Archive for the ‘Art & Craft’ Category

Immersion in New Traditions

Vinayak Chaturthi is a huge festival across the length and breadth of India; celebrated in a multitude of ways by the ardent followers of Lord Ganesha.

In recent years, there has been widespread coverage on the damage done to river systems and other water bodies due to the immersion of POP idols. Sadly, many people continue this ritual despite the sustainable alternative of using clay being easily available. At the same time, we are happy to see many groups using clay idols to venerate Lord Ganesha.

RDF schools have been making clay idols for 10 years, including getting the larger community involved. This year, the students and staff made clay idols together and distribute these idols to villagers. The children, as in previous years, with the strong belief and desire to make sustainable changes, went around surrounding villages to motive villagers to only use clay idols.

It was amazing to see the dexterity with which the kids shaped and moulded the idols and the enthusiasm with which they approached their elders and community to become more aware and conscious citizens, rather than blindly follow rituals. They were able to convert those resistant to the idea of making such a change. Such is the power of belief and conviction for the greater good of society!

On the day of the immersion, the children sang many songs and performed traditional dances on the festive journey to immerse their idols in the local lake and tank. We have seen the positive impact these efforts have brought in the lives of staff and children – right from understanding their role in protecting the environment, to team work and rallying people to a just cause, to using their creative and artistic abilities to fashion beautiful clay idols and seeing the outcome of their positive attitude on the larger community. These real life experiences and skills cannot be learnt in a classroom – they come from engaging and empowering individuals to ‘be the change they want to see in the world’!

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Conscious Creativity

Creative ideas are burgeoning in RDF Rollakal School! The students who are learning in an environment that encourages freedom and creative self expression are exploring various artistic mediums in order to channelize their creative spark.

The urge to be creative and feel self expressed in doing so is a very natural human urge. Many schools,  in their pursuit of academics and examinations, tend to have a low priority for artistic endeavours. However, in RDF schools, we realize that an enriching environment is not just one with a high quality of academic focus, it is also watching out for children’s natural curiousity, their innate talent and providing them the environment and encouragement to delve in artistic endeavours such as art, craft, singing, dancing, writing, experimenting – any manner which enthuses their spirit!

Theatre Thursday has been put together by students who are interested in the medium of theatre to explore socially relevant issues. For these kids, the exploration is not just about acting; it is about using the medium of act as visual storytelling in order to highlight issues in our society that is relevant to their lives. The idea/theme, the story creating, dialogue writing, direction and acting is managed entirely by the students! It just goes to show the deep level of interest they have in their social reality and bringing it to light through a thoughtful play. Some of the themes enacted recently have been Jealousy, Greed, Anger, Failure & Disappointment. These are real emotions – reality the students and their families experience; therefore, it is very empowering for them to explore this and work out solutions using theatre. We are very proud of their imagination and effort!

Another student, Pravalika, who is studying in Class 8, has always been artistically inclined. Over the past few months, she has been very interested in working with paper to explore her own creative ideas. Of course, she has been encouraged in this new found interest by the school and her teachers. She has now made several beautiful paper creations that are on display in the school. So pretty are her designs, with an amazing level of dexterity, that other children also want to learn from her!

Both these cases go to show that when treated with care and encouragement, students bring out the best in themselves. RDF staff make a very conscious effort to understand student’s needs and provide them with the means required to bring their creativity to the fore. This is what builds self esteem, self confidence and a feeling of empowerment – essential life skills in today’s world.

Celebrating the Environment

The young children of the Mandal Parishad Primary School showed their sensitivity towards environmental issues by independently planning and organizing a ‘Green Day’ in the school.

The HM addressing the audience on the importance of conservation

The day started with a special school assembly dedicated to the importance of living in harmony with nature and the detrimental effects of managing human consumerism which leads to trees and forests being felled. Then the students led an awareness march through the village of Bahadurapally, since community engagement is a serious social responsibility that is a cornerstone of all RDF’s work and has naturally been implemented in MPPS too.

Students engrossed in the drawing competition

The enterprise shown by the children was amazing – right from planning the entire day’s activities to executing themed events on the day such as an essay competition on ‘The Importance of Trees’ , student speeches on ‘Greening the Environment’, singing and art events.

The children also planted saplings throughout the campus, along with the teachers and have taken on the responsibility of looking after the plants. A prize distribution ceremony concluded the day, with the winners in the various contents and all students being commended for their effort.

We are very proud of this initiative and the commitment these young and aware leaders have shown on the importance of conservation!

Inspired to Innovate

Ishupriya, all of 7 years old, joined Redlawada School this year. Hailing from a poor agricultural family, her family would like a better future for young Ishupriya. A bright girl, Ishupriya loves coming to school and is interested in all subjects.

During project work with one of the teachers, D. Mamatha, the teacher encouraged Ishupriya of think of something she can make using everyday materials found at home. The teacher got her thinking about her life, her parent’s work and soon, she came up with the idea of making a small bullock cart with corn sticks. The teachers asked her not to use metal as a support ingredient for her bullock cart project. Ishupriya asked her father to get corn sticks from his farm. The teacher helped a little with the design and assembly, but overall, it was the young and eager student’s creation through and through!

The purpose of the project and bringing this story to our readers’ attention is that children are innately curious. However their thinking and creative capacities can get dulled with regular school work. The school and its teachers need to be responsible towards creating an active learning environment, in which students can thrive. When a teachers shows sensitivity and gently encourages, rather than berating, a child will blossom.

Mamatha teacher did exactly that for Ishupriya. She helped her tap into her own thinking and creative abilities, which produced this wonderful piece of craft!

 

The He’art’ of Learning

The Tech Mahindra Foundation sponsored Mandal Parishal Primary School, in partnership with RDF bring to you more fun, interesting and creative experiments from their school.

A student displaying her peacock made with recycled & waste materials

Experiential learning or ‘learning by doing’ is the best way to help children understand any subject or theme. The teachers decided to explore the theme of ‘Art’ with the students using discarded and waste materials. It started with reflection and discussion of how humans produce waste and how it degrades the environment. This led to the idea behind using waste material like papers, packaging boxes, discarded bottles, plastic etc for recycling. The teachers asked them to think about how these materials can be recycled and use their imagination and creativity to produce art from waste. That got them excited!

A lovely butterfly made from waste materials

During their discussion, the children got ideas to make toys. This is the beauty of encouraging children to reflect on their lives and ways of living and organically come up with ways in which such materials could be useful to them. Children and toys – the idea was perfect!

They made a peacock using scrap paper, designing them into the letters of the alphabet and joining them to get the body of the peacock. Then old plastic spoons were used to form the feathers. A beautiful and colourful butterfly was also fashioned in a similar way. Very soon, ideas were flowing about using old cardboard boxes, plastic bottles etc. Not only the teachers, but the kids too were thrilled with themselves, appreciating each others’ ideas and creativity to create wonderful items of art!

Future Artists and Upcoming Designers!

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge” ~ Albert Einstein

fiture-artists-1Creative expression finds its canvas in various forms – drawing pictures from a young age and learning traditional art forms like ‘rangoli’. The teachers at RDF Matendla School have been encouraging its young artist students and designers to let their imagination fly and create wonderful works of art!future-artists

upcoming-designers-1It’s no wonder then, that in such an encouraging environment, students are showing a lot of interest in drawing! The art that has been created by students of various ages has been very inspirational. Some students have even participated in District and State level art competitions. All the works of art are displayed proudly on the school bulletin boards and the young artists are commended in the school’s morning assembly too.

We are very proud of the efforts of all the teachers to help students explore their interest in various art forms and the students for their creative zeal and imagination!