Thursday, October 23, 2008
After visiting Shikshamitra during her visit to Kolkata, when she conducted two excellent drawing classes with my students, a teacher at the UN International School, Chrysanthi Fairchild, came up with this simple yet effective idea for donating books to schools here in Kolkata.
It is a fun project that is connecting up kids from the US with kids here...through their love of books! Her idea was so simple -- just give out an envelope with the Mustard Seeds Library address on it and ask children to send a book or two to someone in Kolkata. It's called Kolkata Kidz Connection.
As the books roll in (and we have already received 55 of them....), I will either place them on the shelves of our home library where many local children borrow from, or donate them to NGO schools according to the level of the book.
Here is a report from a recent assembly held at her school:
Last Friday October 3rd, the Middle One students at the United Nations International School in New York City watched Ms. Fairchild’s slide show about her trip to India. Ms. Fairchild spoke about the sights and sounds of this far- away country and described the schools that she had visited: the International School of Calcutta and the Shikshamitra School in Alipore. She spoke about the lack of reading material she had noticed at the schools and how students at UNIS are surrounded by books and take reading books for granted.
She then showed the envelopes prepared by her class and explained the idea of mailing a book or two to students in India, perhaps with a message, and how a book can be so important to improve reading comprehension, develop imagination as well as inform a person. The envelopes were distributed and a large poster with a place for a tally was displayed in the lounge so that the students can keep track of the books sent.
For the NGO schools, we are especially in need of books for children ages 1-8: picture books and easy readers for up to Grade 2. If you would like to work with a group of children you know and make the Kolkata Kidz Connection project grow, please be in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. The books are truly appreciate and never sit on the shelf for very long! Each book will find a proper home and an eager reader.