Archive for the ‘Visitors’ Category

A Good Hand for Handwriting

The two Government schools in Bahadurapally that are part of the School Quality Improvement Program – a partnership between RDF and Tech Mahindra Foundation follow RDF’s best practices when it comes to upgrading student’s and teacher’s skills. RDF continues to do its work with rural, underprivileged children due to its committed education partners and also thanks to passionate trainers and volunteers.

One such passionate volunteer was invited to the Mandal Parishal Primary School and the Zilla Parishad High School for a training training program on ‘Handwriting Skills’. Aimed at techniques to improve handwriting skills for Primary and High school students, the workshop was facilitated by expert handwriting specialist Mr. Azaz Ahmed.

The school was abuzz with excitement as many had already viewed his handwriting skills session on YouTube and Whatsapp. During the workshop, he trained students in writing in Hindi, Telugu and English. He explained new techniques to develop good handwriting, including how to and how not to write.  He also won hearts by singing Sanskrit slokas and narrating motivational anecdotes to the audience. The feedback received from the students and staff was very positive. Mr. K. Balraj, the schools’ Telugu Pandit said that he loved Mr. Ahmed’s way of teaching and found it an unforgettable class. The schools intend to have him back for more sessions soon!

 

A Tale of Two Dramas

Today we bring a story (or two) from RDF Kalleda School on how a Drama can be used in 2 different ways to achieve different, yet meaningful outcomes.

To begin with, learning English in rural areas is very challenging. Students and teachers have very limited exposure to the language. Their struggle to learn the language to the extent that they can communicate in it well is very real. The children and teachers receive a lot of training from our education partners and dedicated volunteers to learn to speak in English and gain confidence in using the language.

The setting for the English play

Performing a drama is an effective tool to speak in any language, with its emphasis on intonation, pronunciation and facial expression. It can also make a challenge a lot of fun. Students of Class 10decided to pick a story from the Class 10 syllabus titled ‘Dear Departed’. The adaptation of the story into a play, the writing of dialogues, practicing it and then performing it in front of an audience was done entirely by students, with the able help of their English teachers.  The audience appreciated the confidence with which students spoke their dialogues and were able to put across the message of the original story and the play successfully. This highlights the willingness of the children to take ownership of their own learning, their creative thinking skills in creating a play from a textbook story, their writing skills in creating dialogues for delivery as well as good speaking skills! That was a lot of hard work put in by the children and they felt very satisfied with their effort.

The Telugu play in progress

The young children of Class 5 decided to use the medium of drama to bring across a social and environmental message about the detrimental effects of using plastic. Their play was done in Telugu and was performed on National Science Day celebrations in the school. The play made spectators aware of how plastic continues to be used everyday by most people, how it is not disposed properly, that it creates landfill which is slowly choking our planet. They made the audience aware of alternatives such as paper and cloth bags and ways in which we can say no to plastic. The kids and the audience both learned an very serious and important ecological problem and they got to exhibit their acting and performance abilities too!

We encourage the use of drama to create many relevant and fun activities for children. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the process and the final outcome!

Aiming Right!

A decade has passed since RDF produced its first archery champion in Pranitha. The decade since 2006 is filled with numerous archery champions and records at the District, State, National and International level.

RDF’s archery achievements continue to make us proud. At the same time, we are also humbled by our students’ perseverance and determination to push themselves and bring accolades for themselves, RDF institutions and the community.

The RDF VAPV Junior College was honoured to host the State Archery Championships that was organised by the School Games Federation of India. Over 180 talented archers from 9 districts in Telangana participated in the event. As per protocol, the event was divided into 3 categories – under 14, under 17 and under 19. RDF was represented by 6 archers from the Junior College and 7 archers from Kalleda School. Accommodation for all participants was made on the college premises.

(2nd from L) Mr. Prashanth Patil, (R) Ms. Vijaya Laxmi

(2nd from L) Mr. Prashanth Patil, (R) Ms. Vijaya Laxmi

The event was held on 26th and 27th November. Mr. Prashanth Jeevan Patil, Collector – Warangal Rural District was the Chief Guest for the inaugural ceremony while Ms. Vijaya Laxmi, Mandal Revenue Officer – Parvathagiri Mandal was the Guest of Honour. For the Valedictory Function, Mr. Sudeer Babu, Warangal Commissioner of Police and Mr. S. Mahender, Warangal Assistant Commissioner of Police were the Chief Guest and Guest of Honour respectively.

After 2 days of intense competition, the Ranga Reddy district emerged as the overall champions while the Warangal Rural district team, playing in their own backyard, was declared the runners up. 3 archers from the Junior College and 5 from Kalleda School have been selected for the National level competitions.

The jubilant RDF archery team

The jubilant RDF archery team

We congratulate the RDF archers for their achievements and wish them the very best for the upcoming National level event.

Health Check-Up

Focus on health and hygiene is an integral part of RDF’s engagement with children. This aspect has also been implemented in the Government schools that are sponsored by the Tech Mahindra Foundation, as part of our partnership with them and the ‘School Quality Improvement Program’. Dental doctors from M.R. College visited the Government Mandal Parishad Primary School, which was conducted pro bono by the visiting doctors. Each child was checked thoroughly, with individual care instructions. The basics of oral hygiene and care were explained to the children via a presentation. The camp concluded with the distribution of dental kits that consisted of a toothbrush and toothpaste for every child.

mpps-dental-clinic-2

Guidance on Goals

Students require strong role models who can exemplify the very skills that parents and educators wish to impart. The RDF VAPV Junior College invites noted people each month in order to speak to and motivate students. In doing so, the college hopes to equip students with the tools and life skills that are necessary in leading successful lives and building a good career.

jc-2Last month, Mr. Diddi Laxmi Narayana, a retired teacher and published author, who has mentored many students, was invited to speak to the students about the importance of goal setting and hard work. He spoke of everyday people like their parents who have goals to educate their children and provide for their families. In doing so, he stressed on the importance of accepting sacrifices in order to reach their desired goals. He also spoke about eminent people who have achieved their goals through hard work. He instructed the students to not shy away from working hard as it is the only means of helping them reach their destination and achieve their dreams. He urged the students to always remember that hard work never fails and is the secret to success.

jc-1He also spoke to them about the importance of communication skills in English, giving them tips on how to improve their vocabulary through daily work by reading and improving their vocabulary. He reassured them that weaknesses and strengths exist in everyone and that it was up to them to utilise their strengths to overcome weaknesses. The students felt that his advice will allow them to build confidence and felt inspired at the end of the session.

Greening our Lives

02The Telangana Government initiated a state-wide greening program called ‘Telangana ku Haritha Haram’ in 2015. The vision of this flagship program is to increase the green cover in the state from the present 24% to 33%. As part of this, large scale planting activities are planning to be undertaken in road side avenues, institutes, residential areas, municipalities, parks etc.

01Since last year, RDF students have been promoting planting of trees and native plants in their respective villages. Such social activities allow them to engage with issues facing their local communities and also take a problem solving approach. Recently, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Sudheer Babu, visited Kalleda School to plant some saplings as part of this program.

Students and staff interacted with the Commissioner to discuss ideas on how to motivate people to be more green and conserving the environment.

Positive feedback for RDF!

Dr. Shyamala with the school team

Dr. Shyamala with the school team

Any NGO needs the support of its partners in order to fulfill its vision and mission for the highest benefit of its primary stakeholders. Financial support from individuals and organisations that share the vision is an integral aspect of managing program operations.

One of RDF’s long term partners has been the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) that has been financially supporting RDF for several years. The funds received are utilised in three core areas viz. teacher training, infrastructure development and provision of teaching and learning materials. RDF provides regular reporting to its funding partners regarding the utilization of funds in the areas that the funds are meant to be allocated to.

Observing High School Science exhibits

Observing High School Science exhibits

In May, CAF representative, Dr. Shyamala, visited RDF schools to review the activities and operations and utilization of CAF funds. She spent the day observing primary and high school classes, Science exhibits and Art work, Library, Computer and English labs, digital sessions and cultural activities. She also examined documents and evidence. She spent time interacting with primary and high school teachers as well as parents, school staff and RDF Headoffice staff to get their feedback on RDF’s work.

Interacting with Primary School children & teachers

Interacting with Primary School children & teachers

She was very happy with what she saw, commending RDF’s work for rural children and rural communities and gave a very positive review to the team. RDF received a Valedictory Certificate from CAF after the report was shared. We are very pleased with her positive review and hope to have a long lasting partnership with CAF.