Day one of week one of a brand new project finds 5 eager, yellow shirted people in the back of a jeep heading out to school with our bags of books and supplies, not really knowing what to expect.
We pass through dusty dry farmland, spotting the occasional gazelle and camel and attracting the stares of other drivers and pedestrians but the stares soon turn to smiles and waves when we smile back
We then followed the drummers in a procession to the school, Jajiwal Brahumana. It is a small school, with 3 teachers and 79 pupils in classes 1 to 5.
It was then onto speeches, tea and flower garlands. What a wonderful, colourful and vibrant welcome.
We decided to work together as a group for all sessions in week one and we based all activities on the theme of colour. We wanted to be able to gauge the different levels of the various classes and at each of the 5 schools. 3 of the schools are class 1 to 5 and the other 2 are class 1 to 8. The largest school has only 115 pupils and the smallest 57. All schools are government built and run.
We had a fairly basic book about a dog involving a high level of repetition and various colours and we adapted this book for the different age groups, from interactive storytelling to individual reading. We used visual aids, worksheets and multi coloured paper to make the lessons fun and lively. Over the course of the week we adapted our technique and refined our activities according to what we experienced each day. It was a steep but very enjoyable learning curve.
At all 5 schools during the week we were warmly welcomed by the teachers, many of whom don’t speak English but all of whom are happy to have Book Bus in their school. The children we have met are enthusiastic and curious. It has been a very rewarding first week and we have all come away with a better idea of how these rural schools operate the needs of the schools, the level of English of the pupils and now we can use this knowledge to plan for the coming weeks.
- Kelly, Group Leader, Book Bus India