Hippocampus Reading Foundation

To promote reading for underprivileged children through the creation of libraries and librarian training. To change the way children learn in rural India through education centres that are run after school hours To create livelihood opportunities for young women in villages through teacher training.
Apr 13, 2015

Enrolments coming up soon- We look forward to your support

Written testing for Teacher Recruitment
Written testing for Teacher Recruitment

Dear Friend and Supporter,

The months January to May is a bustling time at Hippocampus as the action moves primarily to the field. The Annual Days for each Centre are held in the months of February and March. These events in most villages are well attended by the whole village and become an occasion to celebrate their children’s learning and talent. There is much community engagement and sponsorship and in many centres are preceded by activities and events for parents. In many centres the Annual Day had over 2000 people attending.

Simultaneously, the expansion team are also on the field identifying new villages, finding centre spaces, recruiting teachers and doing parent orientations for enrolling children. This is our year of big expansion as we expand our Kindergarten program from the current 4 Districts to 12 districts in Karnataka through our own centres and schools partnerships. We are looking at opening 120 new centres across these 12 districts taking the total number of villages with our KG program to close to 300. This year we are also working with 100 schools taking the total number of children who benefit from our program to around 20000. In pursuit of this goal, we have already identified and approved all the required villages and have finalized spaces in over 100 locations.

Teacher recruitment is currently in progress in full swing with hundreds of teachers undergoing our robust 6 stage recruitment process. This includes a written test, classroom demonstration as well as personal interviews. At present we have selected teachers in upwards of 60 villages. For many of these women this is their first job and the opportunity to be trained as a Teacher and working in their own village is very exciting.

As we move towards our enrolment stage, we hope you will continue to support our scholarship program for the poor children. We have a long way to go, so do share our link at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/send-700-children-to-school-in-2015/ with your friends, family and your colleagues at work.

With appreciation and gratitude,

Lily

Wrtten test in another Centre
Wrtten test in another Centre
Some of the early selected teachers at training
Some of the early selected teachers at training
Parent orientaion in Mandya before enrolment
Parent orientaion in Mandya before enrolment
Apr 7, 2015

Annual Days 2015

Children presenting at Annual Day
Children presenting at Annual Day

Dear friends and supporters,

Since this project was posted for expansion in 2013, we are now deactivating this project. An attempt at creating a customized Kindergarten program for rural India that started with 40 villages in 2013 will now reach close to 300 villages by this June. Thank you for your support both big and small which have helped us grow and expand with each year. All of the Centres opened in 2013 continue to teach and shape the minds of kindergarten children in rural India.As a final report, I would like to share with you an account of the Annual days that have just concluded.

While we now have a number of annual events for teachers, parents and children, the highlight of our academic year is the Annual Day for each Centre which is an opportunity to showcase to the parents and the community the talents and the learning of our children.

In a two month period this year from January 22nd to March 23rd, all 137 centres had their Annual Day programs which were done with much planning, community engagement and sponsorship and in many centres preceded by activities and events for parents. In many centres the Annual Day became a larger village event with over 2000 people attending.

Community support came in a big way with sponsorships for chairs, stage settings, sound systems and gifts to be given to children. In a first attempt, we held activities and events for parents prior to the Annual day like games, library and reading events and theme based exhibitions where the children had their parents enthralled as they presented their arts, crafts and projects for the year.

The Annual day event in many centres stretched to 3 hours and more with the children dressed up in specially prepared costumes presenting choreographed dances and recitals. Please see below a selection of pictures from different villages. Teachers from neighbouring villages attended and helped out with the event, thereby leading to much community and team building among the teachers. It was an immensely thrilling experience to see the talent in our children and feel much satisfaction at how much they have learned and grown.

With another successful year behind us, we now look ahead to the next year as we expand to 6 more Districts in Karnataka and aim to begin the kindergarten program in another 100 villages.

Thank you for your support over the last 3 years. Please do continue to support us through the scholarship project posted at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/send-700-children-to-school-in-2015/

With appreciation and gratitude,

Lily

Children presenting their work
Children presenting their work
Dance peformance at Annual Day
Dance peformance at Annual Day
Recital by a student at Annual Day
Recital by a student at Annual Day
Parents at a craft event
Parents at a craft event
Nov 25, 2014

Learning History and Culture through the Festivals

Dressed Up for Childrens
Dressed Up for Childrens' Day at Maknuru Centre

Festivals in India are celebrated with great enthusiasm; they symbolize the cultural heritage of our country and highlight various aspects of our society. They also help to promote solidarity and promote acceptance of diversity in religion and traditions. Our Centres use it as an opportunity not only to highlight the talents of children but also to celebrate the event and pass down the history and cultural heritage of the country. While some are religious and some are of national importance, all are celebrated colourfully and with great harmony and enthusiasm.

I would like to share with you a few of the important national dates and festivals celebrated at our Centres in the last 6 months.

August 15th is Independence Day and at our Centres, children dress up in costumes that represent heroes like Gandhiji, Nehru, freedom fighters and other national personalities. They tell stories of their heroes, the national flag is hoisted and the teachers share with children the stories connected with Independence and the lives of national leaders.In some centres, children join up with students from other schools for a joint celbration of the event.

October 2nd is celebrated as the birthday of Gandhiji and children come dressed up as Gandhiji. It’s a fun celebration and likewise we have had festivals like the birthday of Lord Krishna when every child in the Centre comes dressed as Lord Krishna. Stories and traditions associated with the lives of Gandhiji and Krishna are shared and acted out.

Another national day is November 14th, (birth date of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru) which is fondly celebrated as children’s day all over the India. The day calls awareness to the rights, care and education of children. The children come dressed up as Nehru, and other national heroes. Rani Chennamma, a well-known queen of a princely South India state who was a freedom fighter in the 19th Century is a favourite character among the little girls. The life of Nehru and the importance of Children’’s Day is shared with the children and parents who attend.

Among the festivals, Diwali, known as the festival of lights is celebrated with the festivity it deserves. Children come colourfully dressed, traditional Indian decoration and patterns made with coloured ground rice are drawn on the floor and lamps are lit to symbolize the victory of light over darkness.

Do enjoy the pictures of children from some of our centres dressed up for the different celebrations.

From the current 124 Villages, by June 2015 we aim to expand our work to 300 villages, having close to 10,000 children enrolled. As part of our program we offer scholarships to make it possible for even the very poor children to attend preschool. This June thanks to your support we were able to offer scholarships to 275 children. Next year we hope to more than double that number and need your generous support to make that possible.

The link to donate for scholarships for next year is uploaded at: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/send-700-children-to-school-in-2015/.

Do help us by forwarding the link to friends and family who maybe interested in supporting preschool education.

Happy Thanksgiving and warm wishes from Hippocampus for the holiday season ahead.

Lily

Parents and Children on Independence Day
Parents and Children on Independence Day
Children joining other schools on Independance Day
Children joining other schools on Independance Day
Dressed up to perform on Gandhiji
Dressed up to perform on Gandhiji's birthday
On Gandhiji
On Gandhiji's birthday - Another picture
Celebrating Diwali
Celebrating Diwali

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