The last time we interacted, this was a few years back , she said the library she started for municipal school kids wasn’t setting the Ooty lake on fire. In a blogpost last month kalyani wrote, ‘ children drop in at the library sporadically’ and those showing up on a given Sat. didn’t necessarily turn up the subsequent weekend – ‘so its hard to sustain any program’.
That was when Kalyani had occasion to attend a PTA meeting at Thalaiyattumund Municipal school, and interact with some parents. What did they want their children to learn ? To speak English, to learn Hindi, computer, karate, drawing…. the sort of things children didn’t get at a municipal school, but would need to get ahead in life.
Reinventing itself in 2013, Siragugal has started a three-month ‘Speak English’ programme for 20 municipal school kids. An Omni van transports them to Siragugal library daily after school. The parents are asked to pay Rs.500 per month towards transport and so they have a greater sense of commitment, says Kalyani. She adds that they use material bought from Eureka, Chennai…Every week they pick a topic, teach vocabulary, with stress on dialogue, question and answer, related educational games and activities. Volunteers are welcome to drop in, so that children can interact with people from varied walks of life. Saturdays are for painting, games and much else.
The next time you happen by Ooty, do find time to drop in at Siragugal for an evening with Kalyani’s children. Her mail firstname.lastname@example.org