Ashraya

"Ashraya" meaning 'shelter', was founded and registered in 1982 and has since then brought hope and love into the lives of many children and adults. Ashraya is committed to alleviate the sufferings of women and children in distress through our various programs.
Oct 1, 2014

Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul

Ms.Nandini interacting with the teachers
Ms.Nandini interacting with the teachers

Dear Friends and Supporters of Ashraya,

Warm Greetings!!

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 ashchildedu@gmail.com . 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.

Teachers preparing their own teaching aids
Teachers preparing their own teaching aids
Jul 3, 2014

Quarterly Update - April to June 2014

Ashraya Neelbagh School - Class room
Ashraya Neelbagh School - Class room

Dear Friends and Supporters of Ashraya,

This quarter has been a time to celebrate, it gives me immense pleasure to share that, Ashraya Neelbagh School, a Kannada medium rural school secured 100% results consecutively for the 6th time and this year with 100% first class, out of 280 schools in Kolar District.

While all 26 students, who appeared for the examination, were successful and secured first class marks, 8 students – Bhargavi. G, Bhavya, Bheemananda, Eshamma, Mallikarjuna Reddy, Manjula, Sundar and Venkatesh have bagged Distinction- out of the 26 students 17 have secured marks in the 80’s, 5 secured in the 70’s and 4 secured in the 60’s.

Most of our students are first generation learners who belong to the most vulnerable groups – migrant construction workers, domestic helpers, daily wagers, single parent, auto drivers, poor farmers and belonging to marginalized communities.

As a result of the excellent results majority of the students from Neelbagh have won various scholarships from the State Government, Individuals, NGO’s and other institutions, to pursue their college studies. All 26 students’ i.e 11 girls and 15 boys are continuing their higher education.

The school hostel reopened for old boarders on 11th May 2014 and the School reopened after the summer break on 12th May 2014.

On June 4th, the new admissions list was finalized - thirty four young ones were admitted to the LKG and 2 new students for senior classes. The school did not discriminate on the basis of caste, religion or ethnic group.

Currently, with the new admissions, the School has 376 students (183 Girls and 193 Boys) from below poverty line families as against 174 (74 Girls and 100 Boys) students in 2003, showing a 147% increase in the number of girl children, over the past few years. Neelbagh school is reaching out to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education and promote gender equality. There are 100 students in Hostel (50 girls and 50 boys).

During LKG admissions, as always, priority was given to children from below poverty line families and the School continues to give impetus to ‘girl child’ education in the rural area. Improved access to education for girl children from most vulnerable groups ensures that children are not exposed to trafficking, sexual abuse or forced into early marriage or child labor.

On June 21st a Drawing competition was organized for all 376 students and on June 23rd cultural programs were performed by 10th grade students, during the morning assembly. The drama ‘Health is Wealth’, folk songs, group dance and Kolata were appreciated by one and all.

This academic year the State Govt has revised the syllabus for Class 10 Secondary School Leaving Certification (SSLC) students; textbooks have been revised based on the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) syllabus. This change has created ripples in the student and teacher communities. We at Neelbagh are focusing more on training the teachers especially for Maths, Science and English. Curiosity, a Bangalore based organization working with the aim of promoting creativity in science amongst children, will train Maths and Science Teachers. This training will be instrumental in guiding teachers –instructing and appraising the teachers on how to teach in a more comprehensive and efficient manner.

Communities continue to connect with the program both through outreach activities and through the school management.

On behalf of the entire staff and Board Members of Ashraya I 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.

 

Thanks and Regards,

 

Evalin Christabel

Project Head – Ashraya Neelbagh School

Skype Enabled English Classes
Skype Enabled English Classes
Mid Day Meal
Mid Day Meal
Jul 3, 2014

Quarterly Update - April to June 2014

Dear Friends and Supporters of Ashraya,

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,

 

Evalin Christabel

Project Head – Ashraya

 
   

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