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