Come April, and the children at Patil Estate finished their school exams and were all ready to begin their summer vacations. We did not want the children to study or to sit through regular classes while their friends back home enjoyed! However, neither did we want to declare a vacation as well so, we decided to make full use of their free time to do extra-curricular activities with them. Now was the time for dance, art, craft and Origami classes, reading and star gazing sessions, outings, movie screenings and lots of games!
Here are the brief details of these activities:
• Reading: As with a large number of children world-wide, we had been observing that our children were not keen on reading for pleasure. So we introduced reading sessions during our weekend classes to see if any of them would want to pursue reading as a hobby. The children explored the world through several colorful children’s books lent by Pankhudi volunteers.
• Dance, art, craft and Origami classes: Creativity, as we know, is a very desirable trait, and in what better way could the children tap theirs! Dancing to “All is well”, drawing sceneries, folding paper to form interesting objects and crafting pictures out of paper, they did it all. And they enjoyed it a lot!
• Movie screening : Movies are a great source of entertainment, especially for our children, so we decided to screen some meaningful, yet fun-to-watch movies for them. After arranging for projectors and speakers, we screened the movies ‘Makdee’ (about a brave young girl’s fight to rescue her twin sister from a Witch) and ‘Finding Nemo’ (about the father fish’s journey to find his son).
• Katraj Snake Park outing: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and there’s a lot to learn outside the walls of a classroom. We realized this and took 45 children from the Patil Estate along with us to the Katraj Snake Park and Zoo. Our motive was to facilitate informal interaction between children and volunteers, to let children see in real life the animals they had heard or read about, and also to have fun!
• Star Gazing: Stars and celestial bodies are something we always see, and like too; so we decided to get up close with them. With the help of two telescopes set up on the terrace of a COEP building, 25 kids began exploring the structure of constellations and the surface of the moon, ably guided by Mr. Tushar Purohit from IUCAA.