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 se...
Jan 15, 2013

Skills@Scale: postcards & prizes, recognizing the little things in 2013

Skills@scale: Postcards & prizes, recognizing the little things in 2013

When Sarwat, one of our team members, visited a school last month, the children recognized her immediately: “You wrote to us!” they exclaimed and Sarwat nodded, removing another surprise from her bag: a backpack for young girl with the best project.

You see, for most of 2012, the team in Bihar and Delhi, had been overwhelmed by the quality and design of children’s projects that we collect each week: thousands of children have been hard at work collecting giant yellow chart paper with glitter, ribbon, interwoven two colour drawings, intricate design, even 3D models and portraits. So while we collect and grade each project, and we’d sent postcards, we decided we needed to do more. We thought we’d visit schools as a surprise, and reward children whose projects were superlative.

We’ve been delighted that children and teachers were quite plainly shocked to see us coming to meet them personally with prizes. Teachers and principals were extremely proud that their students were recognized and rewarded. Now, there is no going back. While we will continue to track each child and school by the number of skills projects we collect each week, and their grades for each project, we know there is no replacement for surprises, personal connections and recognition. And we know this means we’ll be writing even more postcards, and making even more visits with prizes in 2013.

Links:

Nov 14, 2012

Going to School, why stories change the world

Going to School in India Mini-books, are a celebration of what school can be, from going to school in a tent in a mud desert to going to school in the dark with solar lanterns. These stories have been shared with children across India for almost 10 years, and still, we receive almost daily requests from children, teachers and schools to receive the stories. Perhaps, because 10 years later, it's still a story that children want to read - about school, about other children, with colorful, beautiful design and photography, a story about how fun school can be in India.

Thank you for making our 10 year celebration possible, as we head into 2013, we'll be celebrating all year to send as many books as we can to children in Government Schools in India. 

Over the past four months, we've our set of 10 books to many schools and in each set, we place a stack of pre-paid postcards for children to send us their responses and questions. It's wonderful to receive postcards from children. In the age of online, email and APPS, it's still only a book that reaches the poorest children in India and in response, a postcard that they can send to us.

‘Going to School in a Mud Desert’ is the most popular story! Saurabh Anand from 10th standard wrote, ‘It’s amazing how children come from far and wide to attend this school in the desert, where there was no water to drink for miles and miles. Some of these children dreamed of being teachers in this very school in a tent.” Prakash from a school in Udaipur wrote, “For a child to walk barefooted to a school in the desert takes true will power. So much, for a good education. We should all learn from this story.” These postcards inspire us, we hope they inspire you too.

With our best wishes,

 

Going to School.

Oct 15, 2012

Stories from Bihar: How we're doing

My Family Tree
My Family Tree

Nishu Anand from P.N Anglo High School, Patna. A family tree project stood out from the pile of hundreds of skills projects. We looked at the beautiful shades of orange, yellow and brown make the most unusual but beautiful tree impression on a large piece of cheap white paper. As we started monitoring the first activity skills projects handed in by the children, we saw a parchment similarly made just as beautiful. We realized it was the same boy whose unique sense of design and skill stood out in all his work and was easily identifiable. In fact we realized that he possibly used the same three colours because he didn’t possess any others. The confident, powerful strokes with the great combinations and aesthetic use of the colours surprised us, as his skill and ability paralleled professional designer work we had seen before. We wondered if he himself knew how talented he was... we visited his school to give him an award and are talking to the local newspaper to print photos of him and his artwork. 

 

Md Shahid Raza, Miller High School, Patna. As we sat monitoring the fourth activity for Jaane Kyun?, we realized that this activity was particularly multilayered, having many different elements to evaluate as it’s a group activity. The more activities we saw, small parts were sometimes being left out or some concepts seemed unclear, even though the effort and attempt was apparent. We finally came across one activity which was complete in every way and beautiful and creative as well. Each aspect of it was included the way it was supposed to be. Concepts were surprisingly clear and very well presented, and each step of the activity, including little pointers and notes given in the instructions had been clearly and creatively presented. As we looked for the names of the group of students who had made this project, we saw only one name and realized that it was only one child that had done the entire project: Md Shahid Raza. We were very surprised he had completed the project by himself, it could not have been an easy task. It would take an exceptional child, to be able to do this. We sent him a personal postcard and went to visit his school to congratulate him and his teacher. 

Getting to the bottom of it: solving problems!
Getting to the bottom of it: solving problems!
My teacher is an entrepreneur
My teacher is an entrepreneur

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