Friday 21 June 2013

Pratham Books Champion : Saakshi Kapoor Singla

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.

This story was sent to us by Saakshi Kapoor Singla.

September 8 was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO on November 17, 1965. It was first celebrated in 1966. Pratham Books was celebrating the same on 8th September throughout India by giving many people like me a chance to become a Pratham Books Champion to encourage literacy. Celebrations take place around the world every year, but before getting an invite from Pratham Books this year; I sadly had never given it so much thought.

It felt great to be one of the 250 + Champions all over India, reading the same book Susheela’s Kolam, today to so many children. Bal Niketan, a primary school where I conducted the story telling sessions is run in a temple in sector 37, Noida. It is managed by Mrs. Usha Agawam who has given both financial aid and her precious time to help the school grow to strength of 270 children from economically weaker sections of society. Hats Off to her spirit and the work she is doing. I conducted four separate sessions for children from grade I – V. It was refreshing to see the children exhibiting so much interest and willingness to learn. The children did an activity of drawing and colouring Rangoli and Kolam Patterns on paper after the story telling session. And God! Their drawings and patterns were really beautiful. The school did not have enough space to do the patterns on the floor but the children promised to practice the designs on the floor at home and make them during Diwali. The children knew about most of the festivals but were not aware of Pongal and tradition of making Kolams. They were so inquisitive that we had an extended session where I ended up answering a lot of questions about the festival and Kolams.

The children really liked the book Susheela’s Kolams and I loved reciting it along with Mimi and Bhensa to all the 165 children in these classes. Thanks Pratham Books for the opportunity. I am so inspired that I am looking at setting up a library from my personal collection of book in this school and lend support in doing more story telling sessions there.

Thank you Saakshi 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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