'Be Changed' and 'Be the Change'
Citizenship is a way of behaving, thinking and learning that supports lifelong personal and community development. Riverside understands that 'Disparity is a Reality,' so to practise Citizenship for us is to BE THE CHANGE.
We have discovered that the gravest impediment to change is the "DON’T KNOW - DON’T CARE" syndrome. Through the Citizenship Curriculum, Riverside aids all Stakeholders (students, parents, teachers, partners, et al.) to break out of that cycle of inaction by providing a framework of do-ables that generates opportunities for being an active citizen.
By providing authentic experiences to participants, they become Aware of the realities, which leads to Enablement and finally they are Empowered to be active change agents.
Ongoing Projects undertaken under the curriculum in Key Stage 2 this year are:
Akshay Patra is an NGO that provides wholesome and hygienic mid-day meals to Municipal School children. The organization depends on Government grant and donations from the public, to fund the meals. The children of grade 3 have partnered with the organization.
Grade 4 is interacting with children of Samvedna, an NGO running an after school enrichment programme for municipal school kids. The interaction is for the purpose of helping those kids develop English language skills.
Grade 5 has parterned with Umang- a school for the hearing impaired.The partnership is based on equal oppurtunity for Riverside students and their Umang buddies. The big idea being to work with the audience (Umang) and not for them.
Prabhat is an NGO that is committed to the national effort to help children with special needs to find their way to independent adulthood. Prabhat programmes seek to bring about positive changes in the lives of these children by building their skills, knowledge and self-confidence. The big idea for Grade 6 is ‘Building Relationships’, for they are at an age where they are forming values that are meaningful. They are open to exploring the meaning of ‘Relationship’, its nuances, its varied forms and manifestations. Prabhat provided a chance to experience ‘relationship’ with children who are different.
As a part of the citizenship programme this year Grade 7 has chosen to be the aProCh fellows, working towards making the city more child friendly. They have been helping in organizing the various aProCh initiatives like Parents of the Park, Movie'ing Experience and Street Smart.
In KeyStage 3 the 'Persistence' projects undertaken by the students in 2011-2012 are:
1) Dosti: 100 hours, 30 girls
'Dosti' is an initiative where the boys and girls of Grade 9 buddied with 30 girls who were blind. Grade 9 also helped the girls raise money by selling peanut chikkis made by them. The amount collected was about 16,000 Rupees.
2)Red Cross: 60 hours, 50 children suffering from thhalesemia. Engaged children with 70 different activities.
A group of about 10 students of Grade 8 visited the Red Cross which treated children suffering from Thalassaemia for over 60 hours and engaged them in more than 70 different activities.
3) HEAL: 65 weeks, 2200 kids, 80 volunteers, a little more than 4 lakhs was the amount raised through an auction.
4) TKD: 38 weeks, 19 volunteers
Students from grades 9,10 and 11 were a part of the 'Tees Kadam' initiative where 20 children from municipal schools were given one on one quality instructions in English, Math and Science amongst other things. Football coaching, understanding social skills and personal hygiene were also part of the agenda.
5) Chalo nishad: 17 volunteers, 60 hours over the past 6 months, 45 children impacted through dance, preparation for stage perfromances, english and math teaching, art works from waste and photography.
Chalo Nishaad has volunteers from grades 8 to 11. They have spent over 60 hours in just 6 months teaching around 45 children from the slums not only english and math but also training them to perform on the stage for the public. A few had sessions on photography too.
6) Random Acts of Kindness:
This group works with different initiatives and how they need support/ volunteers/ funds.
eg. When HEAL needed funds, this group made cup cakes, sold them and raised
Rs 4000 and handed it over to them. When Blind People's Association needed event managers, they stepped in, taught and choreographed a dance sequence.
They persisted with the "WARMTH" initiative of last year and distributed clothes collected from different sources to the needy and the homeless.