Smiling faces at an MMC centre
We hope you are having a great week! We appreciate your consistent support towards our programmes, and it’s extraordinary that most of you have not seen how MMC works but believe in the work we do and have supported us through our journey in the past months. We sincerely appreciate it and for all the trust that you have bestowed on us, this report is an attempt to take you through a journey; a sneak peek into an MMC centre.
A Day at an MMC Centre
Before any student arrives, our teachers arrive at the centre. The centre is a small structure created for temporary use. It is divided into three rooms a crèche for babies who are under 3 years old, a balwadi (pre primary) for children aged 3 above to 5 years and a classroom for providing after school support to the children above 6 years.
Mothers come to the centre with their children in hand. They feel comfortable leaving their babies in the caring hands of our experienced teachers. Older siblings say goodbye to each other as they go to their separate classrooms, happy to be free of their premature parenting responsibilities for some time! Upon arrival, crèche babies are cleaned, powdered and have been given a fresh uniform to promote proper hygiene.
The children have free-play, and get the opportunity to unwind by playing with simple toys. During this time, our teachers prepare breakfast.
Each child is given a warm breakfast of porridge made from finger millet and milk, along with a drop of multivitamins/supplements to provide them with even more nutriments.
Free play continues for the younger children and they have the opportunity to choose from games such as water play, doll houses, picture books and sand play .
The children in after school support classroom begin their learning by working on math and language skills in fun and interactive ways
**The public schools run in two shifts, one in the morning the other in the afternoon, the children who go to the school in the morning come for the after school support programme at the centre in the afternoon and vice versa.
Children are given a toilet break and served a mid-morning snack of egg or fruit. Attendance is also taken to keep track of all our children.
The morning continues with activities such as physical and language development games for the crèche children and on the monthly Prakalp theme for the Balwadi (pre-primary) children. Children engage in songs and conversation about the topic. The older children dive deeper into skills such as reading, writing and maths.
Balwadi children now gather for school preparedness sessions, when the teachers indulge them in reading, writing and storytelling.
Story-time/Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R) - Books are the main focus at this time. For the younger children, a story is chosen and read out loud by the teachers. The older children pick their own books and read independently or in groups.While the children read, our teachers start preparing lunch in order to ensure that our children are eating clean and nutritious food.
After a morning of fun and learning, the children eat the tasty lunch of khichdi or dal-chawal (rice and lentils) or dalia (bulgar wheat), freshly cooked by our caring teachers. We also receive part support for our nutrition programme, at 16 of our 23 centres from the governments’ Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) which covers children from 3-6 years of age.
Most of the children head home to spend some time with their parents, who are now receiving their lunch breaks.
During this time, our teachers follow up on things they need to do such as: meeting the contractor about the power supply and reminding the mothers about the doctor’s visit. Afterwards, they quickly have their lunches and get a brief respite from a long morning’s work.
The children return to the centre after having spent some quality time with their families. The balwadi have free play, arts and crafts while the crèche babies play with the toys.
The older children continue working on the studies which in include, English and Math.
The Balwadi and older children’s classrooms become vibrant during this time of the day as they engage in innovative arts and crafts sessions like drawing and painting, clay work, puppet making, craft work, collage work, hygiene session, respectively from Monday to Saturday.
The older children’s classroom focusses on the monthly Prakalp theme, engaging in conversation and activities revolving around the theme.
The crèche babies are awake, they are given milk and changed into their regular clothing, while all the older children are fed an evening snack of sprouts, chickpea etc. All of the children prepare to head back home.
The children have departed and the teachers tidy the centre in preparation for tomorrow. All is quiet in the centre until the next day…
Creche babies at play
Pre primary children listening attentively
After school support programme