Our English Ever After programme at Navaprajna School…

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Our team of teachers spent many after-school hours at Navaprajna School, Marathalli, teaching the young learners how to read, write and speak English correctly and fluently.

Most of them loved our classes and had a lot of good things to say. We were, of course, delighted and simply had to share it with the rest of you 🙂

— Team Chippersage

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English Ever After — Chippersage in partnership with Agastya Foundation

We took our work to an all-new level when Agastya Foundation and Chippersage came together. Earlier our learners were only from urban private schools but post the association our work had expanded to schools in the interior, rural areas as well. Our medium of delivery had to be changed, so instead of using our software, we made videos which were tailored to encourage activity based learning as and when required.
We’ve always known the importance of English language for academic excellence. Students in the cities have ample scope to get tutored privately. However, children in the rural areas have very little choice. The tuition centers are very far, and they are expensive as well.

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In an attempt to address this problem, Agastya Foundation started the Operation Vasantha programme in Dharwad. It’s an after-school programme where Agastya has one volunteer in every center. Chippersage was involved in 10 villages. We had a volunteer teaching English for about 30 to 40 minutes in each center.
We took great care to train the volunteers so that they are able to effectively cater to the learning levels of the students.
Agastya Foundation also provided tabs where volunteers teach students letters, sounds, phonics, sight words etc., with the help of our software. We had a progression plan in place to make sure the classes run smoothly. From time to time, we also conducted observations and provided feedback.
In two months time, the children settled down nicely and slowly started picking up letters and sounds. They were able to learn sight words also and greetings as part of spoken English.
There were several challenges in executing this programme. One serious issue was transportation. The centers were all in the interiors of the villages and it was really difficult to get there. However, seeing improvement in children and the happiness of the parents, it’s all worth it.
 Madhu Sudan

A visit to Samridhdhi Trust School – Bridge Program (Nallurhalli)

The Nallurhalli school is a short drive away from our office. It was a bright, sunny day on 23rd December, and we decided to visit the school and spend time with some of our young learners. As soon as we reached the school premises we were greeted by a bunch of excited children who had all assembled for prayer and PT. After the usual recitals, followed by the National Anthem the children happily gathered around for a healthy serving of fruit and bread. Refills followed suit and once they had their fill, they went to their respective classrooms.

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Johnny, the teacher from Chippersage, got the kids to their feet and started the day with an action song to pump them up. Once recharged, the kids were more than happy to open their books. The class was split into two levels – level 2 and level 3. Johnny wrote a few sight words on the blackboard and read them aloud. The children then repeated after him. Once they got a hang of it, he asked children from level 2 to practice words for dictation and children from level 3 had to find the same words from their reader and copy sentences in their notebooks.

While the children were at it, I went around asking them meanings of words and if they understood what they were writing. They were all most comfortable with speaking in Hindi. Most children from level 3 could easily tell me the meaning of words like nest, flower, family, month etc. Most children from level 2 could read out words without much trouble. They also scored good numbers in the dictation. The serious study activity was followed with another action song, and it was time for a break.

A bunch of Montessori kids gathered around for a fun game of hula hoop, and I happily joined them and realised how hopeless I was at it, and what level of expertise they carried. I quietly retired and joined Johnny for a class with level 0.

The action song was more of a ritual, and again worked very well to get the children involved in the classroom. Johnny then chatted up with the children for a few minutes and started the session by bringing out the Smart Tile kit. He showed them letters and asked them to say it out loud. Some of them refused to answer, but there was a lively bunch of 4-5 who got most of the letters right. He then worked with both small and big letters, and most of them could identify those as well. Soon after the activity, they insisted on a break which meant another action song, of course.

After the action song, it was time for me to head back to the office, and it was indeed overwhelming to realise that most children out there have received enough help from us to be able to clear their entrance exams and join mainstream schools in the coming months. Another important fact is that no matter where they move in the country, their knowledge of the English language will help them continue their education as the medium of instruction across is primarily English.

— Mirnalini