Archive for the ‘RDF Kalleda School’ Category

Epic Learning!

Learning becomes meaningful and powerful when there is a context to it, especially if the urge to learn rises organically. Here is a beautiful note from the Class 9 students of Kalleda School about a recent field trip that ignited something surprising!

The Sloka singing group

“One day, we, studying in 9th class went to Shivalayam temple in our village. We listened to some Bhagavath Geetha slokas, we liked the tone, the way of singing and the melody of the slokas. It made our mind peaceful. Since then we have been curious to learn slokas.  We approached our in-charge and Telugu master and requested them to provide facilities to learn Bhagavath Geetha slokas.  They recognized our curiosity and helped us to learn slokas.  Every day we practiced an hour after school, with the help of audio and our Telugu master.  We learned 20 slokas with meaning and we can now sing them, with meaning.  We learned one slokam every week. Recently we participated in Mandal level Bhagavath Geetha slokas parayanam competition and won the first prize.  According to our forefathers, these slokas play when some once passed away but we thought that these slokas can play everywhere and on every occasion.  Now we are trying to sing 30 slokas to go to the next level.”

Learning a new language, in this case, Sanskrit, also ignites areas of the brain which lead to more creative development and expression. We admire their zest and confidence to express their opinion that sloka singing can be done on many occasions! We can feel the beauty of the students’ experience and the path that their curiosity is taking them.

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Supporting Sports

One of the cornerstones of RDF’s education philosophy is an emphasis on sports and games, which not only builds physical stamina and endurance, but also supports mental development. RDF students have been doing remarkably well in various sports disciplines like athletics, volleyball, archery, martial arts, kho-kho, kabaddi, fencing and yoga too! They’ve earned accolades right from the District level to National and International levels too! We are dedicated in our effort and commitment to identify children interested in sports and then training them in their chosen sport.

Sandeep, during college days

Doing well in their chosen sport, getting admission in sports schools and colleges is also a stepping stone to procuring Government jobs. The security of a job means an end to generations of living in poverty which is exactly what our vision constitutes. It gladdens our hearts every time a student secures a job – private or Government. Some become entrepreneurs too!

In the Army now!

Vemunuri Sandeep is a Kalleda School alumnus. His parents were farm labourers whom he helped during school holidays. The money earned by him helped ease the running of their house. He worked hard in order to put money aside for his graduation too. He was a volleyball star in school and his accomplishments got him into the Indian Army Technical Force under the sports quota in 2016. He is now posted in Pathankot, Punjab. Success stories like Sandeep’s provide tremendous inspiration to our students. It provides them with the motivation that with sincere effort and hard work, their goals and dreams can be accomplished too.

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.

 

Synchrony-sed English Development Efforts!

Learning English is remote, rural areas is a very challenging task. With Telugu being the native language and there being no usage of English in a child’s natural environment, a lot of effort is taken to implement English in RDF schools and teach it in ways that students are able to retain the new language skills that they’re learning.

We are very fortunate that the need to learn English in today’s global environment is understood by RDF’s supporters and that more effort is required to implement English in a rural school. One of our long term supporters has been Synchrony Financial who has helped us in innumerable ways for over 10 years! In order to help enhance English skills in our schools, Synchrony Financial set up an English Language lab 3 years ago in Kalleda School, equipped with computers, language software and electricity back up. This lab is changing the lives of the children and teachers through giving them access and exposure to innovative English enhancement programmes in a high quality facility!

Over the years, several employees and senior management have visited the school and most recently, the school was honoured to receive Mr. Ravi Kiran. He spent the day observing the work in the lab and was shown the lab maintenance registers. The children happily informed him on how much their English skills are improving through better grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and sentence formation. They told him they feel less inhibited and more confident about using English.

Mr. Ravi Kiran was pleased with this progress and reported feeling good that the lab is being used effectively by the school and his interaction showed that everyone is indeed getting better at expressing themselves in English!

 

 

 

Ushering in a New Era with a US trip!

L,R: Divya, Sumathi

We are so excited by 2 RDF students, Divya and Sumathi, of Class 10, Kalleda School, who have been selected to go to the USA for a Youth Exchange Study Programme! For the 1st time in RDF, our students have been selected for such a programme and understandably, everyone is excited!

This opportunity has been given by Synchrony Financial, that has been supporting RDF’s work for over a decade though annual summer camps, development workshops, setting up English and Computer labs in our schools and teacher development. Last year, RDF students were invited to their ‘Goals for Girls Leadership Summit Programme’ in Hyderabad that was facilitated by the Synchrony Financial USA team. Here, students learnt about life skills through the metaphor of playing football and actually learnt football to make it an experiential learning process. They learnt valuable skills like communication, teamwork, goal setting and dealing with life’s inevitable challenges through understanding the game of football – a unique experience for everyone!

During the programme, the students had to create a themed project and the 2 girls chose Recycling as their theme and made ‘Plasto Coolers’, a low cost cooling mechanism that can help rural communities during summer. The girls, looking at a real life problem thought inventively and came up with this project idea which impressed and inspired everyone. Based on this project, they were shortlisted for the US study programme and thereafter cleared 3 rounds of interviews too! Though they were nervous, they received a lot of support and encouragement from the Synchrony team and we are very grateful for that! From a pool of 40 hopefuls, for 2 rural girls to get selected is an absolute honour and a testament to their sincerity and fortitude to do well for themselves.

We wish Sumathi and Divya lots of luck for this amazing, new journey that they are embarking on. We know they will come back enriched and ready to pass on their learning to everyone!

Exciting Experiences!

Learning starts at the doorstep of the learner, literally! Real life, contextual learning is a key way for experiential learning to take place and this is a core focus in RDF schools.

RDF Kalleda School children from Class 4 were taken for a field trip to visit various public service institutions like the MRO (Mandal Revenue Officer), Police Station and Primary Health Centre. The children received clear information on the work done in these offices and their role in public service by the respective heads of these offices, as well as the teachers.

The children learnt about land surveys, issuance of ration cards and pension cards from the MRO; the duties of the police and law and order from the ASI at the local police station and finally, the head doctor at the Primary Health Centre explained the importance of health and hygiene for the people. In this way, it becomes easy for the children to understand key concepts in their textbooks.

RDF teachers love organizing such trips for their students and finding ways to take learning beyond the classroom. We are very proud of their efforts to provide meaningful education to these rural children and grateful to the public service officials to answer the students’ queries with patience!

Sailing towards your Goals

15 year old T. Ajay of Kalleda School has put his nose to the grindstone and worked extremely hard to get admission in Hakimpet Sports School. A student in the school from Class 1 – 4, he performed very well in sports, especially Kho-Kho and Athletics. The schools’ Physical Education Teacher noticed his interest and prowess and encouraged him.

With the support of the management and PET, Ajay participated in many competitions and eventually was selected in the Hakimpet  Sports School. While he is no longer a part of RDF, we continue to follow the progress of our alumni closely.

His main event in the school in ‘Sailing’. He participated in the International Junior ‘Sailing’ competition in Chennai and came in 6th place! We love to share stories like these with our current students to help them see the power of discipline, dedication and determination. Stories like Ajay’s provide tremendous inspiration to our rural children who can then believe that goals are achievable and dreams are possible. It also allows the local community to understand that there is more to education than academics and that talent and building skill in other areas can also help students achieve success.