A visit to Sujana Convent School

Posted by Remya Padmadas on October 09, 2017

At Pratham Books, we love visiting schools, reading out our stories, and conversing with the children and teachers. It’s a great way to collect feedback, understand how our stories are perceived, and reconnect with our purpose. And so, a few weekends back, a sunny Saturday morning found us outside the colourful Sujana Convent School for a story reading session with Oracle. Oracle supports the development and creation of our STEM books.  The read aloud was organised with the help of Mantra4Change.

At this event, we decided to simply observe and left the story telling and activities to be carried out by the very enthusiastic Oracle volunteers who joined us.

We carried with us ‘A Butterfly Smile’ by Mathangi Subramanian for the 6th grade class, and ‘A Cloud of Trash’ by Karanjeet Kaur for the 5th grade class.

The 6th graders immediately found the colourful butterflies and bright faces in the story charming, and were soon listening intently to the volunteers. Keen ears and peeled eyes followed Kavya’s story as she recollects leaving her peaceful village for crowded and noisy Bangalore in search of water, deals with her peers, and struggles to confidently share her knowledge about butterflies. The Oracle volunteers had an interesting discussion with the kids about the kinds of butterflies they’ve seen and admired, and how to be brave in front of new friends. With the lovely colours, relatable experiences, and simple but interesting knowledge about butterflies, the story was an immediate hit with all the kids. By this time they were excited about the activity and raring to go. Armed with stationery and butterfly outlines, they had a fun time creating and naming their own paper butterfly parks.

At the same time, the 5th graders were entering Cheeko’s world, where her casual littering habits have created a monstrous cloud of trash that follows her around and acts as a major obstacle in all her relationships. At the end of the read aloud, the children were given stationery, and asked to come up with posters telling people not to litter. Whether it was Cheeko’s experience, or their own observations, they were all brimming with ideas and opinions, and words and drawings were flowing freely. There were some strong slogans expressing great disdain for this sort of thoughtless behaviour. It was a lovely experience being able to witness their discussions and hear the conviction in their beliefs.

We snapped many photographs of the kids work, and had a quick snack break, and before we knew it, it was time to pack up and leave.

We all took different things back with us from the story telling session, and left excited about visiting again.

To see more images from the workshop, click here.

We thank volunteers from Oracle Bangalore for their time and enthusiasm for this session.