As it turns out, change requires brilliant ideas, dedication, hope and many, many hands. SDPY and GVI have combined forces to produce an enthusiasm for learning that has become contagious, slowly swelling our timid tuition students into spontaneous crowds of independent songs lead by our song leaders, teachings stopping volunteers to chat about life and halls teeming with outstretched hands and remember names. Over the last month, GVI has made a concerted effort to take the time to say thank you, thank you to our students for upholding the standards of leadership and practice we expect (and helping us keep our own standards high), thank you to our teachers for sharing their student and their classrooms, and to thanking the administration for trusting us to gather larger and larger amounts of students to play and learn independently. This month we all practiced our new vocabulary, “thank you.”
Sports Day was the ultimate day of thankfulness. Six volunteer, decked out head to toe in supportive colours, crowded the sidelines and cheered all day for our nine hundred and fifty some students. From the fist bumps we received from the commissioner of police during opening ceremonies, to the impromptu Malayalam lessons as we cheered on our respective teams, and the teachers constant checks to see if we had submitted our names for the upcoming events, we really were a part of the whole.
Although there are ways to quantify how many kids we pack into tuition, or the number of words our student’s vocabularies have grown by, there is no way to compact the sense of community and trust we have into a number or a word. Sports Day was all about sitting down in the dust and smiling, with no plans for what the conversation was going to practice, except to share and experience and listen to one another. There was no test needed, so rules laid out, we all just fit naturally into the excitment and pride from our school and our students.