Archive for the ‘RDF Matendla School’ Category

A Dash towards Creativity

Adarsh had never really seen himself as an artist, though he drew well. But his school, RDF Matendla School, with its focus on holistic development of children, encourages creativity in all shapes and forms such as music, art, craft, theatre, sports, teaching activities etc. So, we can see how Adarsh was influenced by the creative spirit surrounding him.

Using waste materials and recycling them to encourage sensitivity towards the environment is another strong focus area. Adarsh meshed the two and focused on designing showpieces from discarded material at home, starting with old wedding cards. With intense focus on the creative process, he designed a stunning showpiece which occupies pride of place in the school. The idea came from him and was encouraged by his teacher. To see his idea come to life really brought a leap in confidence for this quiet boy. The stunning design also inspired his peers who saw how an idea could be fleshed out to create a visually appealing design. It again brought home the point of recycling as much as we can and that everything can be put to good use!

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A Special Birthday

Blow candles, cut a birthday cake, play some games with friends and feast on good food either cooked or ordered in – sound familiar? It’s a routine birthday celebration! But RDF schools encourage its students and staff to think beyond themselves to celebrate their special day.

Smt. and Sree Sudarshan whose son, Harsha, studies in Matendla School, decided to do something special for his birthday. RDF actively promotes social awareness and youth initiatives across its schools, so his parents planned to show their respect for this planet and the environment on Harsha’s birthday. With the entire school watching and helping them, they planted 3 guava trees – to shower its blessings and fruits as it grows each year.

After all, the human species lives because of the resources of Mother Earth, so it was fitting that Harsha’s parents reciprocated this blessing by planting trees in the school. It also shows the regard that the parent community has for the school, so it was very touching for everyone present.

By witnessing such events, students understand not to take our planet for granted and have the social responsibility to do their bit to conserve it. It also made them understand the true importance of birthdays and to celebrate it in a much more special way, rather than the self indulgent way that its normally celebrated. The Headmaster of the school offered his heartfelt thanks to the parents on behalf of the entire school.

Teachers bagged it!!

It’s a unique quality when teachers put in effort in order for their students to feel at comfortable and happy in school. At RDF, we pride ourselves in creating an enriching and invigorating environment in our schools, which has come about due to our belief in a holistic and nurturing approach to education, which applies equally to teachers and students! Since the teachers feel cared for, its natural that they do the same for the students too.

A fun balancing act!

Fun in the playground

In Matendla School, teachers conducted a day full of surprise activities for the children. The only hint they gave them was to say, “Don’t bring your bags to school tomorrow!” The kids were agog with excitement! Mr. Rajireddy, a teacher in the school was put in charge to organise ‘funny games’ for Primary school. He spent several days planning and designing funny games, putting in a lot of effort! The students participated in the funny games amidst a lot of laughing, giggling and talking, which created a buzzing environment in the school!

For the High School children, the school conducted 3 different activites in Telugu, English and Maths. In Telugu and English, groups of students were given short story books, which they had to analyse and make interesting questions in an allocated time of 1 hour. Then the students had great fun posing their questions to one another. It was interesting that many students created questions that needed higher order thinking skills, rather than answers which could be easily found in the story. In the Maths round, the teachers conducted an MNS (Minimum Numerical Skills) test which was introduced by the Vandemataram Foundation. Again, the kids were very curious and solved the problems eagerly – a nice sight to see!

In this way, the team strives to create a positive impact for the children and the community. On this ‘no bag’ day, children were exposed to a variety of new information using interesting games and techniques. Every student enthusiastically participated in all the activities and they showed their prowess at problem solving and creative thinking!

Well done to all the teachers for inspiring the students to show their best and putting together a fun day of learning and play! In this way, RDF schools are always giving scope to children to learn new information and implementing it in their lives. Learning from textbooks and rote education are stifling to learning and creativity. Teachers seriously endeavour to go beyond textbooks and as an NGO, the schools are really working towards building each child’s innate interest, quality and talent!

Ripe for Skype!

Do you all recall the thrill of 1st using technology and being able to live call and chat with friends and family? While in urban areas, technological advances are growing by leaps and bounds, our rural counterparts are trying to catch up! Lack of public resources has only given us more impetus to help rural, underprivileged children studying in RDF schools achieve some tech advancements of their own! So we have left no stone unturned to set up computer labs in every school, with the gracious support of individuals and corporate sponsors who believe in our vision and truly want to help these children achieve their potential.

Our education partner, Silver Oaks, has been helping our teachers and students through onsite review and coaching visits, including visits by our teachers to their school. However, we felt that this support structure can be further strengthened through using technology and we arrived at ..Skype calls! Though city dwellers are intimately acquainted with Skype, it is brand new for rural children and they were understandably very excited by this!

The Silver Oaks team set up a Skype call between some of their students and RDF students who wanted queries on leadership skills and electoral processes answered and the team was more than happy to help! RDF children were thrilled to see the Silver Oaks students live during the video call and marvelled at the technology that enabled them to speak and see others live – it was a milestone moment for everyone!

Our aim is to always show them ways that anything they want to learn and know is within their reach and go beyond textbook education. We feel so heartened at this level of ongoing support and care that we receive and know how much this impacts our children in many positive ways!

A Juicy Discussion!

It’s a great pleasure for us to see children take charge of their own learning and development. It shows that they feel confident and empowered to do so, which in turn, makes us feel that we must be doing something right!

Raju, a Class 8 student from Matendla School brought a large lemon into school one day and handed it to his Science teacher. This local variety, called ‘Sudi Nimmakaya’ has many medicinal properties and he wanted to explain this to his classmates, plus learn more about it from the teacher. The teacher, being familiar with the uses of the fruit was pleasantly surprised by Raju’s initiative. He went on to explain that this variety of lemon is a natural and ayurvedic medicine for the natural removal of kidney stones, without the use of harsh allopathic medicines.

That led to a vigorous discussion on other fruits and how they are being used to help with various ailments. It was a talkative and engaged class, buzzing with ideas and information! Isn’t this how we want our classrooms and children to be? Curious, eager and engaged? There’s so much more to learning, beyond textbooks!

The children went home and told their parents and elders about this fruit. So a humble lemon brought in by a curious student, has now impacted so many villages. Kidney stones afflict many people and we really hope that the knowledge shared by our students with their local communities will really help them when the need arises!

The Value of Honesty and Generosity

The Assistant HM of Matendla School, Mr. Ganta Malliah and the school accountant, Mr. Sathyaramulu come to the school on their bike from their village located 7 km away. While going to school one day, they found money on the road. The took the money and asked the local Panchayat to see if the owner could be found, but even after several days, no one came forward to claim the money.

Mr. Sathyaramulu (L) & Mr. Ganta Malliah (R) donating the money

After discussing it with community leaders and elders, they decided to donate the money to the school, which was appreciated by the local community as well the staff and children in the school.

Acts like these create a positive impact on the school community because children see the value of honesty as well as helping others through donation of money, skills, time or anything that is no longer needed in a home or office. This unexpected gift will help in some way to better the school and life of rural, underprivileged children.

Gestures like these really drive home the values of helping and generosity, thus creating a nurturing environment in the school.

Creating Wealth from Waste

Everyday in our homes, papers and newspapers are unthinkingly thrown away. However, if we put our minds to it, these ‘waste’ newspapers can become a rich source of recyclable material. This is precisely what the RDF Matendla School team decided to do. Perturbed by the wastage of paper in their surrounds and also wishing to create a good example for children, the school team informed students and teachers to collect every form of waste paper they could find, including newspapers, from their homes and neighbourhood and bring them to school on the 5th and 15th of each month.

This waste paper is collected during morning assembly and the staff and students who have made the effort to collect and bring this paper are appreciated. The mere start of this process has create a positive impact in the school community. Students and teachers are looking more closely at the usage of paper in their homes and neighbourhood and are now saving paper. Not only do they understand the importance and value of paper, by they are also advocating saving and recycling paper in their community, thus making their local community more conscious about paper wastage and the impact of doing so on the environment.

The paper is being used to create notebooks for the school, paper bags and art and craft items. In this way, everyone is learning how to build a more conscious and aware community and help in preserving our resources and the environment. Kudos to the Matendla team for taking on this responsibility and spreading the message of saving paper, saving trees and saving the environment and empowering the local community to take up this cause!