Dear Friends and Supporters of Ashraya,
We are most appreciative of your interest to help us and be involved with our work. I would like to share with you what is happening in our community and site crèches in Bangalore.
Social Worker and the Doctor have been regularly visiting the crèches during these months. Most of the children in our crèches have been found to have good health. Thanks to the regular PTM’s and awareness meetings conducted by teachers.
On 6th September a Teachers Training Workshop was organized for all the crèche teachers and assistant teachers. Ms. Nandini Prakash, a Pre-Primary co-ordinator from Indian Institute of Montessori Studies, Bangalore was the resource person. She has years of experience dealing with younger children. She could easily identify herself with teachers and their day to day problems dealing with marginalized young children. She effectively discussed the roots of these problems and alternative solutions that have worked with many teachers. The teachers were very happy and grateful for organizing a workshop that actually helped them better themselves. She emphasized on the needs of the children and explained to the teachers how they can play an important role in fulfilling the children’s needs.
Soon after the discussion session, she taught them simple craft work that can be done in the crèche using the available materials. She encouraged the teachers to teach art and craft to the children as Arts and crafts can help children to develop socially and emotionally, too. She states that, when they are encouraged to give form to their ideas, they learn the value of self-expression. In discovering their ability to create, they become conscious of their imagination and their freedom to make choices.
As a means to explore shapes and textures, quantities, sizes, and proportions, art can also aid children’s intellectual development. It helps them to grasp the concepts they will need in learning to read, write, add, and subtract; it stimulates inquisitiveness, critical thinking, and a healthy self-confidence. Physically, it develops fine motor control and hand-eye coordination. In short, art is a window to new horizons in every sphere of life.
Small children need and love daily chances to experiment and explore, to “mess around” at their own unhurried pace. Let them crumple and tear magazines or newspapers, cut and paste scraps, shape play dough or clay. Let them scribble to their heart’s content: it is as natural and necessary a step toward drawing and writing as crawling is to walking. Don’t feel you have to be an artist yourself, and don’t try to “teach” children art. Help them to discover it for themselves.
After the lunch all the teachers thanked Ms. Nandini for taking the workshop and assured her of implementing the ideas given by her at their crèches and improving their teaching methods.
Ms. Nitya Reddy, Board Member of Ashraya had prepared study materials for all the crèches. She also demonstrated to teachers has to their use and also how to make the classes interesting and fun for the children.
Overall the Teacher Training Workshop went off very well. It was an interactive and interesting session. This workshop provoked the teachers to think about what exactly they need to help the children become self reliant and confident.
If you are Interested in volunteering at our project - Ashraya community and site crèches , please send us your consent and Bio-data via email to firstname.lastname@example.org . To learn more about us please visit: www.ashraya.net and https://www.facebook.com/Ashchildedu?ref=hl
Thanks again for your continued support that keeps us moving forward.
Ashraya’s Community and Site Crèches have brought about a significant change in the outlook of the families in the slums, and in the labour colonies. It has imbibed in them a sense of responsibility, awareness regarding health, nutrition and also most importantly, driven the importance of educating their children.
They have been running in an efficient manner. This quarter had a lot of physical and emotional activities involved. The older kids were prepared to move on to a regular school. The teachers were acting counselors, reaching the unreached for the new admissions. By the word of mouth and the work done by these community and site crèches, many needy parents walked in requesting for admissions. These applications were then evaluated to identify the neediest ones and were admitted for the academic year 2014 -2015.
Not just that, unreached, disadvantaged groups and Parents were made aware of RTE provisions and almost 100% of the children at our crèches, when they complete the age of four were moved to regular, formal schools, either English medium or Kannada medium. While around 132 kids bid farewell, the parents expressed their gratitude to teachers for accomplishing a challenging task of educating their children, teaching them good manners and clean habits etc, which laid a strong foundation for their future.
Most women expressed that “Earlier they had a feeling of insecurity while leaving their children at home. But now at Ashraya crèche, their children are safe and that they are tension-free now and can contribute more to their family. They also expressed that the helpers at crèches take utmost care of their children.”
The early June at Crèches was exciting, yet anxious time for the child, parents and teachers. So number of things was suggested to parents/ carers to facilitate their child's smooth transition from home to Crèches and to reduce absenteeism. Separating from family and saying goodbye was difficult for most children and they sobbed all morning. The staff at crèches assured parents that, if their child cries or is upset when they leave them, to remember, that it is a normal response. Gradually, our skilled, caring crèche teachers helped children and their parents learn to separate for the day.
Crèche on construction site, continue to provide a safe place for children during the working hours of parents, also prevents exclusion of girls from educational activities, being the girls often kept at domicile to look after home or younger siblings. Through the staff of kindergartens these girls attend the nursery and in fact continue to live as a "child", not as an adult.
The Social worker made regular visits in this quarter to monitor and evaluate the functioning and maintenance of the crèches. The doctor also paid monthly visits to the crèches to monitor the general health of the children. Progress in health and nutrition is evaluated and he also advises the teachers on nutritional requirements so that they can inform the families.
On behalf of the entire Ashraya staff and Board Members I would like to thank you for your support. Your support and positive comments are the fuel that keeps us moving forward to make Ashraya Neelbagh School a sustainable Project.
Appreciate all your support!
Thanks and Regards,
Project Head – Ashraya
January is a very special month for all of us at Ashraya as we celebrate the New Year with all our crèche children and the staff from the 6 creches. This year the New Year party was held on the 17th of January 2014 at Ashraya.
We had 185 children and 17 staff attending the program; vehicles were arranged to ensure that all of them were picked up from and dropped back to their respective crèches.
OWC sponsored the New Year gifts for all our children and Ms. Katia Major from OWC was the Chief Guest.
We had organized different programs such as Magic Show and Jumporee for the children . Lunch was also arranged for the crèche children and the staff.
The children from each crèche put up wonderful performances. Individual crèche teachers put in a lot of effort to make the children practise for the program and were thrilled to see the tiny tots perform. Overall it was a great program.
In January parents were informed about school admissions and information regarding the process of applying etc was shared with them. Crèche teachers also helped the parents fill the forms. Quite a few children have got admission in regular schools for academic year starting in June 2014. Parents were very grateful to the teachers for their timely guidance and help.
The crèche at Yelahanka , a construction site crèche was closed on the 1st of February 2014 as there were very few children attending.
The teachers explained the significance of an important festival celebrated in March –Ugadi. This is celebrated as New Year in Karnataka and A.P. Special sweets were also made by one or two teachers and distributed among the children.
All the crèches have regular doctor’s visits. The children were advised to take Vitamin A drops, their polio immunisations were updated; the teachers instructed the children on the importance of cleanliness and personal hygiene. The teachers made sure the children and parents understood the importance of washing their hands before eating etc.
The regular health checks of weight and height show that the children are healthy and developmental milestones are normal. If the children are found to be undernourished then the crèche teacher advises the parent to include more nutrition in the food.
Play and study activities.
The teachers at the crèches use innovative play and teaching methods to explain various concepts like different colours, shapes, sizes, numbers, names and nutrition values of vegetables and fruits are all taught to the children; various methods like colouring with particular colours, drawing objects and bringing vegetables and fruit of a specific colour are used. Games and pictures are also used to help the children understand better eg make a circle.
Concepts of opposites- eg - fat thin, tall short etc and different forms of transport- bus, auto etc were explained through pictures and the children were encouraged to draw as well.
Parent Teacher meetings are held at regular intervals- this quarter Ms. Shoba a volunteer used this occasion to explain to parents about “good touch and bad touch and encouraged them to help their children understand the same as this is an important part of growing years for the children.
On 21st of March we celebrated Sports Day at one of the crèches followed by a photo session- group pictures of the children and staff. All the children were beautifully dressed.
All the children participated in the Sports Day. The teacher had organized 4 different sports program- running race, sack race(rug race), musical chairs and object relay race. All the children were energetic and did a great job. It was a pleasure watching them play with such enthusiasm. At the end of the program each child was given individual gifts. The gifts were distributed by the President of Ashraya, Ms. Shanthi Chacko. The teacher had arranged for some snacks for the parents and the children.
On the same day we had Parents Teacher meeting. The parents gave good feedback about the teacher and the staff of Ashraya who monitor the crèche program. The parents were very happy and appreciated the great work . Since most of the children will also be going to a regular school this year, the parents thanked us for helping their children grow in a safe and clean environment, with good values and stimulating education.
Ashraya’s Community / Site Crèches have been running in an efficient manner.
This quarter, our skilled and caring crèche teachers carefully planned and executed many activities. Like traditional pre-schools, we do focus on development. Learning through play is our valued concept. In a city like ours, where open spaces are a constraint, we are also happy to be able to provide a garden brimming with play equipment and play ground for outdoor activities.
In an environment that is clean, vibrant and positive, amongst caregivers that are affectionate, we provide creative and warm care for children from underprivileged backgrounds.
Our day is a structured one and we follow the same basic schedule each day. Specific activities are planned and encouraged to develop fine motor skills, gross motor skills, perceptual discrimination, cognitive development and social and emotional development. A typical day includes:
Ashraya’s Community Crèches have been running in an efficient manner.
This quarter our skilled and caring crèche teachers carefully planned and executed many required activities for the initial development of their relationship with the new children; their primary aim was to help children settle down with the routine of crèche and also develop love towards learning, this would help children to be regular to their classes.
The children are now happy and excited to come everyday. New friendships have blossomed and every effort is made to be the teacher’s pet.
Early this quarter, the day usually began by teachers checking for individual kids cleanliness followed by prayer and exercise in all Seven community / site crèches. The teacher’s effort in making the classroom sessions interesting was witnessed by them using various teaching modalities, such as small group process, lecture / narration, and experiential activities. They were mindful to be flexible to meet each learner’s (Kinesthetic, auditory and visual) needs. They ensured to overlap, reiterate and reinforce information throughout the day
ü Narration of stories emphasizing a morale principle,
ü Learning of rhymes in different languages and with actions,
ü TV session – Discovery /Animal planet
ü Interactive discussions using puppets and soft toys on topics like – cleanliness, consuming right amount of food, eating vegetables and fruits, being regular to class and being punctual etc.
ü Pictorial talk
ü Games: playing with a ball, passing the parcel, learning rhymes with actions, reciting poems, narrating stories of their choice, building blocks, solving puzzles etc.
It is quite essential to train children and their parents on cleanliness, sharing and good manners in the initial days as this forms the basis for all round development.
Special Events: Independence Day
This year Independence Day was celebrated at Indiranagar community crèche on 15th August 2013 at 10:30am. The volunteers Ms. Rukmani and Ms. Monica taught the children dance for the most sought after iconic patriotic song “nanha munna rahi hoon, Desh Kaa Sipaahii Hoon, Bolo Mere Sang, Jay Hind, Jay Hind, Jay Hind “– which means A tiny moppet explorer, I am And a tenderfoot soldier of my land Come, sing along with me, fame be to my India”
The children were very excited and enjoyed dancing. The chief Guest Mrs. Shobha Banerjee hoisted the National Flag along with Child Keerthana. Everyone present - children, volunteers, parents, and staff in oneness of heart sang the National Anthem.
“It was a golden opportunity for me to share the tale of our struggle for independence while preparing the children for the final program’” said Mrs. Agnes (Indiranagar Crèche teacher). Children enthusiastically learnt the National Anthem and took pride in singing the anthem. Children were also taught about our National Animal, Bird and Flower.
Children thoroughly enjoyed sweets, special lunch and small gifts specially prepared for them by Ashraya.
The quarterly PTA meeting at Banaswadi community crèche was held on 13th August 2013. The teacher Mrs. Shashi discussed the progress their children were making, the curriculum followed and the significance of attending the PTA meetings and also encouraged 100% participation in future as well.
Banaswadi Community: Stray dog menace is one of the major concerns and the matters become worse at night as the canines are found attacking the pedestrians and two-wheelers. They also bark constantly, disrupting the sleep of residents. Mrs. Shashi proactively discussed and educated parents on measures to be taken to protect their children and the course of action to be taken in an emergency. She also educated them on the facilities provided by the local government through BBMP like – free medical care extended to below poverty line families and tackling stray dogs menace etc.
GE: A group of volunteers from GE spent a day with the children at Indiranagar community crèche. After a quick round of introduction, they engaged themselves in games, singing songs and dancing with the children. Volunteers were thrilled to serve lunch to children and appreciated the fact that none of our children wasted food. The volunteers were very happy and thanked Ashraya for giving them an opportunity to invest their time fruitfully.
IBM: Volunteers from IBM visited Indiranagar and Banaswadi crèche on the same day – July 27th 2013. The team of 30 volunteers was divided into 2 groups. The activities were discussed and planned much earlier with their respective team leaders. They began the day by introducing themselves they then started to teach the children rhymes with some actions. The children enjoyed their interactions and imitated the volunteers. This was soon followed by paper craft such as toys, crowns, paper cars and chains. Later the volunteers and the children formed small groups and got all busy painting posters. The children were very happy and enjoyed coloring the posters with the volunteers. Volunteers captured many precious moments and thanked Ashraya for extending an opportunity for them to interact with the children.
Both the teams also deeply appreciated the work done by Ashraya in these communities.
The Social worker made regular visits in this quarter to monitor and evaluate the functioning and maintenance of the crèches. The doctor also paid monthly visits to the crèches to monitor the general health of the children.
Teachers and volunteers have been regular to their classes. Volunteers have been an immense help in areas like teaching and the extracurricular activities. The total number of children we reach through all the 7 crèches is around 220.
It is reiterated to all crèche teachers to achieve the goal of stimulating children’s overall development, to promote their academic success, to ensure to increase their intellectual abilities, support their linguistic development through the provision of high-quality learning experiences.
On behalf of the entire Ashraya staff and Board Members I would like to thank you for your support. Your support and positive comments are the fuel that keeps us moving forward.
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