Wednesday 24 September 2014

Pratham Books Champion : Shalini Garpha and Andrea

Shalini Garpha writes to us about the storytelling session that took place at the Government Primary School, Maiti, Dharamshala. Shalini Garpha is an ardent lover of children books (especially picture books). She also loves writing short stories and has penned two picture books and plans to publish them some day. Shalini is currently pursuing Masters in economics from Dharamshala.

Session conducted on : 6th September
Number of kids : 28
Number of sessions : 1
Language the session was conducted in : Hindi

For students of Government Primary School Maiti in Dharamshala, it was yet another regular day at school until they had a surprise waiting for them at 1:00 pm.

As Andrea and me, arrived with bag full of colorful chart papers, other stationary items and a story book with an eye catching illustrated cover, the kids soon realized­ today its more than just a regular day! Last year, I had volunteered for the International Literacy Day event as PBChamp alone, but this year it was with a fellow intern­ - Andrea from Spain. We both are working on the 'After School Program' project under Educare India­ - an NGO we were representing this time.

The event began with a warm up session ­ a light introduction by kids, telling their name and class.

To build a clear picture of the story we started with drawing the picture of India on board and then locating the village 'Anjarle' in Maharashtra, Western India, and Maiti in Himachal Pradesh, Nothern India. We used geographical location, difference in forests, animals, crops, dresses to help the kids in identifying similarities and differences with Takloo's life and culture. For them to listen a story of a farmer boy like them but from a different place was learning and informative of a different culture than theirs. The common thing between Takloo and them was they were all farmer kids. While Takloo's father did 'Kapaas' farming, when we asked the kids about what farming there parents did, they were quite prompt to tell its maize, different vegetables and mango.

With every twist in the story a lesson about important things in life was talked about and learned. We asked them what they would do with the salt if they faced a similar situation, they said they would it share with neighbors, gift it to friends but never waste or throw it. On being asked why, they all chorused­ 'Anaaj kabhi nai phenkte'!

With all the funny noise making and laughing and shy smiles, the story ended with applause and cheering. A quick round of question and answer from the story followed afterwards. Most had been alert throughout the story and when asked a question, some would raise both their hands­ a bit too eager to answer!

To make the event even more fun­filled, we had decided to help kids make some colorful hats for Takloo!

Kids introducing themselves
The story begins


Andrea with the kids
The kids putting in their best efforts : some confused, some cheating,
some trying to be the first one to do it
Takloo like kids showing off their hard work, while grinning endlessly!'

In the pictures are two new interns for the same project, Lea from France and Rachael from London, and also to help us with the event. They were amazed to see the kind of work Pratham Books is doing to spread literacy among the underprivileged kids.

While leaving, a few students ran towards us and one girl politely asked­ 'Madam ji, when will you come next time with a new story?'

Thank you Shalini and Andrea for spreading the joy of reading!

In its third edition of the 'One Day - One Story' campaign, Pratham Books was joined by 1300+ storytellers who conducted 1500+ storytelling sessions. More than a 1000 steps towards a 'Reading India'!

What started as a small step by Pratham Books to spread the joy of reading has become a movement. In 2012, Pratham Books initiated the One Day-One Story initiative on the occasion of International Literacy Day . We will be sharing the stories of all our volunteer storytellers (Pratham Books Champions) through our blog.

View more pictures from the International Literacy Day Celebrations held in 2014.

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 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 champions(at)prathambooks(dot)org.

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