Sunday, April 24, 2005

Suchana: The Khanjanpur Early Learning Group

Originally uploaded by dalbhat.
Over the weekend our family visited friends who live outside of Shantiniketan, in a village called Khanjanpur. Since we were there on a Sunday morning we got to view firsthand the school that Kirsty and Rahul set up on their verandahs for local children who need primary education. They started this in November 2004 and through the donations of friends and family, and the sale of greeting cards have been able to keep it going! They currently have about 47 children coming on Sundays and Wednesdays for four hour sessions. We really enjoyed the community feeling they have created, and were inspired by the work they are achieving! Some basic information about the school is below and if you would like more info or want to help by selling/buying their cards or doing any kind of fundraising, contact them at:

Suchana is a culturally very mixed group, which emphasises equality - between boys and girls as well as between cultures - and cultural exchange. Our teaching takes place in three languages, according to need. We believe in education to support creativity, and hence emphasise art, craft, music and self-expression in our curriculum. We also emphasise local knowledge, and take care to focus on situations and information relevant and useful to rural children in India. We have been developing our activity-based learning methods, and do not use text books except as reference resources.

We divide our sessions into two parts, the first part in classes according to literacy level, and the second part all together.
To our pre and neo-literates, we teach: Literacy through Santali; Literacy through Bengali; Basic numeracy; Songs, Dances, Rhymes. To our literates, we teach: Environmental and natural science; Village-based social science; English language; English literacy. All together we enjoy: Singing (in three languages) and music-making with rhythm work; Crafts -- with an emphasis on local crafts and materials; Art -- with lots of variety; Stories -- from books, from memory, or even from the internet; Sports and games -- including mixed cricket.

Contact them at:
SUCHANA: The Khanjanpur Early Learning Group
Uttor Phalguni
P.O and Village: Khanjanpur,
Via Sriniketan, Birbhum,
West Bengal, 731 236, India

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