The group is already working with Bombay International School, and Sadhana School for children with Down Syndrome.
These instructors don't look at drama just as a means to put up a school production, they approach it as a subject and a tool that enriches and enhances education.
This year, we arranged 5 workshops, two for students and 3 for teachers, in collaboration with this group. The teachers’ workshop had different goals from the students’. Teachers were exposed to several games, exercises and strategies that they could usefully use in their classrooms to make teaching and learning more fun and more effective. Both the teachers and students who participated in the workshops found them extremely enjoyable as well as educative. In the coming year we are trying to introduce an ambitious theatre programme. Because we feel that theatre is the most powerful tool we can use to teach our children skills for life.
From the academic year beginning June 2010, Theater classes will be held once a week - for one hour - for each division of Standard 9. There will be a total of 25-30 sessions through out the year. The classes will be conducted by professional theater teachers from a group called "Theatre Professionals" One teacher from our school will also be assisting in these classes which will be conducted in batches of 30 students. As a unique experiment, we will be video recording the year-long course of two batches to document and research the effects that this program has on the progress of the students. These classes which will cost several lakhs of rupees will be funded, in the main, by our group through donations from well-wishers.Though taught as a subject, it is pure fun and no examinations will be held in this subject at the end of the year. However, periodic assessment of progress will be made.
The year long classes started on July 7, 2010 and ended successfully in March 2011.
The impact of these classes on the students was so positive that both teachers and students (now in std. 10) made a strong plea to continue these classes into Std. 10. This was done and in the academic year 2011-12 both Std.9 and Std. 10 classes have Theater Classes. In Dec. 2011, Std. 10 kids who have now had "theater Experience for two years" put up about 10 plays at the Bharatiya Hall. These plays were of high quality and content and hailed by all present.
Since its inception, till December 2011, our batch has contributed close to Rs.4,00,000 for the conduct of the theater classes and we hope other batches will help us fund this activity on a continuing basis.
Syudents assistanceship Fund
We conducted a survey earlier in 2010 which helped us identify students from economically severely disadvantaged families. Our group has embarked on an ambitious program to collect a corpus to provide some financial support to these students. We would be grateful if the PTA can guide and help us in this endevour.
How can the PTA help?
We have always felt that none of our programs can be successful beyond a limit without active participation of teachers and parents. After all you have high stakes in such programs. We have been getting steady support from the teachers, and we have already approached them for more formal support in the form of coordinators for the SEPs and six have already volunteered, and we are very grateful for this enthusiastic help. Similarly we are sure that among the parents group there will be numerous ideas for more and comprehensive activities for children. We would be delighted to work with parents in achieving their goals and aspirations for their children, as far as SEPs, the “Beyond Academics” programs are concerned.