Friday 21 June 2013

Pratham Books : Priyadarshani Sharma

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.

Priyadarshani Sharma shared this story on her blog.

Session conducted on 8th September, 2012

A single book…a thousand smiles!

My friends and I had a most inspiring day today! It all started with my ramblings on twitter when I came across a tweet on my timeline about Pratham Books and the book reading drive they want to conduct on 8th September 2012, World Literacy Day. There was no looking back after that. The team at Pratham Books was quick to respond to my query and helped me put together this beautiful experience. A special thanks to my husband Ankit, son Siddharth and friends Shilpa Neha & Anoop for lending their support.

I approached Maharashtra Vidyalaya in Goregaon west, Mumbai, for conducting the session and the teachers were more than happy to have us among the reading out a story to their children. Then it was 
a mad rush to create cut-outs of characters from the book, create Kolam designs for children to colour 
and arrange for a Marathi version of the book as the children are more comfortable with the language. 
We chose standards 1st and 2nd for the readings.

The teachers started by explaining the kids how it is important to believe in their passion and taking it to 
unseen heights. Then the story began and the children sat mesmerized as they heard about Susheela’s 
adventures with her lovely Kolams. All this while I could see sparkle in their tiny eyes about their own dreams and untold passions. As the teacher interacted with them we found the kids sharing their own 
ideas of where Susheela will draw her next Kolam.

After the reading the children spent a wonderful time decorating their own Kolams with beautiful colours. Suddenly the group came alive with excited chatter of which colours to use and how to make the Kolams as beautiful as that of Susheela.

After the colouring, the kids proudly showed-off their creations! It was magical how brightly colored Kolams transformed a class into a kaleidoscope of infinite imagination!

The teachers were so thrilled with the response from the children that they now want us to select more 
stories and include more classes (3rd and 4th) next time. We are so inspired by this that we now plan to take this up as a regular activity and approach many more children and spread the joy of reading stories to as many children as possible.

Thanks Pratham Books!


Update : Priyadarshini also sent us another mail saying ...
This has been a whirlwind 2 weeks for me and all started from the time I came in contact with Pratham Books and your drive for Susheela's Kolam. Since then I have done 4 more book readings at my son's school and have requests for atleast 2 more in different schools. All this is thanks to you all!

From Priyadarshini's blog:

We had the awesome-est time with kids from The Thakur International School. The enthusiasm and exuberance of the kids was infectious and kept energizing us as we went from one class to another spreading joy and making new friends. Both Susheela and Ambili connected with our young audience immediately. While Susheela’s Kolam brought colourful delights, the story of Ambili and her encounter with Maakdi, the frog, got the children ticklish and giggling all over!

Nursery, KG and Prep – Susheela’s Kolam
The children’s imagination knew no bounds as they contributed enthusiastically in Shusheela’s quest for new canvases to draw her Kolams. Their mothers will have a hard time restraining their creative hands now for sure!
After the story the children created their own beautiful Kolams with lovely colours.
Standard 1st & 2nd
We introduced the kids to Ambili and saw the wonderous curiosity in their eyes as they waited to hear about her adventures. They giggled at her silliness and joked about how Maakadi the frog was fooling her. They jumped and hopped just like Ambili did with the frogs in the rain! The kids shared their own experiences about how they dance and play in the rains and love to get all wet and muddy…what a splashy-splashy day we had! After we shared our experiences we all coloured our own Ambili in interesting patterns just like little Ambili from the story. 
The school gave us a sweet token. As we watched the kids enjoying the stories we were reminded of a simple fact…there is no age for innocence!
Thank you Priyadarshini 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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