From Textbooks to Treks: Adventures at Literacy India

Crafting Hope – Stitching Futures with Indha
June 19, 2024

From Textbooks to Treks: Adventures at Literacy India

Imagine a classroom where learning goes beyond textbooks and lectures—a place where students don’t just study subjects but live them. At Literacy India, we’re redefining education through experiential learning. This year, our students ventured into the heart of firefighting operations, gazed at distant planets through telescopes, and explored the inner workings of financial institutions. These immersive experiences aren’t just field trips; they’re transformative journeys that ignite curiosity and deepen understanding like never before.

These experiences are part of our project-based learning approach, where students don’t just read about subjects but experience them firsthand. The excitement of observing Saturn through a telescope or understanding the bravery of firefighters enriches their knowledge beyond textbooks.

Celebrating “Ode to Earth” and World Environment Day

In April, Literacy India and Teleperformance hosted the “Ode to Earth” event, supporting the Pathshala 2.0 project. This initiative provides holistic education to marginalized children, including digital learning and pre-vocational training. Held on April 25, 2024, the event featured special guests Founder Captain Indraani Singh and Mr. Vinay Gupta. 

Highlights included:

  • 1st Prize (Vadodara): Raj and Shah Arbaz’s “Save the Earth” model.
  • 2nd Prize (Salkia): Vivek’s presentation on river pollution.
  • 3rd Prize (Mullahera): Priya, Sonali, and Sonakshi’s role play on environmental neglect.
  • 3rd. Prize (Chhawla): Mantasha, Deena, and Karishma’s 3Rs demonstration. In celebration of World Environment Day, our centers organized a range of activities to engage and educate students about environmental preservation. These activities included poster making, tree planting drives, and painting sessions with environmental themes.

Night Under the Stars: A Planetary Watch!

Imagine a night unlike any other, where the heavens aligned to reveal a spectacle not seen in nearly two decades. As we gazed skyward, mesmerized by the sequential alignment of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, our journey into the cosmos began. For the first time in 18 years, five planets — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn — were sequentially aligned and visible at dawn throughout this month. This rare event is known as a “planetary alignment” or “syzygy” when several planets in the Solar System appear to line up from Earth’s perspective. We stayed up all night for this special planetary watch event filled with night classes on space and astronomy. Our excitement peaked when we got to see the magnificent Saturn with its stunning rings and its largest moon, Titan. This event has sparked a passion for astronomy in students and encouraged them to explore and learn more about the wonders of space.

Soaring to New Heights: Air Traffic Control Tower Visit

Imagine standing at the edge of a bustling airport runway, where every flight is a symphony of precision and coordination. This was the scene as our students embarked on a thrilling journey to the Air Traffic Control Tower and Area Radar! Here, they delved into the intricate world of aviation, witnessing firsthand the orchestration that keeps our skies clear and safe. From deciphering air traffic control lingo to understanding radar systems, each moment was a revelation of the wonders that soar above us. Led by Capt. Indraani Singh, founder of Literacy India and a passionate aviator, this experience not only broadened their horizons but ignited dreams that reach for the skies. 

With wide-eyed wonder, they observed airline operations, the intricate workings of tower control, and the impressive radar systems. Our respectful and curious students asked insightful questions, learning about “vectoring” aircraft and ensuring “smooth landings.”

Igniting Minds at the Fire Station

Imagine a class of wide-eyed students standing in awe as they witness firsthand the heroic efforts of firefighters at their local station. This wasn’t just an educational visit; it was a journey of inspiration. The students, captivated by the bravery and dedication of these modern-day heroes, eagerly soaked in every detail—from the operation of fire extinguishers to the strategic use of specialized equipment like the Fireman’s Axe and Hook. One student, Ashu, summed up the experience perfectly: ‘The demonstration of using a fire extinguisher was truly eye-opening.’ As questions flew, curiosity sparked deeper into the workings of fire safety: What types of extinguishers are used for different fires? How do firefighters manage when water is scarce? These moments not only enriched their understanding but ignited a lasting respect for those who protect our communities every day.

Breaking Taboos: Menstrual Health Awareness

In collaboration with Ms. Abheesha Jain, author of “My Red Dot,” students engaged in a session on menstrual health, discussing hygiene, myths, and cycle tracking. Key topics included proper product use, cleanliness, disposal, cycle tracking, and debunking myths. Debunking myths stood out the most for 21st-century girls. Abheesha Jain, being a life coach, showed much positivity during her session. Harshita from Grade VIII shared how the session transformed her perspective. Previously shy about discussing menstruation, she now confidently talks to her mother and sisters, understanding her cycle better.

Bank visit: A journey into Financial Literacy

Imagine stepping into a world where numbers come alive and money moves with purpose. Our recent visit to the bank wasn’t just a field trip—it was a journey into the heart of financial management, where theory met practice, and students discovered the power of fiscal literacy firsthand. This experience, designed to complement their classroom learning, proved to be both informative and engaging. Students developed a greater appreciation for theimportance of financial planning and management.

Exploring the Post Office Network

Our students recently visited the local post office, where they learned about its vast network and history. The Indian Post Office, with its rich legacy, connects the remotest places in the country and also functions as a bank, encouraging small savings among the public. This visit provided students with a comprehensive understanding of the postal system’s role in communication and financial services.One student, Priya, shared her thoughts: “The visit was incredibly informative and engaging. I appreciated the hands-on learning experience with real-world banking operations and now feel more confident about managing personal finances.” Teachers noted how well the visit aligned with the curriculum and encouraged students to apply the knowledge gained in their daily lives and future studies. The visit was a perfect blend of theoretical learning and practical exposure, making financial education both accessible and interesting for the students.

Road Safety Session: Fostering Responsible Road Users

Picture this: a group of eager students, their eyes glued to the screen as they watch gripping real-life scenarios unfold on the road. In our recent road safety session, these scenes weren’t just entertainment—they were powerful tools that transformed how our students perceive and navigate their daily journeys. Through interactive videos, hands-on demonstrations, and candid discussions, we didn’t just teach traffic rules; we immersed them in the realities of road safety. The impact was profound, empowering each participant with skills to navigate roads confidently and responsibly.

This session significantly deepened their understanding of traffic rules and the importance of road safety measures. The learning outcomes were substantial, with students gaining an enhanced understanding of road signs and signals, improved knowledge of pedestrian and cyclist safety, greater awareness of the importance of seat belts and helmets, and the ability to identify and respond to common road hazards. One student shared, “The real-life case studies were particularly impactful and made the learning experience memorable and relevant. I now feel more confident navigating road environments safely.”

Insights from the Police Station

During a recent survey at the local police station, students from our Bhatti Minse center observed daily routines, engaged in discussions with officers, and learned about the challenges in maintaining public safety. They noted the importance of community-police relationships and the efforts made to ensure fairness and justice. This eye-opening experience broadened their understanding of civic duties and inspired some to consider careers in public service. The students expressed their gratitude to the officers for sharing valuable insights about the police force.

Understanding Healthcare at Dispensary

Students also visited a government dispensary, where they interacted with medical staff and observed the distribution of medications. They learned about the dispensary’s role in addressing common health issues and identified challenges such as supply shortages and overcrowding. This experience highlighted the importance of accessible healthcare and fostered a deeper appreciation for healthcare workers. Students asked the doctor questions about the education required to become a doctor, how she manages her workload, and the common illnesses she encounters. Through this interaction, they gained insight into the significant role of doctors in our lives.

Defying Despair with Positive Attitude – The Unstoppable Rise of Mr. Srikanth Bolla

Mr. Srikanth Bolla’s visit was truly inspirational, showcasing how a positive attitude can defy despair. Curious youngsters from Literacy India’s centers and Blind School-Jaipur asked Mr. Srikanth about overcoming obstacles and maintaining a positive mindset. He encouraged them to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. MIT’s first international blind student, Mr. Srikanth founded the Samanvai Center for Children with Multiple Disabilities and a Braille library. Returning to India, he founded Bollant Industries, which manufactures eco-friendly products and employs disabled individuals.

Mr. Srikanth also passionately discussed his vision for an inclusive world, creating opportunities for disabled individuals, aligning with Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s Lead India 2020 initiative.  His extraordinary life story, now immortalized in a biopic starring Rajkummar Rao, captures his struggles and triumphs, promising to inspire countless others.

Yoga Day: Inspiring Learning Through Action!

Our centres have been bustling with energy despite the unpredictable June weather! At Literacy India, we believe in “learning by doing,” a method that imprints knowledge for a lifetime.This month, we emphasized the importance of Yoga for our growing children, teaching them its benefits for both mind and body.

Highlights from our Centres:

-Salkia, Kolkata: Students practiced Yoga poses, focusing on flexibility and breathing exercises.

-Chingrighata: Kids engaged in fun Yoga sessions with their teachers, enhancing their concentration and relaxation skills.

-Sarbari, Raghunathpur: Our young learners enjoyed interactive Yoga classes promoting physical and mental health.

– Village Jharna, Jharkhand: Enthusiastic participants learned the basics of Yoga, fostering a sense of calm and mindfulness.

The Silent Spectacle  – Young Mimes, Big Impact!

Who needs words when expressions paint a thousand pictures? At LITERACY INDIA, we believe that ‘Mime’ in education ignites creativity, enhances nonverbal communication, and empowers emotional expression, transforming students into powerful storytellers without words. The children of Literacy India’s Shahpur and Bijwasan Centres competed in an epic Mime Competition, masterfully directed by our Theatre Facilitators, Mr. Rajeev Sharma and Ms. Chaand Mukherjee. These young mime maestros didn’t just break the silence; they obliterated it with performances that spoke volumes!  Their acts tackled crucial topics like the environment and water conservation, highlighting pressing issues. The creativity, emotion, and teamwork displayed were truly inspiring. Commemorating World Music Day, we transformed silence into a powerful symphony of expressions.

Haryana State Sub-Junior/Senior Kurash Championship 2024-25

We are thrilled to announce the successful conclusion of the Haryana State Sub-Junior/Senior Kurash Championship 2024-25, held on June 22-23, 2024, at S.D. Modal School, Nissing (Karnal). This event, organized by the Karnal Kurash Association and affiliated with the Haryana Kurash Association and Haryana Olympic Association, showcased the incredible talent and dedication of our young athletes.

Congratulations to our gold medalists: Ragini, Anchal, Vanshika Kataria, Ridhi, Disha Yadav, Anshika, Vihaan Kataria, and Nishant Rana. Silver medalists Laxman and Aman Kumar Yadav, and bronze medalists Khushi, Naitik, Ashish, and Piyush Lamba also delivered outstanding performances.

Solstice Science: Understanding the Longest Day of the Year

On June 27, 2024, a virtual presentation and discussion on the “Summer Solstice Event” was held from 8 am to 9 am, with students from Vidyapeeth, Delhi NCR, Jharna, Pratappur, Salkia, and Chingrighata participating. Vidyapeeth students explained solstices, equinoxes, and seasons using a PPT, working model, and chart, all prepared under their teachers’ guidance. They clearly detailed Earth’s movement, tilt, position, and the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. A lively Q&A session followed, with students enthusiastically participating and exploring new concepts. The session was highly successful, sparking interest in future discussions. Students posed questions such as Why do the dates of solstices and equinoxes vary? What is the Distance between Earth and the sun during solstices and equinoxes?

Laughter Day Celebration: Spreading Joy and Why It Matters

Recently, we celebrated Laughter Day with great enthusiasm and purpose. Laughter Day, observed globally, reminds us of the profound benefits of laughter in our lives. At our event, students enthusiastically participated in the laughter challenge, showcasing their comedic talents and spreading infectious joy. Our Shahpur centre students won the challenge, promoting the importance of laughter in relieving stress, improving health, and fostering a positive outlook. The event encouraged people to find humour even in challenging times, promoting mental well-being and building community spirit. Through activities like the laughter challenge, students demonstrated how laughter can uplift spirits and create memorable moments.

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