Archive for the ‘Schools’ Category

Encouraging Sports Dreams

Sports is a way of life in RDF schools. Children look forward to the Sports classes, with more and more children engaging in various sports like athletics, volleyball, kho-kho, kabaddi, martial arts, badminton, fencing, archery and even yoga! Over the years, several RDF children have won at district, state, national and international level competitions. We are grateful to our Physical Education Teachers who are dedicated to developing our students’ skills in various sports.

Sreeja, in her Class 4 classroom

Sreeja, with (L) school PET & (R) Asst. Headmaster

Ch. Sreeja is a Class 4 student from Matendla School who recently cleared the District level selection for enrolment in a State run sports school. These schools provide academic and focused sports coaching, helping students build a career in sports, which open up many work opportunities for them.  Like all RDF students, Sreeja comes from a financially poor family. Her father is a lorry driver and her mother works as a labourers. She has practices very hard under the supervision of the school’s PET, before and after school, in order to do well in the selections. Each student’s achievement strongly motivates other students to also put in effort, practice and accomplish their personal sports goals.

We pray that Sreeja continues to do well and obtain a seat in the Government residential sports school.

Advertisements

Self Care

The ability to look after ourselves is also a life skill. Having a clean living environment by taking care of our surroundings definitely not the domain of just women! When the boys from the RDF VAPV Junior College returned to their hostel after the summer vacation, they found that the heat and rains had taken a toll, with dust and peeling paint on the wall. The rooms definitely needed sprucing up!

They took the praiseworthy initiative to clean and repaint the room by themselves and did not ask for any external help in order to do so. It was also great to see them collaborate and self organise themselves into groups in order to tackle the tast efficiently – again, life skills that are very much required. It is very heartening to see that RDF children took this initiative. This is a skill that comes in handy when anybody moves to a new location.

The Right Values

RDF prides itself on the excellent value based education system that forms the fabric of its schools. While academic education certainly has its place, RDF has made tremendous effort to inculcate life skills in its students, placing a lot of value on human relationships.

Cheran (R), feeding Josh

Cheran is 11 years old and studies in Class 6 in Redlawada School. He likes being in school and engages well academically and in extracurricular activities too. He is a natural helper and is always eager to assist. Recently, his younger brother, Josh, injured 2 fingers on his right hand and needed help with everyday tasks. It was big brother, Cheran, who took it upon himself to help Josh as much as he could.

It’s beautiful to see the emphasis on family values in our students. Seeing care in relationships and acts of kindness sets the right example for our students. Social responsibility starts with our personal lives first and then flows in our outer world. In this consumerist world, we hope these are the right values that will enable students to balance all aspects of their lives.

Not Just Recycling Paper!

Running an NGO is very gratifying work, but it comes with its own challenges as well, primarily in the area of costs to keep the schools running. We are very blessed, that over 2 decades, we’ve had many individuals and organisations joining hands with us, to provide high quality and holistic education to rural children.

However, this story is an acknowledgement about how much our school teams also do, in order to cover part of their operating costs or reduce it. One method employed by Matendla School is recycling text books. Students are instructed to look after the text books carefully, so that the same books can be used the following year. This practice has been working well for the past 4 years. In addition to this, well preserved books look lovely with nice covers on them! The children and staff collect newspapers or old covers to be reused. Just before schools reopened this year, the Primary School teachers did an excellent job of collecting old covers and covering all the textbooks for classes KG to 5!

Small drops make an ocean and in this way, every effort made by the schools to look after some of their operating costs goes a long way. Since the schools run transparently, it’s also a great way for the students to become involved in such practices. By being involved at this fundamental level, the knowledge and learning is retained – another step to creating a wholesome learning environment in our schools!

 

Sports Spotting!

Fighting fit!

10 years ago, Redlawada School was a small school, with many classes conducted under the comforting shade of the massive tamarind tree. While there was time to play and engage in physical activities, it has only been in the last few years, with the infrastructure development in the school, that we have seen the school’s sports accomplishments improve and increase. While earlier, Kalleda and Matendla schools were literally ‘running away’ with the medals in mandal and district level competitions, it makes us so happy to see Redlawada School making its mark in the sports arena too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 students participated in the Sub-Junior Taekwondo State level competition in Tandoor. With their daily before and after school practice sessions, we are really proud that they won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals! The school is expanding its sports repertoire too and now the kids are learning fencing, martial arts, yoga, in addition to athletics, volleyball, kho-kho and kabaddi. As part of their focus on building physical stamina and sharpen mental abilities through sports, special training sessions are conducted from 5-6:30 am and again from 6-7:30pm. The effort put in not just by the Physical Education Teacher, but by the entire staff to ensure interest in these sessions is admirable. The children who choose these sessions are also very excited to hone their abilities. They show up daily, determined and sincere to practice. They feel good, as do we, so it’s a win-win for everyone!

Skilling for Life

A session in progress with an SF volunteer at Global Edge School

India has a startling statistic which is that it churns out the highest number of unemployable graduates each year! Rote based education, intense academic focus and little time invested in skill or vocational development is the root cause for this. Children in rural India also have it tougher than their urban counterparts due to poorer infrastructure and little done to develop teachers. However, the story in RDF schools is very different. We are cognizant of this reality of rural education, hence have put in intense effort for over 2 decades to ensure well trained staff and attending to the holistic development of the children, going beyond academic achievements.

Fully engaged!

India’s graduates need employable skills. For rural children, English is paramount, given that it’s not present in the learning environment. Communication, team building, dealing with conflict, cultural differences are other skill areas that we also pay attention to. We feel blessed that we have partners and supports who understand these constraints and customize skilling programmes for our staff and students.

Focused discussion

As part of English Communication Improvement and Personality Development programmes, our students attend a Summer Camp at Global Edge International School, Hyderabad, conducted by Synchrony Financial. This year 42 students came to Hyderabad for this camp. The children had a lot of fun with the Synchrony team who created interesting activities in English focusing on LSRW skills. They also had music and yoga classes. With so much fun and much to do, the 1 month training flew!

We are immensely grateful to the Global Edge team for not only providing the venue each year, but also providing accommodation and drinking water to the participants this year and of course, the Synchrony volunteers for caring about the future of our students and providing them with great activities to groom them for success. RDF has sustained itself for 23 years because of the committed support of such partners.

 

Help for our Feathered Friends

The education curriculum at RDF schools goes far beyond classroom education. Being socially responsible citizens is taught to RDF children from a young age and this expresses itself in various forms that have a positive impact on the local community too.

With summer temperatures soaring, animals and birds bear the brunt of harsh summers even more than humans. The scarcity of water takes its toll on our feathered and furry friends too!

Rollakal School students and teachers felt bad seeing birds flying in search of water and decided to do something to protect them from the heat. They have made water bowls from recycled jerry cans and hung them in the branches of mango trees in the school grounds. The kitchen staff, students and staff always check the water bowls, replenishing them with clean water.

Now they are delighted to see various birds flocking to the bowls to quench their thirst!