Healthy Life of Full Circle Recycling! Pratham Books Champions 2018

This year’s book  for the Pratham Books Championship Programme was “A Cloud of Trash,” written by Karanjeet Kaur and illustrated by Bhavana Vyas Vipparthi.

I enrolled late in the programme with less than two weeks. When I read the story, I got curious about trash!

The topic of Trash was interesting in two ways.

First, I have never thought about what happens to the trash that I throw away! Seriously what did happen to them?!

Second, I cannot wait for an extraordinary event of a trash cloud chasing me to change my ways?!

These might seem relatively not so important questions. But when it appeared in my mind I needed to know what can I do better than what I have been doing?!

Following that twisted questions, I researched on the topic of Trash. Many weeks were spent just getting to understand what trash really was! What was good effects of fully recycling the natural way!

Not surprising, I found some really interesting sources that provided more light on the trash. Currently, the Chennai Corporation has to deal with Mixed Trash which contains wet, dry and harmful wastes all in a huge messed up mix. The current method for managing it is called Integrated Solid Waste Management.

All the mixed waste from house goes into the garbage bins in the street corners which the corporation collects from the corners and dumps in sites without the city limits. The two dump sites in Chennai are Kodungaiyur and Perungudi which take in the mixed waste disposed from the entire city.

Source of Waste are 68% Residential, 16% Commerical, 14% Insitutional, 2% Industrial

Per Capita Waste Levels in various cities are:

City Kg/Person/Day
Chennai 0.71
Kokata 0.66
Delhi 0.65
Mumbai 0.51
Hyderabad 0.65
Bangalore 0.45
Pune 0.53
Ahmedabad 0.42
Kanpur 0.49
Surat 0.47

(Source: Green Earth)

I got so engrossed, that I had not even found a school where I can read to the Children until the very last week of the International Literacy Date!

A few days before September 8, I had approached Jaigopal Garodia Hindu Vidyalaya Matriculation Higher Secondary School in West Mambalam, Chennai to present this story. The school responded with affirmation to my request to hold a session for grades 3 and 4.

The experience of presenting the story to the children was so enthralling that I think I was inspired to do more for the children.

I collated all the details to make an informational flyer, which is still an on-going activity that was inspired by this book.

Bookworm’s Corner is my small effort to get stories across to children. Every child that I come across has a story of its own and the joy of spending a one-on-one session with a single child is so enriching and so are the group session.

Not surprisingly, I spent one session the previous day with the child from my residency. The next day, when I had to present it to Children at the school it was much more fun.

When I reached the school on Saturday at 9:50 am to converse with the teacher and to present my Session Plan, I was a nervous pot. The school was celebrating Vinayaka Charthurthi. I silently thanked my favorite lord and hoped that He would guide me in the story-reading.

The Head Mistress and the teachers of both grades were such helpful beings. They smoothed the way for me to present the story to the children.

The most interesting thing that got away from this story was the concept of segregating at source. Among the various research sources, I found the place which used a scientific method for making compost of the wet waste.

It is also important to know that when the wet and dry waste are separated, then the value of both the wastes increases.

  • Wet waste can be composted and the by-product of compost can be used in kitchen gardens or gardens near the locality.
  • Dry waste which is not corrupted by the presence of wet ingredient can now be recycled or reused.
  • Harmful chemical waste can be provided to proper channel to prevent leachate of the chemicals.

The take away in my session was not only to use the dustbin, which was what the student took away; but also, to separate wet and dry waste so the trashed out material can be recycled or reused based on their quality.

One happy thing that came out of this experience was the fact that I have begun composting at home using the Daily Dump product, medium Kambha. Watch the video to know how it is used!

There is a sense of excitement and a need to get this story further to other children. This might be a whole year round sharing for me.

Pictures of the session:

Pratham Books Champions Program 2017

I was searching for storybooks when I came across Pratham Books, a not-for-profit organization. Affordable books from Pratham Books are great material for teaching English for junior grades.

I love spending time with Children, especially, if there is a story folded into the interaction. This time I took up the Pratham Books Champions 2017 and enjoyed sharing stories and discussion with my wards.

My apartment children enjoy hanging out with me, as much as I enjoy spending time with them. Both my wards knew about my interest in stories and I tried to spice it up by telling them to wait for a funny story.

The day when the mailman brought the book and banner, my wards were hanging out with me at my living room having general conversation. I got to open the mail because it was in my name and the cat was out of the bag.

All the start dates were all forgotten when we all sat down to read the story of Kottavi Raja and his Sleepy Kingdom written by Yasaswini Sampathkumar and illustrated by Henu. We didn’t stop at merely this story but read rest of my collection of Pratham Books that I use as teaching material. Well, sometimes the best way to get stories to children is not bound by time or space.

But the interesting part was the conversation that followed on completing the story. I always believed in having conversation with children, where they are the adult and equal to express their views. Yeah of course, conversation can be riddled with the Child’s quirky perspectives too.

In that way, books from Pratham allows a teacher to creatively use their material in the class for maximum impact and knowledge transfer. But sometimes, I am surprised about the learning the teacher gains in sharing stories. I think stories told for Children are a two-way channel. The experience of sharing a gaff together is in a way a great space to explore.

Of course, they busted my well planned structured reading by their extempore let jump in and read the book now attitude. I am the least bit worried that my plans became tomato ketchup in front my wards’ exuberance. The point was about sharing one story one day.

Image Source: http://blog.prathambooks.org/2017/08/the-pbchamps-programme-is-back.html

My Numero Uno Pratham’s Champions Programme of 2015

I have been linked with Pratham Books from my Creative Remixes days. I had used their ‘Creative Common’ images to create an original story. So I was not unfamiliar with the organization but Champions Programme was new for me. Pratham has been creating awareness and exposure to this programme through their twitter and facebook social media spaces.

The organization aims to increase readership among children for the International Literacy day falling on the 8th of September 2015. This year’s programme was flagged off on Teacher’s Day 5th September to bring more children towards reading books. It had special connotation because the teachers bring the world of books and knowledge to a child in their unique ways.

I got to know about the Champions Programme from my co-worker Anitha Selvanathan. This year’s featured book was “The Boy and the Drum” by Umesh P N and Illustrated by Rajiv Eipe.

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The Boy and the Drum

Even though I registered for the drive of getting books to children to inculcate reading habits, I was rather excited and felt a little challenged. I am crazy about books and if I can generate interest among children for reading then the very sharing is a reward by itself.

I had planned on having a Reading session in my house for my home tuition students. But something kept egging me to seek out a bigger challenge. I wanted to share it among a larger audience since I was equally passionate about sharing a story.

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Home Tuition Students

Quite by accident, actually, I came across the Government Girls Higher Secondary School (GGHSS), Ashok Nagar, Chennai. I approached the Headmistress Mrs. R. C. Saraswathi who felt strongly about encouraging reading habits in Children.

She immediately linked me up with the Drama teacher K. S. Latha who had been a great source of help for smoothing my way for the reading drive. The school was closed for the Teacher’s Day and so we scheduled to have the reading session a day earlier on 4th September at the school.

On the D-Day, I was conscious of the enormity of my challenge but I was also happy to bring them a story to enjoy reading. The Drama teacher offered to set aside two periods for the reading and enacting session.

I was able to prep-talk the children on how to read the text without the stage instruction. The Drama teacher added in her spicy instruction to make the play alive. The selected 10 Children read the story first as a practice and then as a finale.

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10 Lively Characters of the play

(Photo Courtesy: K S Latha)

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Play in Progress

(Photo Courtesy: G Keshav Raj)

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The children were spirited about the reading session each trying to out-do the other in making the play come alive and giving it their touch of unique interpretation. We had a discussion session after the reading to further understand and gain insights into the story.

The Children showed such enthusiasm towards being exposed to reading that they felt an annual event would be a long wait for them. They gave me the inspiration to take these sessions to more children and give them the gift of reading and to explore stories with their imagination.

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Champions Programme 2015 Participants

(Photo Courtesy: G Keshav Raj)

I enjoy making the children desire befriending a book, because one gains a friend who would remain an inspiration through all seasons of life. The One Day One Story drive was the first step towards a long journey ahead. For there is nothing as rewarding as watching those sparkle in the eyes of the children who have just finished reading a story and have found enjoyment in it.