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Editorial: The Real Cost of Education
Celebrating International Children's Book Day
Akshara Foundation Celebrates its 5th Anniversary
PROOF: Signs of a Maturing Democratic Process
Akshara's Foray into North Karnataka
Download Akshara Foundation Newsletter(August 2005)

Celebrating International Children’s Book Day

The second day of April is celebrated across the world as International Children’s Book Day and to mark this event Pratham Books organized story-telling sessions in different locations in the city. These sessions were done in order to encourage a reading habit amongst children by giving them a peek into the wonderful world of fiction.

The book chosen was “The Quirquincho and the Fox”, an Argentinian folk tale about an armadillo that outwits the cunning fox and hundreds of children from different walks of life came together to listen to and read the same story on that day.
Pratham Books partnered with the Hippocampus Reading Foundation and Akshara Foundation to make this possible.

The day started by children gathering into Akshara’s libraries in five areas of the city where they were mesmerized by story-tellers, many of whom were from the world of theatre. They watched and listened with rapt attention as puppets danced around the room to make the story come alive.

Similar sessions were also held at Public Libraries, the Hippocampus centres and Landmark bookstore. Arundhati Nag, Bangalore’s favourite theatre person and the driving force behind Rangashankara, transported children into another world through her story telling session at Landmark. Dressed as the Quirquincho she used gunnysacks filled with corn and potatoes to describe details of the story. In fact, many of the parents were as enveloped in the world of fantasy and fiction as their children.

Speaking at the event, Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson, Pratham Books highlighted the importance of reading amongst children. “Pratham Books is beyond just a publishing house as we are a part of a national movement to get more children reading. Our belief is that if books are attractive and affordable we will be able to create a shift in the paradigm for publishing children’s books in India”, she said.

"The Quirquincho and the Fox" and "The Magic Powder" are the first in a series of international folk tales that Pratham Books has published.
Pratham books is a partner organization which has been set up as part of our national drive called “Read India” which is aimed at getting every child to read well.
To find out more visit www.prathambooks.org

Janashala-Unicef Programme - 100 Kannada Readers created

A set of 50 Readers for 1st Std have already been designed and delivered to Janashala, Dept. of Education and the Government of Karnataka in July 2004. Subsequently 50 Readers for 2nd Std have also been completed and handed over in Jan 2005.

The Readers follow the graded pattern as per the Learning Ladder of the Nali-Kali methodology of teaching. Under this system children do not follow textbooks but are encouraged with a lot of activity based learning. Hence “Readers” were created to fulfill this need for graded reading material.

l The effort was to make the books child-friendly, attractive and interesting.

l Importance was given to use of humour, fun and family values as vehicles for the stories.

l Themes also related to environment awareness, kindness to animals, math concepts, personal hygiene and correct nutrition.

l Some books have illustrations by child artists.

Experts from DSERT, SRC Mysore, Teachers, and Resource persons were involved at various stages of preparation and their suggestions have been incorporated into the Readers.

These Readers have been printed by Unicef and distributed to children in 10 Blocks of Karnataka, where teachers and students alike have welcomed them. The team at Unicef has warmly appreciated our effort. In fact, we have received requests for the books from general public as well!

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