Wednesday, September 17, 2014

BLF- Pratham Books Outreach Programme begins!

Wednesday afternoons are usually the dullest point of the week. You are half way to the week, half way to the day, weekend still looming a little far. But all this majorly changes when you attend a storytelling session, in a room full of giggling kids with a storyteller who can mimic animal voices and performs with puppets. Wednesday afternoon, suddenly become the highest point of the week and we have something to thank for this.

Bangalore Literature Festival is just around the corner (26th – 28th Sept.). In it’s third edition, BLF is bigger and better and as one of the Festival Partners, Pratham Books cannot be excited enough! We decided to start the celebrations a little early and invited one of our authors to do a storytelling session in a school as a part of the BLF-Pratham Books Outreach Programme.

The session started to a full house. The kids, a mix of Kannada and Hindi speakers, were eager and excited. Their unit exam had just finished and the relief was visible. Our author, Ms. Vijaylakshmi Nagaraj made an entry on time and after a quick intro to the session by our colleague Shruthi, we were all set. Vijaylakshmi picked up her story book, Rhino Charge , published by Pratham Books to read out to the kids. As the kids empathized with the shy rhino Ringo, who finally picks up the confidence and courage to say his name aloud to his friends, they also had a good time identifying all the other animals illustrated. After the story finished, Vijaylakshmi introduced the kids to all the animal puppets she had brought along. While the peacock mesmerized the kids, the mouse made them squeal with delight (or maybe fear ?). A discussion on colours of the ladybird ensued and disappointment expressed over the disappearance of dinosaurs. The kids requested Vijaylakhsmi to tell them a story about Dinosaurs , and she obliged by reading out snippets from her other book ‘The natural wonders of India’ printed by TERI. She then invited one of the children to read out the Kannada version of 'My Car', another much loved book from our stable. The session ended with Vijaylakshmi stressing the importance of reading to the kids, and requested their teacher to ensure a story before every lesson to make it more interesting. She also extracted a promise from the kids to write a new story by this Friday which they will show to their teacher, as well as the Pratham Books office next door. Goodbyes were said and the session concluded. We all exited the school with all the stress of the week washed off and a big smile plastered on our faces. Story telling with kids did that to each one of us.

Here are a few pictures from the event.

Introducing the session
  Ringo, the rhino in class
The peacock puppet brought many smiles
10 - year-old Purvi, reading out 'My Car' to her friends                                      

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