who identify and solve problems for everyone in their communities. Stories are the new tools to learn, and children are the most excited to complete the skills challenges. We are having a great time designing super stories and we can't wait to share them with everyone. Meanwhile, our all-paper-story-company released an APP. It's called SKOOL. Here you can download every one of our stories you ever wanted to.

Read us online at  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.goingtoschool.books

While we give the last touches to our brand new stories, take a look at the amazing projects children have made this year & a sneak peek to our new story books.

Women drivers are amazing
Women drivers are amazing
Neelakantesh, the bee whisperer
Neelakantesh, the bee whisperer
Bees don
Bees don't sting, they help increase the yield
From here to there, women drivers are everywhere
From here to there, women drivers are everywhere

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