Archive for the ‘RDF Redlawada School’ Category

Learning is Everywhere!

The extended closure of schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic has created new ways of learning for the rural children we work with. Many students are helping their parents in their various occupations and some children are learning new skills to utilize their time productively.

A group of children from Redlawada School wanted to learn how to make clay pots. They requested RDF non teaching staff, Mr. Sai Ram to help them. Mr. Sai Ram also works as a bus cleaner. Accepting the children’s requested, he is teaching this enthusiastic group how to make different types of pots. It’s lovely to see the kids applying themselves earnestly to the craft of pottery.

This is what RDF’s holistic education approach is about – there are many skills to be learnt beyond textbooks and beyond classrooms. The pandemic is helping children understand the challenges in rural occupations, their importance in providing sustenance for the families and the larger community and developing a strong sense of social responsibility.

Parvalika’s Support for RDF

Parvalika, some years back, in school

We are so happy when RDF alumni return to help current batches. Students learn a lot from our alumni’s direct experiences with higher education, working and living in bigger towns and cities.

Parvalika, now, teaching as a volunteer in Redlawada School

Parvalika is a Rollakal School alumnus who is a 2nd year B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science) student. She participated in all school activities and loved anchoring cultural and other school programmes. She demonstrated great leadership skills in school, always taking the initiative in various projects and programmes. She never had any hesitation approaching her teachers to clarify her doubts. She was also a responsible and helpful student. So we are not surprised that she has chosen to return to us to share her school and college experiences with students.

Whenever she has holidays or has free time, she visits the school. She likes Mathematics and takes classes, thereby providing help to teachers too! She motivates the students to continue their education, while supporting their families as best as they can. She’s a bright spark for everyone! Her parents support her wholeheartedly and feel glad to see her positive attitude and cooperative nature. The extended community also appreciates the care she shows towards everyone.

We are proud of Parvalika’s achievements and her sense of social responsibility to help our current students.

The Fine Art of Caring

The path to accomplishing one’s dreams can appear at a young age, as we see in young Banoth Charan’s story. A student of Class 5 in Redlawada School, he got information about a Fine Arts course and became interested in what it entails. With a great degree of self initiative, he asked his teachers about Fine Arts and how to create a future in this area!

Charan, with his proud father

With this information, he appeared for the entrance examination and attained 15th rank in the state, which got him a free seat in Hyderabad Fine Arts School! In this course, he will learn painting, sculpture, architecture, music, poetry and drawing, in addition to the regular academic subjects. The subjects are split into 3 days of academic subjects and 3 days of Fine Arts subjects.

Charan has shown how a clear intention can pave the way to a bright future, regardless of age. His story is an inspiration to other children to be determined to fulfill their dreams and goals. His parents are thrilled that he got this scholarship, which gives them financial relief. They’re grateful to RDF for having provided a foundation of care and support that empowered Charan and his family to take these steps to fulfill his goal.

Our Alum, Illuminating the Path to Education

Our biggest barometer that we are truly empowering rural children comes from our alumni, our constant cheerleaders! While each alumni story is a reason for celebration, our alumni are also drawn to help RDF in myriad ways.

Rakesh, (Front,left) with his constable training group

Jilla Rakesh joined RDF Redlawada School in Class 4 and is currently in the final year of B.Sc. Mathematics. He hails from a poor tribal family, where children are sent to work in order to earn daily wages, instead of being sent to school. However, Rakesh’s family thought differently and were determined to have him complete his education and start a career. Last year, he applied for the State Civil Police Constable job, cleared the physical tests, but didn’t clear the written test due to English language problem. Undeterred by this result, he met the RDF staff for suggestions to improve his English skills and is now waiting to take the next round of written exams.

He meets his community members to motivate parents about the importance of education and send their children to school. He credits RDF for providing him with a solid foundation and giving equal importance to academics, extracurricular activities, games and sports; intrinsic to our value-based education model. Whenever he comes back to his villages, he meets the school students, encouraging them with his own life examples and urging them to go for their goals. A good singer, he also sings inspirational songs for everyone! His inspirational talks have turned some families in his ‘thanda’ (tribal village) around and they have started to send their children to school!

We are so proud of Rakesh’s sense of social responsibility and his sincerity to develop rural communities through education. He’s a great role model for our students and his community too and we hope many other young people like him motivate rural parents about the power of education!

RDF’s Covid-19 Warriors

Bharath, only 10 years old & a student of Redlawada School, is winning hearts with the help he’s providing rural folks in and around his village. To prevent the spread of Coronavirus, he met a few tailors and asked them to stitch masks by collecting cotton cloth himself!

Bharath (L), distributing masks to locals

Inspired by the socially responsible activities he saw and participated in school, Bharath also ensures the cleanliness of his village and spreading awareness about hygiene. His parents are very happy to see their son step up to undertake such responsibilities. The villagers are also lauding his efforts, saying they understand how to stop the spread of the coronavirus because of Bharath.

We are so proud that he’s utilizing these unexpected holidays by being a good citizen and setting an example for everyone.

An alert RDF teacher realized that his neighbor had arrived by flight from a Covid-19 affected area and had not gone for a medical check up on arrival. Our teacher informed medical officers, who visited him at home for a test and then sent him for quarantine. They appreciated our teacher’s effort and said every citizen must be alert, help authorities and stop the spread of the virus

Meditation Matters

Students, during a meditation training session

The pursuit of good academic grades and college admissions create a lot of stress in students’ lives. At RDF, we are determined to not allow stress to impact the mental and physical well-being of our students. Hence, yoga and meditation are an intrinsic part of our holistic education philosophy.

Sridevi ma’am, presenting meditation books to the children

We are grateful to have yoga and meditation teachers who volunteer to help our students and teachers in developing a daily practice and be stress free!

Sridevi ma’am, with the Redlawada School HM

We were introduced to Mrs. Vedantham Sridevi, a retired Headmaster of Government High School by the Hindi teacher in Redlawada School. She conducted a training session on the importance of meditation and how to do meditation. She also donated a few meditation books to the school.  Now, students are doing meditation three times a day, including at home, and have reported feeling more at peace, with better focus and concentration levels.

It’s important to us for our students to achieve their goals through a balanced approach, rather than stressing about marks and grades. We are happy to see the power of meditation take effect in their daily lives.

A Musical Study!

Nature is a source of wonderful delights, music being one of them! Who knew that the leaves of the toddy palm tree can be fashioned into a musical instrument?

Mahesh, a Class 9 student of Redlawada School, helps his father in the field and learnt how to make this lovely instrument from him. He learnt how to fold and layer the toddy leaves in a specific way, using Arabic Gum thorns to create a wind instrument! It produces a good sound due to the meticulous way that the leaves are layered over each other.

We encourage students to learn traditional arts and crafts such as what Mahesh learnt from his father, as it enhances creativity, which then has a positive ripple effect in other areas of their lives. We believe that technical education helps with their holistic development, enabling them to learn skills beyond classroom education.

Inspired Implementation

RDF believes that everyone in a child’s life is a teacher. Therefore, building a strong community is an integral part of our work, so that teaching and learning extends beyond the school boundaries and encompass the entire community.

A Class 4 student in Redlawada School observed her grandfather, who is over 75 years old, washing his own clothes everyday and do his daily, routine work without getting tired. She asked him, “Tatha (grandfather), how are you able to do your work everyday and be so active?” Tatha smiled and said, “When I was young, we ate jowar (millet) rotis, porridge and worked hard everyday, at home and in the fields. That is why I still have stamina.” He encouraged his granddaughter to do whatever work she can independently and get strong. Inspired by her grandfather’s words and his physical abilities, this little girl now washes her own clothes and helps do other household chores too.

This story was shared in class by the teacher so that students understand that all work has dignity and how the kids can be role models for each other. In this way, RDF schools model the ‘learning by doing’ method to inculcate healthy habits in children as we believe that these are essential lifeskills that empower them and will hold them in good stead.

A Memory Test

Sitting for competitive exams are a part of the Indian education system, in order to get admission into various courses after the completion of the Class 12 examinations. The ability to recall from memory is an important aspect of these exams, so our teachers come up with fun ways to boost memory skills for the students.

Redlawada School conducted a Memory Test for 60 high school students. 37 objects were placed on a table and students were given 2 minutes to note and memorise the objects. After that, they were asked to recall and write the names of the various objects with its correct spelling. Each object was allotted one mark.

Such activities to enhance learning and memory skills are conducted routinely and the students enjoy them immensely. When learning is fun, retention is high!

Changing Lives with Care

It’s humbling for us to see that the care and effort of our dedicated school teams brings about tremendous turnarounds in the lives of the rural children we work with.

Banoth Santhosh, a Class 7 student in Redlawada School, belongs to a tribal community. When he joined the school 5 years ago, he couldn’t even speak his tribal language due to developmental issues. His teachers took him under their wing, working patiently with him over the years. Now Santhosh can speak, read and write English too, in addition to his native language!

We really appreciate our teachers for pouring their care into the wellbeing and development of all our students, inspiring them to believe in themselves and succeed! 🙂