Tuesday 25 June 2013

Pratham Books Champion : Medha Dixit

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.

Medha Dixit shared her story on her blog.

Books to the ceiling, books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!
How I need them! I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them – Andrew Lobel

The joy of reading is possibly one of the simplest yet greatest joys of life! Having taught for nearly a year and a half in a low income school in Mumbai, I’m well acquainted with the process of storytelling to young students with varying academic needs. When I first heard about the Pratham Book’s initiative to conduct storytelling sessions across the country, on the occasion of International Literacy Day, I found the idea very novel and appealing. What Pratham Books was looking for was a dedicated team of champions, with commitment and a deep love for children and books, to scale and execute the idea. Once I wrote to Pratham Books about my interest in being a champion, the team was extremely supportive and promptly dispatched a Pratham Books Flex Banner and a set of relevant books with simple and engaging stories.

On September 8, 2012, I read the book Susheela’s Kolams to my students. The story had beautiful illustrations and a very relatable Indian context. As I teach a primary grade, my students have very low attention spans ranging anywhere from 3 – 7 minutes. I started out by getting them all excited about the story and pulling them all in front of the class, closer to me, for better management and to be able to show them the illustrations. I introduced some key vocabulary words and explained the meaning of words such as kolam, pongal etc. to them. As I read the story to my students, they were completely captivated by the illustrations and words, and stopped me every now and then to share text-to-self connections.

After finishing the story, I asked if anyone wanted to share their connections in writing and gave post-it notes to the ones eager to share. I then gave all the students A4 size sheets and crayons, modeled drawing a kolam on the board by joining dots, and then asked them to get creative and draw away!

As the students started to draw, I happily went about clicking them at work. Some got really creative; a few simply copied my design, while still others doodled away sweet nothings. The early finishers asked me for the book and sat reading in a group, devouring the pages. The event was a huge success as was evident from the gleam in the children’s eyes and their beautiful art work. I hope to continue being a Pratham book’s champion and to spread the joy of reading!

Thank you Medha 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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