Education  India Project #34758

Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India

by FOREFRONT Charity
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Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Launch our School for 400 Children in Rural India
Children on Tablets
Children on Tablets

Introduction

FOREFRONT School was first opened in 2020-21 for the children from disadvantaged backgrounds to experience excellence in learning. Envisioned to provide opportunity for gender equal quality education for children of different demographics, FOREFRONT Charity has built an international quality school in Kollur, Andhra Pradesh, India. The school has three classes from kindergarten to grade 2. There are around 65 students who benefit from this program.

 

Surviving the Pandemic

Most of the schools in India went into a lock down for almost the whole year due to the pandemic. This new academic year 2021-22 gave us hope. Keeping the safety concerns of the children coming to school, the parents and the staff members, we tried moving the school to online mode during the lockdown. Since the students are coming from underprivileged families and most parents are not educated, it was a huge challenge for us to think of any practical means to take the school to their door steps. We visited the houses of our students and spoke to the parents regarding the importance of quality education. 

Eventually we were able to start our lessons online. Students were given computer tablets, introduced to some good learning applications and soon they began to excel. We were surprised to see even the youngest ones were becoming comfortable with using tablets. Teachers were given training in using various applications like Seesaw, Epic, Khan Academy, Educeri, etc. Teachers and parents were also trained regarding guiding and monitoring the children for the safe use of the internet. 

As the use of digital devices were exciting for the students, their performance in learning too showed significant progress.  We focused on basic literacy as the students come from a non-English speaking background. We are also working on their basic numeracy skills. With committed work by the teachers and by enthusiastic participation of the students we were able to see a significant improvement in their scores in the term end assessments. 

With the local government finally giving a green signal for reopening the schools for the on-campus learning we cautiously reopened the school with all safety precautions in place. We have divided students into two groups and brought them to school on alternate days. The students are excited to come to school. They are looking forward to coming to school daily instead of on alternate days. We are hoping to see all the students coming together to school and enjoy the facilities gifted by the generous donors. 

In order to encourage equal opportunities in education this year we have waived 50% of the school fee to girl students. The school also provides textbooks and uniforms for the students. 



Future Opportunities

As we will be adding more classes every year we would require more classrooms, labs, furniture and other facilities.

FOREFRONT School’s unique location gives the privilege of providing education to many villages in this surrounding area. But this is only possible if we provide transport facilities for the students. As the villages are in different directions we would need multiple vans to go and collect the students. School vans also provide a safe journey for the students as most of the villages are remote and have only unpaved nonmetal roads. The cost of running the vans, maintenance and the driver allowances can be one of the most expensive operation costs of a school.  We invite you to join us and give towards transportation to help us grow our school next academic year!

We are looking forward to your continued support for many more years to come.

 

Thank you!

Sincerely,

FOREFRONT School

 

Student Back in School
Student Back in School

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Opening a school during a pandemic is unimaginable.  However, FOREFRONT School started in 2020 while battling lockdowns, uncertainty, and adjustments. We are pleased to share that FOREFRONT School has successfully completed its first school year! FOREFRONT Charity believes quality primary education is critical not only for a child's future, but the community's future as well. Thus, despite lockdowns & restrictions, with the proper safety protocols, our staff provided lessons by visiting our students’ villages and homes. The reality is that in rural India, virtual learning does not exist due to lack of electricity, wifi, computers, etc. Our passionate teachers went above and beyond to bring excellent instruction directly to our students and their communities.

We have completed Year 1 of FOREFRONT School meeting our goals and standards, with 80%+ academic passing and 80%+ attendance rates during non-lockdown times.  We are now preparing for the 2021-2022 school year during another lockdown.  For Year 2, due to government lockdown rules, we will be implementing a hybrid model between in-person and at-home learning. 

Are you curious to know what our students learned this year? Below are just a few areas that every student learned in Year 1:

Kindergarten: 

  • Writing own name
  • Letter identification and writing for uppercase letters A-Z
  • Numbers 1-10 in order and randomized

Grade 1: 

  • Numbers 1-50 in numbers and words, in order and randomized
  • Identification: shapes and objects
  • Days of the week & months in a year 
  • Basic English communication, in questions and answers

Grade 2: 

  • Shapes, objects (oral and written)
  • Days of the week & months in a year oral and written
  • Written and spoken stories of self
  • Poetry

Giving Back to the Community

Our vision is to unite our school with our local community. We want our students to learn at an early age to give back to their communities. Our students each built their own garden and grew vegetables. After the vegetables were grown, they were distributed back to local families.

Our Pillars United

On March 8th, International Women's Day, our education team collaborated with our medical & empowerment team to launch a community event.  It was an "Iron Chef" with all the mothers in our school and ensuring that the food they created is healthy.  Alongside this competition, FOREFRONT Charity provided information on diabetes awareness & prevention.

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We thank all of you for your continued support and hope to continue to partner with you as our school enters Year 2!

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FOREFRONT School Classroom
FOREFRONT School Classroom

FOREFRONT School Education Project Report

February 8, 2021 (FY20 Q4)

FOREFRONT’s progress toward the completion of its project is divided into two axes: construction/architecture and education. Together, excellent implementation in these two areas will make FOREFRONT School a high-quality educational opportunity for children in rural India who otherwise lack access. In the summer of 2020, FOREFRONT completed the construction of FOREFRONT School in Kolluru, India. As a result, subsequent reports will focus on the support to the school’s inaugural classes of students. 

During this quarter, FOREFRONT school completed its first year and started its second year of classes for the first few cohorts of students entering primary school education. During this period, FOREFRONT has seen consistent quantitative growth and quality improvement in the school. In its first semester, because of the newness of the school to the area and restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, FOREFRONT School had 17 students in regular attendance. In its second semester, FOREFRONT has doubled the number of students in regular attendance to 40. These students represent the Upper Kindergarten (UKG) and first grade. This growth is largely due to parent’s word of mouth in spreading the word to other members of the community.

In FOREFRONT School’s first year, COVID-19 restrictions prohibited students from attending school on campus. Unfortunately, due to the lack of internet access and connectivity, FOREFRONT had to put tremendous effort into making sure its first-year students did not fall behind in the curriculum. At the same time, FOREFRONT teachers and staff noticed that many entering students were already behind where they should have been in their educational knowledge. The reason for this is that many students have not attended school previously due to the lack of primary schools in the area before FOREFRONT school was formed. This demonstrates the importance of the school’s location in providing access to education to those who had none.

Because of the focus on foundational education in literacy, math, and other core subjects, students demonstrated growth in knowledge and behavioral maturity. This includes teaching on even the most rudimentary skills like how to hold a pencil and recognize numbers. Students who previously did not know the alphabet, now know how to spell their names, pronounce, recognize and write. Further, FOREFRONT teachers focused on improving student’s classroom behavior since most students had little to no previous experience in school. As a result, FOREFRONT teachers and staff reported improvement in children’s behavior, motor skills, and respect in the classroom. Even more, children are slow to want to go back home because they are enjoying their classes so much.

FOREFRONT student learning the English alphabet
FOREFRONT student learning the English alphabet
FOREFRONT School exterior
FOREFRONT School exterior
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Completed School
Completed School

FOREFRONT School Education Project Report

October 17, 2020 (FY20 Q3)

FOREFRONT’s progress toward the completion of its project is divided into two axes: construction/architecture and education. Together, excellent implementation in these two areas will make FOREFRONT School a high-quality educational opportunity for children in rural India who otherwise lack access.

Architecture

Construction of FOREFRONT elementary school is officially completed! Over the past quarter, final touches were placed on the entryway and the utilities so that the school can be fully operational. Further, FOREFRONT purchased furniture for the classrooms that will house its first class of kindergarten students. The furniture was arranged to allow for social distancing in accordance with local COVID-19 regulations. Please see pictures of the final school and classrooms attached. 

Education

During this quarter, FOREFRONT also finished hiring the teaching staff who will educate and care for its first class of students. FOREFRONT hired Divya Sunny Mulupuri as the Lead Teacher of the elementary school’s inaugural class. Margaret D’Silva as an Associate Teacher. Both Divya and Margaret have a passion for the education of women and girls and bring over 5 years of combined experience to FOREFRONT school. From Oct 5, 2020 to Oct 9, 2020, FOREFRONT provided training and professional development for these teachers, led by School Administrator Lucy Yashoda. During this training, teachers were familiarized with the operations and structure of FOREFRONT school and the curriculum they will be using for the school year.

FOREFRONT also continued to carry out recruitment of its first class of students in the villages and communities surrounding Kolluru. FOREFRONT received over 80 applications and has officially accepted 21 students to date. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, FOREFRONT school will only be able to accommodate six students at a time to attend in person. As a result, FOREFRONT will open two slots per day, morning and afternoon and place students into small rotation groups  to maximize the instruction provided to the children. 



Lead Teacher - Divya
Lead Teacher - Divya
Associate Teacher - Margaret
Associate Teacher - Margaret
Teacher Training 1
Teacher Training 1
Teacher Training 2
Teacher Training 2
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External Photo
External Photo

FOREFRONT School Education Project Report

June 24, 2020 (FY20 Q2)

 

FOREFRONT’s progress toward the completion of its project is divided into two axes: construction/architecture and education. Together, excellent implementation in these two areas will make FOREFRONT School a high-quality educational opportunity for children in rural India who otherwise lack access.

 

Architecture

This reporting period, FOREFRONT School was largely completed with only additional utilities and annexes remaining to finish ahead of the target launch in August 2020. Attached you will find pictures of the completed building and the near completed entryway into the complex. Over the past three months, the entrance path, all floors, school gate, doors, stairwell with rails, and bathrooms were completed. This marks the achievement of a  key milestone in FOREFRONT’s education project.

 

 Education

During this quarter, FOREFRONT’s education team hired a school administrator who will manage the operations of FOREFRONT School. The hired administrator’s name is Lucy Yashoda and has over 20 years of experience in school management, administration and education. FOREFRONT is very excited to have Lucy as an “on the ground” advocate and manager of the school.

 

FOREFRONT has also continued principal recruitment and interviews of teacher candidates for the inaugural class of 40 students. This included putting up job postings and collecting and analyzing resumes of candidates. The Education program team interviewed over 40 candidates over the past three months. FOREFRONT is seeking two teachers, one leads and one assistant, for the initial group of 40 students. Finally, FOREFRONT has continued recruitment and advertisement for students to be part of the inaugural class at FOREFRONT School. Local FOREFRONT volunteers distributed fliers and informational packages to families in nearby villages to raise awareness of the school and persuade parents to apply for their child’s enrollment. To date, FOREFRONT has received just over 40 student applications which will be reviewed in the upcoming reporting period.

School Room
School Room
School Entryway
School Entryway
School Gate
School Gate
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Organization Information

FOREFRONT Charity

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @goforefront
Project Leader:
Matthew Oh
New York, NY United States
$63,685 raised of $120,000 goal
 
807 donations
$56,315 to go
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