Saturday, February 23, 2013

Library - Wish I could enter

The library has been functioning for many months now so a library post has long been overdue. The library today looks very different from when it started operating.  New games, books, shelves and whiteboards have made their way into the library thanks to a lot of support of will-wisher. The books have been reclassified a few times and the shelves have labels. We have even been mentioned in the Mid-day!

For me, this post is a trip down memory lane, recounting my experiences when the library started. I have written about how the place was found and how it was built. As you can see, it's a small space and we teach 115 students in 5th grade alone. We also know how expensive the books are and how chaotic an overwhelming number of students can get. We wanted to ease our students into the system and at the same time, build this desire and interest for the library. 

We decided to go with a limited access system. Students need entry passes to access it and entry passes were given two times a week to 8-9 new students. Once you got a pass, you wrote your name on it to personalize it. It was a great interest building tool. Some of our most notorious students turned into little angels just to get that pass. Behaviour on the day of the announcement was fantastic.
Chandan was an extremely violent and angry kid. His desire for the pass exceeded his desire to fight and it led to a serious decrease in his aggressiveness. It took a few weeks and after 3-4 weeks, he really thought that he was going to get that pass.
Shubham had become one of the cheekiest, troublesome students in class. Despite his potential, his failure to work was troubling us. Finally, the desire to get the pass got to him and he behaved extremely well for a week.

Announcing the recipients of the pass was probably the most dramatic thing we did in class (That was before the Classroom elections). It was a time of euphoria for some and for some extreme disappointment. Chandan broke down in tears when his hopes were dashed and his name was not announced. Shubham was heartbroken and he, of all people, was silently crying after school. He felt so cheated that he denied that he wanted to come to the library at all. On the other hand, Albaz jumped up with joy when his name was announced.

Everyday, there was a long line outside the gate when we went to open the library at 2pm. We had trouble keeping the kids out. The staircase in the picture was full of children who were denied access to the library initially. They were requested, scolded and threatened to go back. These were the same students who practically had no books at home and would reluctantly read anything in class. We had succeeded in our mission to get them interested to come to a place full of books and read. They just wouldn't leave.

See more pictures here.
You can help kids read more by ordering books here on flipkart

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