This is our second successful year at IELC School. We at the Ann Foundation would like to thank all our generous donors for their support during 2011.
At present, 80 visually challenged students are making good progress in both conversational English and interpersonal skills. The classes have been running smoothly while the enthusiasm of the students is growing. Many students say it is the highlight of their week, a time when they can learn and speak English in a fun way without having to sit for exams.
In addition to their English skills, the students are enjoying extra-curricular activities. They have won numerous awards and accolades, participating in many Quiz competitions, volleyball, cricket, dance, music, kabaddi and more as they compete in state level tournaments.
The teachers also enjoy the classes conducted in both Tamil and English. Every teacher is given a chance not only to speak from the script but also to come up with impromptu lines for the topic under discussion. When they assign homework, the teachers complete it along with the students and present their work in class. Even the shy, hesitant teachers have now become more vocal as compared to the start of the classes.
Interacting with these students has been a rewarding experience for our volunteers.Even though the school has limited resources, teachers and students show so much enthusiasm, inspiring everyone to strive for more. All the volunteers agree that they learn more from the experience than the students learn from them.
Our volunteers have also spent much time and effort over the past several months designing and developing a curriculum that could be adopted by our international tutors. We look forward to reaping the rewards of these efforts.
In addition to continuing the current classes, in the coming year, we plan to give a sleeping bag to each of the 170 students at a cost of $50 each.
We appreciate your continued support for our project.
One of the many services that Ann Foundation provides to the children we reach are Personality Development classes. These classes aim to provide disabled children with the confidence, social skills, and conversation skills needed to thrive in this world. One Ann Foundation volunteer, Rahul Srinivasan, has been instrumental in developing and teaching these classes to our students at the Vellore school. Rahul, an electrical engineer from Mubai, gained experience educating underprivileged children during his work with an Indian central government directive called the Shiksha Abhiyaan program. He now brings his expertise to AF in Vellore, teaching children self esteem through song, class discussions, poetry recital and other techniques.
We recently spoke with Rahul who told us that he believes it is important to "think outside the box" in order to make education an engaging and exciting experience. His class, he said "Just does not want class to end. They treat me like a friend and often joke with me". Rahul teaches a variety of lessons, not limited to environmental awareness, the importance of honesty, and speaking with confidence.
Thanks to your help, Rahul and other AF volunteers can continue their mission of assisting these underprivileged children in need, providing them with multi-faceted education in order to prepare them for successful living.
This past winter, Tejaswini, one of our dedicated volunteers at the Ann Foundation visited the IELC School for the Blind near Vellore, India. Until then, Tejaswini had only communicated with our students remotely via Skype. She described the experience as "touching" and "unforgettable'. We spoke with her recently and would like to share some of what she experienced with our donors and potential donors here at Global Giving. Below are some excerpts from our conversations with Tejaswini.
"In December 2010, I visited IELC School for the blind and mentally challenged in Bargur, India. Bargur is a small town near Vellore, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Currently, there are 122 students enrolled at the school aged from 8 to 18 years old. That number includes 46 mentally challenged students and 76 students who are visually challenged. On the day that I visited, the children were busy enjoying Christmas celebrations, so I met with the children after their celebrations and prior to their lunch. The children were excited to meet me in person and I distributed small gifts. They expressed to me how much they enjoy our English classes and their words were touching. I was moved to tears with the love and respect they had towards the teachers at the Ann Foundation. The IELC teachers expressed how grateful they were for the Ann Foundation and the volunteers for their commitment and dedication towards empowering the visually challenged."
"One of the most memorable experiences from my visit was a speech given by a visually impaired alumnus of IELC. He had been invited as a guest speaker to inspire and encourage the students towards success. Following his speech, students participated in a music competition where they displayed their talents and competed for awards. Some students formed an orchestra while others performed a dance and play, an unforgettable experience that will stay with me forever!”
As you can hear from Tejaswini's testimony, the Ann Foundation continues to improve the lives of children in need, thanks to your support. We hope that you will continue to support us in this critical mission.
We at the Ann Foundation would like to thank all our wonderful donors for their tremendous support during 2010! We hope that you please take a look at the pictures to see just ONE of the many ways you have helped us this year. Because of your kind generosity, we were able to procure uniforms and shoes for the children at our Vellore school, allowing the children to continue their education in safety and comfort, a rarity for handicapped children in this part of the world.
As the New Year begins, many of us begin to make resolutions, and some of us think of ways we can give back more to others this year. If this was a resolution of yours, we would love for you to please consider teaming up with the Ann Foundation in 2011 as we continue to expand our classes and begin new projects in Vellore (as well as around the world). There are many children who can use your help! So please continue with your generous donations, and never hesitate to contact us. We are always in need of bright and caring individuals who can volunteer with us. Or perhaps you may have some suggestions. How do you think we can reach more children in 2011?
Again, thanks for your support and lets continue to work together!!
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