Our Work with Schools for Underprivileged Children
The Foundation with its bi-line “Educate.Empower” has a sharp focus on supporting the education of school children from underprivileged backgrounds. As we see it, interventions in schools with this objective can be broadly of two types:
Helping to improve the curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular performance of children while they are in the schools.
Enabling and assisting the children to take up careers, training or study programs of their choice, aptitude and abilities once they leave the school.
Most of the interventions in schools by voluntary agencies, corporate entities etc belong to the first type, with relatively less efforts devoted to the second type of support, though there are a number of vocational training institutions, charities that fund college education etc active in this space.
Click here for a detailed note on this subject where we have outlined a proposal for taking up the second type of intervention with schools in a systematic manner.
Below are listed some activities that the Foundation has pursued with some of the schools in the Chennai region over time.Much of our efforts in this regard have been with the Avvai Home and Girls’ School in Adyar which is where Ms. Rajalakshmi had initiated an carried out her work during 2003-2013, and which our Foundation has attempted to take forward.
Supplementing and Complementing Classroom work
Coaching Classes for classes 11 and 12:
Evening classes had been held by the Foundation for Avvai Home Children to help them do better in their examinations. Dr. Kamalam Parthasarathi, Dr. Sujatha Balakrishnan, Mrs. N. Shanthi, Mrs. Deepa Krishnamurthy, Mrs. Priya Ramkumar and Dr. Chitra K Natarajan were some of our members and associates who had helped with this. We helped them in preparing for their board exams, as well as offered guidance regarding their career option.
Coaching classes for Classes 6,7 and 8:
We conducted English and Mathematics classes for the classes 6,7 and 8 of Avvai Home from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on all working days with the assistance of volunteers from Ethiraj College for Women for two years from 2014 to 2016. The aim of these classes was to develop language and communication skills of the students and to make learning mathematics more effective and interesting. There were 20 volunteers from Ethiraj College involved in teaching the children.
English and Craft Classes:
We helped the hostel students of Seva Sadan, Chetpet every Saturday for a year during 2014-15 in improving their communication skills and reading habits through English classes and story telling sessions and also engaged them in craft and cultural activities. Our volunteers for this programme were Dr.V.Vijayalakshmi, Dr. Bagavathi, Mrs. Annapoorni Shankar and Mrs. N. Shanthi.
English and Soft Skill classes:
The Foundation conducted a 15 day course in April- May from 2014 to 2017, 3 hours everyday, for Class 12 students of Avvai Home after their exams to prepare them for higher studies or employment by improving their communication and soft skills. Mrs. Sreela Kaushik designed the content of the course, and the classes were conducted by Mrs. Sreela Kaushik, Mrs. Ranjani Vardhan, Mrs. Annapoorni Shankar and Mrs. N.Shanthi.
Setting up School Libraries
We helped with shifting the library at the TVR High School from the old premises to the new premises in October 2015. Our Foundation has organised, classified and arranged the library at the new premises. Mrs. Shanthi from the Foundation has been involved in setting up and running the Library in Avvai Home from 2015 onwards.
Story Telling Sessions for Class 6,7 and 8 Students
The Foundation organised story telling sessions for class 6,7 and 8 of TVR High School and Avvai Home with the help of volunteers from Ehiraj Collegefor Women. A story telling session with Dr. Sandhya Reuban was organised for the students. A training session by Mr. Kumar was organised for the volunteers from Ethiraj College.
Quiz for Avvai Home Students
During Covid lock down period, RSMF conducted General Quiz and Maths Quiz online every week for Avvai Home students in which the students participated with enthusiasm.
Report on Vocational Courses and Institutes
Our Foundation realises the importance of Vocational Education and Career Guidance for students from the less privileged sections of our society. Efforts were made to prepare a comprehensive Report on Vocational Courses and Institutes in the Chennai region , and this was carried out by our former Programme Coordinator Mr. Deepak. It is proposed to expand this work as well as try and network them with schools and other stake holders.
Hostel Fees for College Students
Our Foundation works to empower girl students from under privileged backgrounds by assisting and supporting their education beyond school. Some students need financial support to stay in a suitable hostel during the time of their college studies. Our Foundation has been meeting the hostel fees of a few of the meritorious students from under privileged background for the past three years to enable them to complete their college education and become financially independent. It also provides counseling and career guidance to these students and mentor them.
Tamil Translation of Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy’s Autobiography
The Autobiography of Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy, the founder of Avvai Home, was first published in English in 1964, and is an authentic record of the multifaceted and rich life Dr.Reddy led as a true pioneer in many fields – covering all aspects such as personal, family, professional, scientific, educational, social, cultural and political. Though narrated as the story of one person, the book covers a breath taking canvass of events, personalities, relationships, institutions and movements spread over 6 decades and more - a period that has profoundly impacted on the destiny of our nation. The Tamil Translation of this important work was carried out by Prof. S. Rajalakshmi during 2012-13, and was published jointly by Avvai Home and our Foundation, with the support of Cre-A Publishers, and was formally released on 30th July 2014.
Our Story Cards Program
Our program on Story Cards in multiple languages, detailed here is primarily aimed at improving the reading and comprehension abilities of underprivileged children.