April 2017 Newsletter

April 3: Art class

Talented artist Ms. Sheela, who is also one of the managing partners of “The Beach Club” restaurant is conducting art classes for our students. Art again another good facilitator of expression especially for for non verbal students. Her sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays are much awaited by our students. She uses innovative techniques to bring out the artistic talents in our students. Primary, pre vocational and vocational students participate in these art classes in batches of three students per batch. Our special educator, Ms. Mala coordinates with Ms. Sheela for these classes.

Ms. Sheela uses innovative techniques like painting with coconut fibers and using plantain stem peels for filling colors inside patterns.

April 7: Visit from Saksoft

Employees from the CSR committee of Saksoft visited the school and interacted with our students. Saksoft is one of Swabodhini’s main corporate supporter and wellwisher Apart from the huge support that we are receiving from the management, the employees are also looking to help us with soft skills programs and other peer group interactions.

April 13: Assessment at YMCA

Therapists from Swabodhini conducted a one day free assessment camp for students of YMCA (college of physical education) Special School. The free assessment was also open for public. We had a speech therapist, occupational therapist assessing the students. Swabodhini’s head of therapy Ms. Agila did behavioral & IQ assessment and our head of education Ms. Sudha interacted with the parents and guided them on special education programs for their ward.

April 15: Donations from World Bank emplyoees

Every year, Swabodhini gets a part supply of stationery from World Bank employee project. This year also, we are thankful to receive a generous supply of note books, note pads, charts, paper, pens, colour pencils, crayons, water colours etc. This takes care of one fourth of our stationery requirements of the next academic year ....a good start!

April 17: New premises for Swayam Shop

We are extremely proud and happy that our vocational training for retail skills is so effective for students that we are moving to larger premises. Yes, the Swayam Shop, which was housed in the school is moving two streets away to new premises, with more spaces and better accessibility to the general public. We can now train more students in retail skills. Shifting outside school means the shop now has a more real time environment to train our students.

The traditional milk boiling puja was conducted at the new premises on 17th April.

April 20: Parent meet at YMCA

The reports of the said assessment that was conducted on 13th April were shared with the parents and further discussion on the special education and therapy program required for the progress of the ward were discussed individually.

April 22: Fund raising concert by Pioneer Music Gym

Singers from Pioneer Music Gym conducted their second program... a lovely concert to raise funds for the cause of special education and autism awareness, with Swabodhini as the solo beneficiary of the proceeds from the concert.

The concert was held at the Egmore Museum Theatre Hall and the audiences were enthralled by the amazing performance of all the singers. Our student, Mr. Venkat Naren was also given another chance to sing on stage and performed exceptionally well as usual!

Ms. Kamala Selvam of MG also generously took up the sponsorship of our student, Master Jabez.

April 24: Annual Staff Lunch

The most looked forward day of the year for all the staff at Swabodhini is the staff lunch day. This year, the lunch was at “The Beach Club” restaurant in ECR. Staff enjoyed a sumptuous and delicious lunch. This was followed by a few fun games mediated by our wonderful host Ms. Sheela. Then the staff had a great time dancing to fast beats and cooled off in the beach before heading home. They all exchanged gifts with each other.

It was a memorable day of team bonding and a reiteration of the fact that together we can do more!

April 25: Fund raising by Rotary Club of Madras, Downtown

To commemorate their 25th year, Rotary Club of Madras Downtown raised funds for various NGOs. Swabodhini was also one of the beneficiaries. The cheque was presented by District Governer Rtn. Nagarajan Nagoji and President of Rotary Club of Madras Downtown, Mr V. Sriraman.

April 27 and 28: Sensory workshop for staff

April 27 morning session was on "Promoting Empathy" in which all the teachers and support staff were blindfolded and were given sensory stimulation of tactile, olfactory and auditory to have a sensory experience to understand the challenges faced by children with special needs.

There was 15 minutes of briefing before the activity and 1 hour of feedback and interactive sessions post activity

Afternoon session was on "Enhancing interactions in the classroom" conducted by Ms Lakshmi Satish for teachers. A video was shown on different strategies on calming a child with sensory challenges. Feedback from teachers were collected as to how individually they would adapt strategies to calm a child with examples.

April 28th morning session for teachers was on "Perception and Learning" and introduction to classroom adaptations based on child's needs

Afternoon session involved feedback per teacher and assisstant teacher on ways of classroom adaptation in Swabodhini. The list of requirements will be made by every teacher for part of classroom modification as holiday assignment

The facilitators were Lakshmi Satish, Durga Aravind, Saritha Punji and Divyatha Kota from Mirra Charitable Trust.

Academic Updates:

Term end assessments were made for all the three levels - primary, pre-vocational and vocational during April 1st week. The reports were distributed to the parents during the Progressive Review Report meet held on 18th, 19th and 21st April.

Primary - Nearly 140 vocabulary words were introduced this academic year. A note to parents with the required home programs were shared with the parents during the term end parent teachers meeting. Students who have achieved the required goals were identified to be promoted to Pre-vocational groups.

Pre-vocational - Out of the four vocational areas viz Computer, Admin, Retail and Culinary, specific areas based on interest and potential of the students were identified and discussed with parents and feedback taken. Three students were identified for promotion to Vocational stream.

Vocational - Three of our students have successfully completed courses in Retail, Culinary and Office admin and will be placed for internships.

The promoted and the course completed students will be graduated in July 2017.

Overall, the PRR meet was successful and feedback from parents showed happiness with satisfaction.

And this is a wrap for this academic year. Happy Holidays!! Looking forward for the next academic year from 5th June, 2017.