At Door Step School, we try to work towards the overall development of our children.We firmly believe - " All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". And so sports and games form an important part of the education system at DSS.Like every year, this year too children from our Community Learning Centers participated in the Inter NGO sports meet organized by Cancer India Foundation.We were one among the 12 NGOs who were part of the meet and our 56 children participated in different races like 100 m running, long jump and lemon and spoon. We won 4 gold and 1 silver medal.
Congratulations to all children and entire DSS team! A special Thank you to our sports teacher Ms. Aruna Badhe who has inculcated the qualities of team spirit and sportsmanship among our children.
We are very happy to share that one of our team members, Mrs. Urmila Bahirat was felicitated by Mahatma Phule Mandal, Chinchwad where she received the "Samaj Bhushan" award. She was awarded for her DSS work for out of school children in the Ravet - Punawale area since last 2.5 years. She had to work closely with the Corporator and school authorities in arranging for school transport for children in that area. This is where she met Mrs. Rekhatai Tingre, who for her commendable work, recommended Urmila tai for the Samaj Bhushan award.
Following on our earlier post of Rajanitai's and Binatai's visit to President's house....
We would like to share that they had a good forum meeting with our honorable President, Mr. Kovind on the 3rd of January 2020. Among other NGOs in the forum, two NGOs from Maharashtra had received the invite for the meeting - one being DSS. It was indeed an honour.
What can be a better way to end this year and embrace a new one, for Door Step School!
Rajanitai and Binatai have been invited by Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's office) for interaction with our Honourable President Mr. Ramnath Kovind on January 03, 2020 due to their significant contribution for the community.
The Society for Door Step Schools (DSS) conducts a Reading Programme in more than 200 schools during their school hours. The main aim is to provide extra-curricular, age appropriate and interesting reading material to the children to help develop the habit of reading. So, when the schools were closed for the summer vacation in April and May 2019, the Reading Programme encouraged their teachers and school staff to take the Door Step School bag of story books to the children in their communities. The children were very excited and made the most of this opportunity.
Two ‘book-fairies’ and a Grade VI teacher from Kondhwa took a bag of books home and conducted a home lending service for the children living near their respective homes.
Pallavi Salunkhe works as a book-fairy; and the children living near her home in Susgaon know that and keep asking her to get more story books for them. So, in the summer vacation, she promptly took a bag of books home and invited the children to borrow books from her special library! She kept a detailed record - 38 children managed to read a total of 210 books!
Similarly, two other book-fairies, Savita Shelar and Nutan Gaikwad, who live in Kirkitwadi encouraged children to read and borrow books available for home lending. Since the children had no home-work, 27 children read 66 story books. Eight year old Yash said that he liked a book titled ‘Lalchi kutta’ and kept reading it again and again. When his mother noticed it, she asked him to write down all the composite words in the story. As a result, his reading and writing skills have greatly improved.
Sangharsh liked the book ‘Chilubal’ while Om enjoyed reading ‘Bhitra sasa’ and ‘Bhali khod modli’ because the friends in the stories look out for each other.
Mr. Sheikh, a teacher in Kondhwa School, asked for a bag of story books. He then conducted a parents’ meeting and explained to the parents the importance of reading and how the children were now responsible for keeping the books safely. He encouraged the children who lived near each other to exchange their books and put their free time to good use. The children were very happy to take home two or three books each. When the school reopened in June the children brought back all the books and exchanged further and discussed what they had read. 40 students had read 84 books!
Door Step School sincerely hopes this love for reading continues as a lifelong habit for all the children.
Contributed by Project Grow with Books, translated by Mrs. Archana Vyawaharkar, Volunteer,DSS,Pune
‘Parivartan’, the training center of The Society for Door Step Schools, Pune (DSS) has been doing a commendable job since its inception in 2007. It was started with the aim of bringing about uniformity in the training given to the staff of Door Step School with a special focus on the teachers working at grass-root level in various DSS projects. Since its inception, it has evolved into a well recognized training center even for other organizations working in the field of education. Their effectively planned and result oriented modules for language and math are more than welcome in every teacher’s repertoire.
DSS recognized very early, the challenge of achieving the most basic learning skills- being able to read the local newspaper. As a result, DSS first devised a 120 day language learning programme based on their experience in the field and simultaneously designed and developed various teaching aids/tools to implement this programme. DSS soon started an intervention programme for Std.I in municipal schools and adapted the 120 day programme to its syllabus. As a result, 90% of the children with 80% attendance can read the Std.I text-book at the end of the year. A similar 120 day programme for Maths was developed that was to be simultaneously implemented with the language plan. The methodology to implement these programmes involves rigorous monitoring and revision work done regularly. The tools include (other than the usual charts and picture books) various adaptations of popular games, puzzles, specially designed competency based reading material including story books and stories written and illustrated by children themselves, and plenty of creative work to make learning an enriching experience.
Sampark Bhaje, Eklavya Nyaat, Disha Samaj Vikas Sanstha, Asha Kiran, New Vision and Saans Foundation are some of the NGO’s who have also been trained at Parivartan between April and June 2019. The common factor is always, ‘Which is the best way of teaching children and especially under privileged children who have no encouragement at home?’
Every NGO that approaches DSS for training first gives their requirement and then DSS plans their schedule with the appropriate modules. Most of them come for training to teach language and math.
The first reaction of any trainees handling DSS’ teaching aids is, “Oh….why didn’t WE get to learn like this!” And then, “This is such fun! I’m sure the children will love it!” The enthusiasm takes over and the teacher is drawn into its folds with a commitment to teach and learn. They are once again students and enjoy every aspect of the training….the games, activities, role plays and the theory… all are popular. The structure of their own training teaches them the importance of diverse ways which they can use to make the children’s school experience a happy one.
Many admit that their own reading and writing skills improve by attending even a few days’ training. They realize the importance of planning and following a time-table. They also appreciate the ingenuity of making difficult concepts easy and yet interesting; they feel confident to take part in discussions regarding the teaching – learning process; and also feel confident to control a class!
All the trainees always appreciate the total commitment and the passion of the DSS trainers who have developed the teaching aids/ tools. They also admire their patience, and humble and co-operative nature that encourages interaction at every turn.
Door Step School thanks all these organizations and wishes each one of them the very best in helping to transform the foundational learning in our schools and provide more strategies for improvement at all levels.
Very often, in the process of teaching, assumptions are thrown to the wind. Back to the basics.