Friday 21 June 2013

Pratham Books Champion : Abha Jain

For International Literacy Day (8th September), we had a dream - we wished that 100 people would volunteer to conduct storytelling sessions across the country. We ended up finding more than 250 champions to conduct storytelling sessions across the country. We will be sharing the stories of all our champions through our blog.

Abha Jain shared her story on her blog.

I have been a BIG fan of Pratham Books since the first time Starry Eyed gifted Cub a couple of them - The Monsoon Concert being one of them. I have a whole lot of them at home and Cub loves them as much. I also keep a stock for gifting and gave them as return gifts for Cub's birthday last year.

Last year, a couple of friends had done book reading for them on World Literacy Day and it sounded like a fun thing to do. So, when the chance came up again this year, I jumped at it... okay I was little hesitant, but I really wanted to do it So off went a mail to folks at Pratham and got an enthusiastic response from Maya, one of their team members. Soon, I had in my hands an envelope that had the book they had picked for this years reading (Susheela's Kolam), a couple of more books and a banner saying "Pratham Books Champion". Need I say, I was super excited.

the story telling starts! :)

M and me thought it would be best to do the reading in colony itself which is full of kids around Cub's age. We shot out a mail and kept it open for kids ideally aged between 4 - 7 years. Of course younger and older children were welcome. Around a dozen parents responded that they would send their kids over and we were set.

Kids also getting warmed up!

The D-day arrived and I would be kidding if I say, there were no butterflies! :) The kids arrived on time and some mothers stayed around too. I decided to start with one of our favourite Pratham Stories - The Annual haircut Day - a hilarious story about Sringeri Srinivas who cuts his hair only once a year. The kids responded to the narration and fun elements in the story and by now I was quite comfortable with this whole story telling business! :)

The picture always makes me smile! :)

I am also lot more at ease now! :)

Once the kids were in the groove, I started with Susheela's Kolam - a story about a little girl who loves drawing Kolams everywhere and how she gets them in sky! It was a short story and the kids were mighty excited answering questions about where else could she draw kolams. Since Kolam means rangoli and it also involved aerial acrobatics done by the Air Force, after the story was done, we showed the kids a video of an Aero-show - coloured smoke and all! :)

Watching the aerobatics video! 

Once that was done, two of the mothers did a Rangoli demo for the kids - one with stencil and another the join the dots variety. The kids filled colour in those and tried their hand at using stencils. The messing around done, kids got in and coloured printed rangoli designs with crayons. I loved seeing how beautifully they all coloured and with so much enthusiasm.

The talented l.adies! I cannot draw three dots in a line even. So, these women were my lifesavers! :)

The kids adding colour!

Cub looking at his stencil Rangoli!

Before we knew it, the time was up. Kids took their coloured sheets back home (some asked for extras to go home and colour). The mothers thanked us for an hour plus well spent. And me, I was happy to do something new and different from the usual. It was so much fun seeing kids have a good time and participating enthusiastically in every activity.
Sincerely colouring their paper rangolis! :)

Showing off finished work!

Here are a couple of video links of the story telling;

Thank you Abha for spreading the joy of reading!

View more pictures from the International Literacy Day Celebrations.

This blog contains stories sent in by all our champions. Browse through the blog for more stories. You can also go through the tags on the right side of the blog to find stories happening in your own city.

Note : If any of you want to be a Pratham Books Champion and join us on our journey of getting 'a book in every child's hand', write to us at web(at)prathambooks(dot)org.

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