“Kathe Helu, Aata Aadu” was designed as a part of the World Literacy Day and Teachers Day celebrations. All the planning had been done in a single week and it was now time to execute the plan. While the Library team and Asha spent time finding the right schools and co-ordinating with the volunteers, I was looking for volunteers over the social media. We got a good response and we were all set to get the ball rolling.
15th September felt a little different from most other Saturdays. After the usual peek-a-boo with the clouds, the sun had decided to shine up warm and bright. The volunteers were excited and so was the Akshara team. While Lakshmi and I missed our way, we eventually found the school just behind a magnificent Banyan tree.
Seeing the school building immediately brought smiles on our face, not because we found the school at last but because this school had a playground, which is indeed a rarity these days. Around 9.45 am the volunteers started pouring in. Soon there was a bunch of twelve volunteers, 11 of them from Hewlett Packard and one independent volunteer who was back to Bangalore after a long gap of 3 years.
After a quick round of introductions, hi’s and hellos and a brief about the event the volunteers were all set to get the plan into action. They formed groups and entered the respective classrooms. The same book was read out to all the classes but the activities planned were different.
Volunteers first began with the story telling session which lasted for about 30 minutes and the remaining 60 minutes were dedicated to the activity that was planned. While Class 5 were engrossed in making LEGO models, Class 6 got busy with their collage sheets and the kids of Class 7 happily enacted the story.
What dominated the atmosphere was excitement and enthusiasm, both from the kids as well as the volunteers. The children chattered happily with the volunteers, each one eagerly talking about their hobbies and their aspirations.
Once the story telling and activities were done, the volunteers distributed stationery and books to the kids and this not just added to the twinkle in their eyes but also brought out big broad smiles. Post the event, kiddies kept telling the volunteers to come back again the next Saturday.
The event definitely brought a lot of smiles and joy to the volunteers and the kids, as for us it was a learning experience. Inspite of the confusions, the chaos, and the last minute changes we had managed to pull off the event decently well. Of course it all doesn’t stop here, we need to be more organized and execute the plan well and yes we are all charged up to learn from our mistakes and make sure we don’t repeat them.
A big thank you to the Library Team at Akshara for putting up all of this in such a short time. A bigger thank you to the big group of over 60 volunteers from HP, Robert Bosch and Target for making this event a huge success. Special thanks to Anu, Asha, Ramesh and Nirupama for all the lovely pictures. We are pretty much inspired to continue this trend and have many more such events. So keep reading our blog for more information!
More pictures here.