December camp attended by 15 students. They learnt about physical theatre, wrote a script for the classic tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes” Ms.Prathima Rohini Rajasekaran, a children’s content writer and teacher taught the course.
This course is for peer educators spread over four weeks. The participants are all from local colleges, pursuing science degrees from liberal arts colleges. The course covers every day communication, and teaching science for middle/high school children. Most of the rural children and majority of the urban working class children go to Tamil medium schools. The schools are good, nonetheless, they are disadvantaged by not having enough English to pursue higher educational and professional degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The specialty of this course is to teach the peer educators through art. We insist in the importance of drawing skills. The course is designed by Dr.V.A.Vidya and in conjunction with science and math professors. Artist Babu teaches drawing, and perspectives in drawing. The first session of this course will end on the 9th March 2019. The first class was attended by 10 students and the second by 6 students. We will have make-up classes for those whomissed the second class so that the group will finish together.
16 February 2019
Prof.Venkatraman Krishnakumar teaching the children about preventing day zero. Prof.Krishnakumar teaches physics at Thiagarajar Arts College Madurai. For the children this happened to be the most relevant topic since the community is facing the danger of DAY ZERO. A new four track highway is being built through their villages and land holdings. This has taken away most of their water sources. The children from Parali and Thethampatti responded very beautifully and candidly.
3 February 2019
Music and Abhinaya class for the children from Parali. They learnt classical music and Bharathanatyam, from the students of Sri Satguru Sangeetha Vidyalayam, Madurai. The music was composed by Dr.Bharathi Mahadevan, a senior faculty from the same college, who teaches vocal. The kids were amazing….
Art class with Babu Kothandam. The children explored art and used crayons and fevicryl to do their art work. For all of them it was the first experience with a paint brush. They loved it
The children exploring computer and basic art work with the help of peer educators. Vinoth, one of our volunteer teacher explained about the functions of a computer. He had organized a good display of computer components and hardware. The children were assisted by 8 volunteers and therefore the learning was quick.
The proud group after finishing the painting. End of the day group photo. This intensive day camp for learning science, art, English language and computer was attended by 14 girls and 16 boys in the age group of 8 to 14
A grand finale after learning abhinaya, bhava and basic steps. The students, and their peer educators danced together
19 February 2019
Second session of the STEM language program for the peer educators. It was an intensive session of learning prepositions for scientific writing; special phrasal verbs and their equivalent in Tamil. The students worked on bringing out a good list of science and technology terms and apt translation in Tamil. We also worked on concept teaching, and the purpose of narration in a science class room.
23 February 2019
The follow up session for the Parali-Thethampatti children in art, dance, English language and computer. This time they learnt all the basic vocabulary for mathematics and some everyday words as well as body parts. They were very keen in picking up the pronunciation and the spelling. We covered 40 every day words and 40 mathematical terms.
Location : The AJ Trust is located in a quiet neighbourhood in the northern part of Madurai. The space is very congenial for group activities. Almost all the activities are held outdoors.
Transportation and Travel time:
The children were brought in a mini bus and it takes 30 minutes to commute between Parali Thethampatti and Madurai. This is the best thing to do to ensure girls’ participation. If the programs are conducted at their villages the girls are sent late for the classes or they attend only half a day of the class. The rest of the day they would be doing house chores. The exposure is good for both boys and girls.
Instructors and peer educators :
We are lucky to have Prof.David Blake Willis, one of our Academic Board Members. He was addressing the peer educators and volunteers. Drawing references and metaphors from Michele Obama’s book-Becoming.
Later Dr.V.A.Vidya explained the day’s tasks, goals and expectations. The peer educators and volunteers were excellent and understood their roles very clearly.
The student - teachers from Sri Satguru Sangeetha Vidyalayam who taught music and abhinaya
According to one of the dance teachers the children were very receptive, fearless and were keen listeners. Ms.Nivetha Mohan, being the senior dancer, led the team