January 2018 Newsletter

Academic Updates:

The school reopened for third term on 2nd Jan, 2018.

With the lessons plans well chalked out, the classes are progressing as per schedule for all the classes.

For vocational students, we have started conducting sessions on “Office Etiquette”. Our vocational students, along with skills training in their respective streams, are now being given soft skills training. How to present oneself for an interview, how to conduct oneself in the office environment, grooming etc are being covered in this training.

This training is also an important step in getting our eligible students ready for internship / placement in corporate environment, so that the transition becomes smooth and easy.

Participation in National level Grand Challenges Exploration - New Delhi:

In collaboration with IIT Madras, Swabodhini had applied for grant under the “Grand Challenges Exploration –India”, funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The proposal was for creation of a non-invasive device that will predict the onset of behavior changes in individuals with autism by analyzing the ectodermal activity.

Out of the 237 applicants, Swabodhini was one of the 20 finalists who presented the proposal to a panel of experts in New Delhi. Of the 20 finalists, Swabodhini was the only NGO that had applied for the grant. It was a wonderful platform to highlight the challenges of autism and urge for more research in finding solutions to manage behavior issues in individuals with autism. However, Swabodhini was not in the final 5 proposals that was selected.

Sports participation:

Our students participated in the Krida Sports Event, which was conducted in Nehru Stadium. Students with special needs from various schools in Chennai participated in this event. Two of our students, Mr. Kannan and Mr. Ashwin Anand won in running race in the senior category.

Celebrations at School - Helper’s day:

Every year, Swabodhini celebrates Helper’s day to acknowledge and appreciate the support staff who tirelessly work for the welfare of our students. The support staff care for the students as their own children and assist them in their activities at school. The support staff are also crucial for the smooth functioning of the school.

Games and fun activities were conducted for the support staff in which they participated enthusiastically and winners were given gift vouchers from Swayam Shop. Gifts were given to all the helpers. It was a day full of thankfulness, appreciation and of course, laughter and fun.

Pongal Celebrations:

In a continuation of festive spirit, Pongal was celebrated in a grand manner at Swabodhini. Classrooms were decorated with Pongal themed pictures. Teachers took this opportunity to educate our students on words and activities that had the harvest festival as theme.

The school sported bright rangolis and all offered prayers of thanks and wished for prosperity and abundance for all.

Swabodhini Outreach - participation in Hindu Spiritual and Service Foundation Fair:

Hindu Spiritual and Service Foundation (HSSF) conducted a 6 day fair at the Guru Nanak College campus, Velachery. It was a huge event where NGOs and service organizations from various parts of the state set up stalls to disseminate awareness about the work that they are doing for the society.

Swabodhini was also a part of this fair. We were able to reach out to more than 200 people about what we do at Swabodhini for the cause of autism and special education.

Advisory board meeting 2018:

Swabodhini had their advisory board meeting in January. The board of trustees, advisory board members and leadership team spent the whole day reflecting on the improvement happened in Swabodhini last year. The developments in the last academic year, plan for the next academic year and way forward was chalked out in this meeting. Swabodhini is very thankful for the clear insights and direction from its advisory board.

Kick Start of Leadership training:

In our constant endeavor to bring in professionalism to our vision and passion of special education, Swabodhini has tied up with executive coaches to provide leadership training to the leadership team. The training is aimed at bringing out the best of the team’s capabilities and also fulfil their job roles in an efficient and professional manner.