Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Schools That Care Conference

Are you going for the Schools That Care conference? Our editor, Mala Kumar, will be speaking about the 'Joys of Reading' on Day 3 of conference.


In July 2017, The Teacher Foundation brings to you a conference with a national presence and an international perspective. It’s Schools that Care (STC 2017), celebrating 15 years of dedicated work in making schools enabling environments for students. The conference will also present the findings of TTF’s 5 years of research aimed at developing a framework of Standards for Social and Emotional Learning (SSEL) for Indian schools. 
Pastoral care and its elements of empathy, sensitivity, positive regard for the child are often given short shrift in the race by schools and parents for rote-based academic achievement and marks. In the long run what gets sacrificed are students’ human capacities for compassion, courage, joy, generosity, grit, resilience and relationships. The repercussions of this are already evident in an increasingly intolerant, angry & divided world. 
Schools have a moral imperative for providing an education that prepares all students to handle life’s challenges with a sense of personal and collective integrity. 
Schools that Care (STC) 2017 is a conference with a difference. Since schools exist for young people, this conference includes them as prominent and powerful voices! STC 2017 promises to be a confluence of minds, hearts and hands – both young & old. It’s an opportunity for discussion, dialogue and debate amongst school leaders, teachers, researchers and students.
Find more details about the conference here. The conference is from 13 to 15 July, 2017 at the JN Tata Auditorium, Bangalore.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Meet the Finalists of This Year's Retell, Remix and Rejoice Contest!

The result for Pratham Books’ Retell, Remix and Rejoice contest 2017 is finally here! A big thank you to all the participants for taking part, and being super patient with us as the judges read through each of your wonderful stories.


This year, Retell, Remix and Rejoice was in a slightly different avatar as we asked our community to weave level 1 and 2 stories around certain themes. We received 66 entries: 39 in English, 26 in Hindi and 1 Tamil story. This was the most number of Hindi stories we ever received for the contest.

Drum roll please

And now, on to the results! This year, we have 3 winning finalists:







Each finalist will receive a gift hamper of books from Pratham Books and will get one hour with a Pratham Books editor, who will share their editorial feedback on the story. One final story will then be chosen for re-illustration.

Meet the judges



Rajesh Khar is a senior editor at Pratham Books. Through these years, he has not only edited and translated books but also coordinated lit fests like Bookaroo, JLF, Samanvay, New Delhi World Book Fairs and joined hands with organisations like Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, CBSE, NEOR by NCERT and a host of non-profits. He has been supervising books in many Northern & Eastern Indian languages and also have had opportunity to be a part of the Adikahaani Series and the Urdu programme. His interests are music, classical performing arts, casual writing, theater and film making. He loves spending time with children and young people and basically has a lot of fun in whatever he does.

This is what Rajesh had to say about the entries this year: “I enjoyed reading all the stories very much and while reading the thoughts that came into my mind were a mixed lot - sometimes those of pleasure, at times a little sadness. Why sadness? Well, in some of the stories I wished that the authors had sustained that creative energy till the last word. Animal Symphony was a lovely story that highlighted the need to provide children ample opportunities to bond with nature alone. My Grandma Has a Tail and Toot'ta Tara both displayed out-of-the-box thinking and creativity. Joy, happiness and love together make every childhood memorable and create individual secure little universes. This subconsciously builds the foundations for a happy and healthy future life. I was happily reminded of this while reading A Special Journey.”


Our second judge, Kanchan Banerjee is a Managing Trustee of Akshara Foundation where she develops strategy and designs learning material. She founded Jyoshika, an NGO which works for the enrichments of children's learning in their eearly years. She enjoys writing for children.Under a UNICEF projects she developed graded readers in Kannada for children in Karnataka and in Hindi for children in Chattisgarh. She had this to say about the entries received this year: “It was delightful to read a variety of imaginative entries. Truly, writers can fire the creativity of young children and move them to a different space away from moralizing.”

Congratulations to the winners. You’ll be hearing from us shortly about your one on one session with a Pratham Books editor.

Read all the Retell, Remix and Rejoice entries.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Pratham Books is Hiring : Accounts Executive

Pratham Books is a not-for-profit children's book publisher that was set up in 2004 to publish good quality, affordable books in many Indian languages. Our mission is to see ‘a book in every child’s hand’ and we have spread the joy of reading to millions of children in India.

In 13 years, we have published over 3,000 books and distributed over 14 million copies of our storybooks and 16 million story cards.

We are looking for an Accounts Executive to join our team in Bengaluru.

Duties:

  • Verification of bills received from vendors and process for payments.
  • Entering expenditure and payment entries in Tally.
  • Monthly Payment of TDS
  • Monthly BRS and maintain returned cheques details.
  • Maintaining Fixed Deposits Register
  • Monthly Settlement of Staff Advances and Reimbursements
  • Perform any other duties as and when required.

Qualification:
  • B.COM / M.COM graduate with a experience of 3-5 years
  • Should posses good knowledge about excel, word and Tally
  • Strong communication skills- written and verbal English
Location: Position is based out of Bangalore

Salary: Will commensurate with experience.

Write to us: Email your resume with Accounts Executive in the subject line to careers(at)prathambooks(dot)org

P.S - If you are shortlisted, you will hear back from us within 15 days of applying.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Exploring Science and Maths Through Stories


Sometimes, Maths and Science can be daunting for children. However, when concepts are presented in a fun and engaging manner, children find it easier to grasp and retain them. There is a dearth of simple, informative books for young readers and access to these books will help children in their learning journey. With support from Oracle, Pratham Books developed a special set of books exploring Science and Maths concepts with engaging narratives and eye-catching illustrations that will enrich the child’s current curriculum and be a useful classroom aid for the teachers. Last year, 100 Library kits with these books were distributed to multiple not-for-profits and schools across the country. We traveled to a few of our partner schools to see the impact these books were having which is documented in this video. 

Pratham Books would like to thank Oracle, Mantra Social Services, Florida English School and Communities Rising for their support to this film. 

We are also thankful to Sangeeta Velegar for the script for this film and Arjun Swaminathan Films for the production.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Shadow of a Book

We have said this often - very often, our inboxes receive some love, some happiness and end up spreading a whole lot of joy. Last week, we received this little thank you note from Srividhya Raghavan : 
I wanted to pen this email for nearly a month. At a friend's place, we came across the book "Sister, Sister, why is the sky so blue?". My little one was impressed but couldn't understand the concept. Luckily, the following day we spotted the book "Sister, sister, where does thunder come from?" at the library and grabbed it immediately. Hardly had we reached home, we started reading the book. My little one was thoroughly impressed and me too!! He is a nature lover but very scared of thunder and lightning. When we finished reading the book (as usual multiple times), he grabbed a paper and his art set. He drew the below picture and said "Mommy next time when thunder comes I will teach you what is thunder". 
I was amazed at what impact a book could bring to a child! Thank you Pratham Books. Please keep such stupendous titles coming.
We happily shared the note with Roopa Pai (the author of the book).We cannot agree more with what Roopa said in her reply : ¨Also made me realise how long a shadow a single book can throw - I wrote the 'Sister, Sister' series some 12 years ago!¨

Read the 'Sister, Sister' series:
Sister, Sister Why is the Sky So Blue? Sister, Sister, Why Don’t Things Fall Up?
Sister, Sister, Where Does Thunder Come From?

Setting Up Libraries in Ukhrul



Wondering what this place in the pictures is? These are pictures from Ukhrul district in Manipur - a place which our books have found homes in now.

In July 2016, the Library initiative of Library for All (LfA) was set up. LfA works for tribal children in hilly district of Manipur. LfA sets up or revives libraries in government schools and makes libraries a space for active learning. Its program reaches children in elementary grades.

The month of August was when Yasin Khan, co-founder, started a Donate-a-Book campaign to raise funds for books to add to libraries across Ukhrul district. 700+ books were generously donated by our community to this campaign. Yasin shares a report from the libraries :

Plan for the books received :

We keep the books in the library or in the classes where there is no library space. With these books we do library activities such as read alouds, story telling sessions, lending of books. Improving their reading and comprehension skill is one objective apart from building a reading habit culture in the schools.


Arrival of books :
Children were very excited to see the books they have never seen. I found many children started reading seriously on the first  day itself as if they have been reading since before. Everyone is quite happy to see the books in their schools. But the number of books is less to serve all the children. So, we need to get more for them.


Experience on Donate-a-Book:

It was my first experience of running a crowd funding in my life. It was a great learning for me for the future marketing I will be doing for similar purpose. What I like was the ‘I could say to potential donors that we don’t want money directly, you buy us books - which is what we need, and from where you can buy books is at donateabooks.org.in. This was an easier means to build trust between donors and me’.

Read aloud session in progress
A book in every child's hand :)
Busy bookworm

Books make us happy!

Shhhh. Bookworms at work

R is for Reading!
Library
When our books found their friends in Ukhrul
The first Library for All campaign did not get fully funded in its first attempt and Yasin has restarted his campaign to fundraise for the remaining books. Now that you have seen how books are making a difference in Ukhrul, will you send some book love to the kids there?


**********

Help more children like the kids in Ukhrul find their favourite books by making a small donation on Donate-a-Book. Donate-a-Book is an initiative by Pratham Books to help bridge the gap between those who want to help children read and those who need books for children. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Donate-a-Book Turns Two

Wooohoo! On Saturday, 24th June, Donate-a-Book turned two. Looking forward to so many more birthdays and getting many, many, many more books into the hands of children. 


In 2 years, 95,000+ books have reached 2,87,979 kids through the campaigns that have run on the platform. All through friends like YOU. 

Can we ask for a birthday gift? You won't say that we've reached the terrible twos if we do, right? The best part - this birthday gift is going to be shared with thousands of children across India. 

We now want to run the 100k race! Can you help us reach 1,00,000 books by donating a book today? That would definitely be the best birthday gift we receive :).

"Who will you share the books with?", you ask. With....
- Gram Chetna Kendra which wants to stock two of its resource centres and one of their libraries
- kids studying at an Urdu medium government school in a village called Vaddeswaram.
- Padmashree, a Teach for India Fellow, who wants books for the low income schoolshe teaches in.
- Sharmila who helped build a new library in a remote village in Ladakh.
- children studying at the Hosahalli government school in Maddur.
- a volunteer who wants to get books for a government school in Gundedu village, Telangana.
- 6 rural schools in Deoghar, Jharkhand
- Library for All : an organization that seeks to create access to books in Ukhrul district, Manipur. 
- 4 Supplementary Education Centers run by Janakalyan welfare society in villages of Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh. 

THANK YOU for joining us on this journey! 


If you know a school or organization that needs books, tell them about the Donate-a-Book platform or start a campaign to get books for them. 

Help India's children read by donating a book today.

*Photos in this post were sent to us by Chandini Chhabra who raised funds for the 'School Library Project' on Donate-a-Book

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sunday Storytelling at Cubbon Park


An early morning visit to Cubbon Park on a Sunday. Listening to stories sitting under canopies amidst chirping birds. Sounds like a perfect morning, no? :)

Pratham Books, in collaboration with The Hindu, brings to you a Sunday morning worth remembering. Come be a part of the Reading Zone inside Cubbon Park which has been set up as a part of the celebrations for the Cycle Day. 

While author Shruthi Rao tells us about Avani's pea plant, illustrator Bhavana Vyas Vipparthi will spill the beans on how a cloud of trash was hanging over Cheekoo’s head. An activity session follows! 

A wildly entertaining morning for children of all ages!

Venue: Reading Zone (near KSLTA Stadium), Cubbon Park
Date: June 25th, 2017 (Sunday)
Time: 08:00*- 09:00 AM
* Be present at the venue by 7.45 AM.

RSVP on our Facebook page.