They find a new way of learning English – ANDHRA PRADESH
For 14-year-old Srivani, Thursday is the most awaited day of the week. It is on this day that she gets to meet her favourite teacher, play a game of scrabble or crossword, learn new words and go on an exciting journey of knowledge beyond the mundane textbook pages. Srivani. daughter of an auto-rickshaw driver, not only has a whole new vocabulary of English today, she also gave a tough competition to other school students at a spelling bee competition held in the city recently.
Thanks to a team of volunteers, scores of students of AU English Medium School, who hail from economically backward sections of society, are now finding a new meaning in learning English lessons. It was with the aim of equipping the underprivileged students with basic spoken English skills the group Speaking Chalk was formed two months ago. A brainchild of Sandhya Venugopal Godey, the group members take classes every Thursday for students of classes 1 to 9 at the school. What started as a lone journey last September, Ms Sandhya today has managed to rope in 36 volunteers who are making an endeavour to bring a difference in the lives of these children.
“We started with the aim of giving the students some tips and practice in spoken English. Invariably a class on etiquette, manners, career guidance and motivation to dream big and work hard towards their goals gets thrown in. The primary goal nevertheless is to improve their spoken English which will give them a fighting chance in today’s world on intense competition,” said Ms Sandhya, who has also set up a scholarship fund of Rs. 1.8 lakh for the school students with the help of her friends and well-wishers across the globe.
To create a small library of story books for the kids, Speaking Chalk recently held a book donation event at Tanishq showroom.
The teaching experience has been an eye-opening experience for the volunteers who hail from all walks of life – entrepreneurs, doctors, teachers and homemakers. “The children despite the different kind of hardship they face are delightfully receptive, especially the younger ones,” they say. Each of them spend hours and days preparing for their next class and devising new methods to make the learning interesting and interactive.