The excitement on the day of any StoryWeaver workshop is often mixed with some nervousness. We meet so many new people from different organisations and always want them to share the excitement we feel about books in classrooms! We wonder if the participants would connect with what we have to say and how they will react. This nervousness gets magnified when the workshop is in an all new city.
Thankfully, our wonderful community never disappoints :) Here’s an account of our last two workshops in the beautiful cities of Jaipur and Hyderabad.
We were in Jaipur during the first week of October to host a StoryWeaver workshop with educators and resource leads of various education organisations. The workshop was our first in the city and was organised with the support of Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK). They gave us access to their stunning centre and their library -- forming the perfect venue for a workshop on the importance of reading.
We had representatives from 18 organisations across Rajasthan attending the workshop, including UNICEF, Educate Girls, OELP, Doosa Dashak and GoodWeave India. It was wonderful to host participants who had travelled from as far as Jodhpur and Bikaner. As the session progressed, we deep dived into the intriguing world of stories and explored how stories open a child’s eyes to a world filled with joy and learning.
The participants tried their hand at StoryWeaver and chose themes that they found most interesting and explored the platform for stories around them.
One of the most lively discussions was around how different kinds of books can be used with children across various age groups. One participant raised a pertinent point about the need for books in tough subjects like bullying, migration, and hunger. They also enjoyed putting on their writer’s hats and created some lovely stories on the platform.
At the end of the workshop, one of the teachers, who had come from faraway Jodhpur, told us that this was the first workshop she and her colleagues had ever attended outside their centres. This statement demonstrated the enormous responsibility that rests on us - to ensure our workshops stay relevant and productive for our teachers and educators who travel great distances putting their work and home on hold to attend our workshops.
After our first StoryWeaver workshop in Jaipur, we organised our next in the familiar city of Hyderabad. With the support of Dr. Reddy’s Foundation, the workshop saw participants from various organisations like AIF, Youth4Jobs and Youngistaan Foundation.
To celebrate the diversity of languages we have, we had a resource person, Haripriya, help us conduct some parts of the workshop in Telugu. Haripriya runs a gorgeous children’s library in Hyderabad and was a participant in our last Hyderabad workshop. Her presence not only encouraged participants to share their thoughts in Telugu, she also helped us showcase our best Telugu books.
“I thoroughly enjoyed facilitating the workshop in my mother tongue, Telugu. I had a memorable time sharing and learning from educators from different organisations who came together to understand how best they can make use of the platform in their classrooms. Together we read, created, translated books in English, Hindi and Telugu,” she remarked after the workshop.
Our team and the participants agreed that the lunch organised by Dr. Reddy’s Foundation was one of the most delicious meals we had had in a long time. Maddirala Sai Praveen from Azim Premji Foundation, a participant who has experience working with young children in anganwadi centres, volunteered to conduct an energiser post the hearty meal. That got all of us all laughing! The youngest participant of the workshop was the eight year-old daughter of a teacher in attendance and we have to say she was the most energetic of the lot!
As the year comes to a close, we would like to thank all our wonderful participants who make these workshops an amazing learning experience for us. We are also grateful to our new and potential partners, and friends of Pratham Books like Jawahar Kala Kendra and Dr. Reddy’s Foundation for their constant support.
Here is wishing our readers a Happy New ‘Reading’ Year for 2019.
If you are interested in hosting a similar workshop for your organisation, drop us an email on [email protected]