|Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee joins the festive mood at the launch of the neonatal intensive care unit at B. P. Poddar Hospital and Medical Research Centre. Picture by Aranya Sen
It was the day for young scribes at the prize distribution ceremony of Young Writers’ Workshop, held at Armenian Club on December 15, 2007. Started in 1996 to give youngsters exposure to writing outside the educational curriculum, it has come a long way.
Saco Stephen, associated with the organisation since its inception, recalls: “We began with 15 students from four schools: La Martiniere for Boys, La Martiniere for Girls, Loreto House and Loreto School, Elliot Road.”
The initial batches were taught fewer subjects like journalism, report writing, creative writing and radio. Television and electronic media studies have been introduced in the senior section to keep pace with the times.
Each session is seven months long, and is open for students from Class V to undergraduates.
Saswati Banerjee, a first year education honours student of Rani Birla Girls College, was awarded ‘Student of the year’ in the senior division. “The interactive sessions helped us think for ourselves and boosted our confidence,” she said.
Shaila Zareem, also a first year student of English honours at Rani Birla, described the music sessions with Kalyan Banerjee as memorable. However, Misha Vasanthani, a student of Calcutta International School admitted that the workshop could be more organised.
Rahul Sequeira, a former student of the workshop and a faculty member now, believes the most significant aspect of the workshop is its ability to “spread knowledge beyond the limits of the school syllabus.” An instructor in sports journalism, he stressed that schools need to place more emphasis on extra curricular activities.
Humaira Aslam and Divya Gupta were selected ‘Students of the year’ in the junior division. Felt Humaira, a Class VIII student of Loreto Day School Dharamtalla: “The friendly atmosphere fostered by the instructors helped us respond creatively.” Divya’s mother felt that the workshop made her daughter develop an interest in the language.
Young Writers lays importance on addressing environmental concerns too. One of its modules requires students to write articles on the subject. A CD titled ‘Save the Earth, Save the Environment’, a collection of the students’ writings, was also released. The articles are available at the blog, www.savetheenvironment-yww.blogspot.com.
Coordinator Sujata Bharti informed that a performing arts section would be set up shortly. Efforts are also on to make the workshop’s modules available online.
Second year, English
St Xavier’s College
| Bernie the Bear greets little visitors to the Winter Carnival at Nicco Park that started on Monday. Picture by Sudeshna Banerjee
Christmas is round the corner and school children are gearing up to celebrate with Father Santa and Christmas trees. But students of Lakshmipat Singhania Academy are celebrating the occasion with a difference.
On December 11, fathers of students from the primary section to Class II were invited to the school to share in the activities of their children.
Named ‘Celebrate Bonds’, the project was thought up by pre-school teachers Jaya Venkat and Harwinder Dhillon. “We thought of involving parents who are otherwise too busy to spare much time to their children,” informed Dhillon.
Children made Christmas cards with their fathers, decorating them with their father’s hand impressions and their own. “I painted my father’s palm and took the impression on a card,” informed an elated Shreya Singh of Class II. “My father also helped me. Never once did he feel that it was messy.”
The students of Class II put up a puppet show titled The King Tree, highlighting the need to preserve forests and protect wildlife.
The show was voiced and the puppets manipulated by the children themselves. As one father put it: “I did not know that my child knew about the urgency of preserving the environment at such a tender age.”
“We wanted to celebrate Christmas with a difference this year. We managed to pass on the importance of bonding between the child and the father,” said Sunita Arora, co-ordinator, LSA.
Christmas ditties like Jingle Bells, with fathers and children lending their voices rounded off the day.