Khyati Datt, a member of our outreach team writes about our recent workshop in Nashik with senior teachers of the SNS Foundation.
Our recent StoryWeaver workshop took us to the picturesque town of Nashik. Senior teachers from 6 different states gathered for the annual meet of the SNS Foundation, where they exchanged ideas, celebrated each other’s achievements and discussed the long term goals of the foundation.
A day before the workshop, our team was introduced to the teachers in Mumbai and we were happy to learn that they were as excited to explore the StoryWeaver platform as we were to share it with them. The 3 hour drive to Nashik provided us the opportunity to interact with them in a relaxed space and understand their context better.
After a hearty breakfast the next day, everyone assembled for the workshop. The teachers shared highlights from their last one year and lauded each other on their achievements. We started the workshop with an ice breaking activity and moved on to a storytelling session. They were more than willing to share their experiences and ideas around using books with children. The teachers responded enthusiastically to using StoryWeaver in their classrooms. After a brief exploration of the platform, they went on to the task at hand, which was to search for books on the platform on the given themes. All teachers tried their hand at looking for content that they could possibly use with their students too. The teachers then shared the stories they had found and how they might use them in their classrooms.
A satisfying lunch later, we moved on to discussing how they could use the platform to translate and create stories. They tried their hand at creating stories in their mother tongue and were excited about sharing this with their students back home. We got some really great stories and the teachers loved sharing their thought behind the story and presenting it in front of all of us. What was really impressive about this workshop was that the participants created original stories in 5 different languages- Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, English and Marathi.
The senior teachers gave us a great response and were happy to know that they could use wordless stories, flashcards, spotting books and a lot more resources from StoryWeaver in their classrooms. We discussed what students liked to read and how that could be used to motivate them academically as well.
As we wrapped up the workshop, the participants shared their thoughts with us on how they plan on using the platform and combining stories with curriculum. As Damayanti, who leads the CSR efforts of SNS Foundation, later told us, “there’s so much more we can do in our classrooms through StoryWeaver and we can’t wait to get started.” The participants were patient and interacted with us throughout the session, for which we’re thankful to them!
A big thank you also to the SNS Foundation for giving us the opportunity to interact with the teachers and their consistent support.
If you are interested in hosting a similar workshop for your organisation, drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
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My first StoryWeaver workshop took me to Hyderabad. I was officially on the training side of the workshop, but since this was my first, I experienced those two days with two different batches as a participant too.
50+ educators, resource people, librarians and program managers from 12 different organisations and schools poured into the room and were brimming with energy even before the workshop began. Payoshni, Senior Outreach Manager and trainer for the workshop, talked about StoryWeaver - our open repository of free children’s books, its practical uses in a classroom, and the way it can be used to enhance a child’s world from all aspects like cognitive approach, social skills, comprehension, logical thinking and aesthetics.
Teachers became curious students and asked us countless questions that spanned across queries about our features, to the efficacy of the platform itself. It was a delight to see them realize the applications of StoryWeaver in the classroom. Once they understood the intricacies of creating, translating or releveling (simplifying or making a story complex) stories on the platform, all of them were eager to try their hand at bringing about their own creation on StoryWeaver.
Sandhya Damodar, Pudami Schools, Hyderabad talks here about the various applications of StoryWeaver in a classroom and specifically the advantages of being able to ‘relevel’ stories:
The fact that the stories on StoryWeaver are free to use, read, download and print was exciting and important for teachers who came from schools based in rural settings. Active discussions ranged from how to preserve the accuracy and sanctity of a language through translations. Concerns unfolded about how some languages need more original content for the children, and one way could be to create and translate in that language on platforms like StoryWeaver.
In this short video, workshop participant Shadab Ahmad, Focus High School, Hyderabad talks about how StoryWeaver will help him in getting Urdu stories across to his students and also about the ease of publishing good stories on the platform.
The childlike joy of the teachers working in teams with fellow educators whom they didn’t know previously, and raising their hands to read their created stories out loud was infectious. They proudly presented their work in front of everyone and laughed along with everyone at the bits they got wrong or where they themselves had added humor! Some of them are still active on the platform and creating/translating/releveling stories for their students, for fun, or to contribute in some way to their favorite language.
As we wrapped up the two-day workshop, it was a comfort to know there are educators who are eager to learn about how to improve a child’s experience in classrooms. And not just that, they want to do it through the art of stories.
Here are a few pictures from the event!
A big thank you to Dr.Reddy’s Foundation who made this wonderful workshop possible and all their efforts in bringing the best opportunities to their children. If you are interested in hosting a similar workshop for your organisation, drop us an email on email@example.com.