Archive for the ‘RDF Kalleda School’ Category

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!

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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.

Cultivating our Cultural Identity

RDF’s holistic system of education is future oriented by creating a school environment and processes dedicated to nurturing students and giving them the skills and tools that can enable them to procure good jobs and help their families out of poverty stricken lives. At the same time, the local culture and traditions are also nurtured, with students enthusiastically participating in local festivals and keep traditional games alive. Another avenue to understand our past is also through exploring mythology, religion and the Bhagavath Geetha.

A group of 8 students from Class 9 from Kalleda School were interested in learning and understand this holy Hindu scripture, hence learnt slokas from the Bhagavath Geetha for 2 months, practicing daily for half an hour, after school hours. Their dedication and interest was admirable. They participated in the Mandal level Bhagavath Geetha Parayanam and essay writing compition. 3 students won 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize and have been selected to participate in the District level competition. Learning slokas is no mean task and these young ones learnt 24 slokas and their summaries! They said they felt very happy to learn the slokas and get a closer understanding of their meaning and context and our rich past.

The kids are certainly an inspiration in the school, not just due to their achievements, but also through their perseverance in learning about the Holy Geetha and attempt to understand it’s importance in our lives. Though they faced problems with pronunciation initially, their hard work paid off!  In this way, the school is playing a significant role in creating awareness about our tradition, culture and ethics and creating a bridge between the past and the future!

The Importance of Voting

It’s election time in India and as  a part of the ‘Continuous Comprehensive Assessment’ programme, Kalleda School conducted a message oriented activity on ‘Awareness on the Importance of Voting’.

The kids took up a campaign in their community in order to drive home the importance of voting. They urged them, saying, “Your vote is your choice to elect the public representative. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain. The power to change our country starts with you single vote.” The main aim of the campaign was to achieve 100% voting in their local communities.

The kids, passionate about creating change, motivated everyone to utilize their vote to elect the right public representative and vote for their progress and development. A group of students also enacted a drama on the voting system! Together, they made an oath to cast their vote, ending with a chant of ‘Vote to Change the Future’.

It is amazing how conversant the students are on social issues and have the passion to create change. It shows a willingness to engage with issues that affect them and create solutions, in their own way, that address the problem – in this case, casting their vote and thinking about how to develop the villages. Well done, teachers and students of Kalleda School on taking up such an important issue and taking the steps to create change!

A Good Report Card!

Official visits from Government education officers is part of the regular review process that has been put in place by the local government. The local RDF schools pride themselves on the strong network of relationships that have been built over the past 20 years, linking rural communities with their local government officials.

Kalleda School was agog with excitement for the visit of Mandal Education Officer (MEO), Mr. Sathya Narayana. He started his visit with meeting the little ones from LKG and UKG, with the kids answering his questions very readily and confidently, which impressed him a lot! He observed the English and Computer Lab activities, greatly admiring the effort put in by the teachers and students in developing these activities. He also met with Class 10 students, motivating them to work hard for the exams and giving them some career advice. He checked the admin records and felt happy with the education system and methods put meticulously into place by the school team.

The school is proud that its work has been recognized not just in the villages but by the local officials too. We are also proud of the service oriented nature of each and every staff member to make the school a beacon of quality education, an institution admired and loved by all!

Saying bye to plastic!

Plastic is everywhere! It’s use has become so common that most people do not even think about using it. People are not aware of the harmful effect of plastic on the environment, on human and animals. Plastic refuse takes hundreds of years to decompose and is toxic. Kalleda High School children were getting perturbed by the use of plastic in their school and junior college premises. Since RDF institutions pride themselves on being green and building environmentally sound practices, the students decided that plastic use had to end!

With that determination, the students started with discussing this with the non teaching staff. They showed them alternatives to plastic such as using paper, cloth or jute bags. They also recommended that they carry their own cloth bags and saying ‘no’ to plastic or polythene bags that are unthinkingly handed over in shops. The discussion led to a life changing decision for everyone present – the  non teaching staff made a vow to stop using plastic in their homes and at work and together they made a vow to make the school plastic free!

We are thrilled with the motivation that these young students were able to provide and take it a step further by banning plastic in all forms in their school! We are sure that this energy will provide them with the momentum to make positive changes in their villages too. After all, big change starts with small changes at the individual level. We hope this becomes a community effort to make our rural communities environmentally safe and plastic free!