Summer News 2012
July 12, 2012
Summer vacation began May 20th. Since then some children have been involved in a dance class led by a dance teacher from Rishikesh. The group has been rehearsing each morning through a range of folk, hip-hop and classic styles.
On June 7th a group of dancers attended a dance competition in Rishikesh. They have put so much energy into honing their routine and spent hours rehearsing together.
The children of Ganga Valley School have been very fortunate to receive a donation of a piano keyboard from one gentle man. We would all like to give huge thanks for this generosity. The children also received lessons from Mr. Guido on how to use the keyboard. They thoroughly enjoyed learning how to use the different functions and practising their technique. We thank Mr. Guido for giving his time to teach the children.
We have been visited by two volunteers from England. Marie is a Primary School teacher specializing in Special Education and Jamie a musician who also works in media production. They have worked through a series of small projects with a small group of home stay students including piano lessons, mathematical skills, conversational English and improving computer skills. Divesh has worked hard to complete a PowerPoint presentation to tell future visitors about the school and give information about the surrounding area and its many attractions. He has learnt how to add pictures, voice clips, and format objects and make his presentation look very fancy indeed. Rajeev has shown great dedication in improving his number skills, recognizing numbers patterns and using these to complete calculations. He has also grasped piano playing very quickly along with Sarwan, Shanker and Santosh. Santosh has been particularly keen to advance his skills and moved quickly from basic number notation to recognizing notes on a stave. He was also eager to offer lesson in Hindi.
We would like to thank again the Rotary International for their kind donation of laptops to the school. So many children have benefited from access to this technology. Most of the older children are now computer literate and have really improved their skills in typing and using computer software. Divesh has been instrumental in sharing his passion and knowledge for computers. He has taken the responsibility of caring for the laptops and spends much of his free time tutoring the other children and exploring software to improve his own skills. The school would like to sincerely thank Divesh for his efforts and his patience in sharing his skills.
The children would like to thank a local friend for the donation of rollerblades, toys and board games. During the vacation these gifts have given the children hours of fun. It has been especially interesting to see the children progress in their rollerblading skills; their balance and control has improved greatly and most of all they have enjoyed themselves.
This time of year in Rishikesh is very hot with temperatures of 40 degrees +. Unfortunately this means little tourism in Rishikesh and so the shop is experiencing poor business. As the school, especially homestay pupils, rely on the money raised in the shop we are eager for the foreign tourists to return when temperatures drop around September time. A few tourists remain enjoying the welcoming atmosphere of quiet Ashrams, joining the streams of Indian visitors and, of course, watching the monkeys.
Ganga Valley School are always very grateful for donations and volunteers spending time at the school to share their skills. We are always welcoming to visitors who want to spend time with the children at school, especially during holiday time when there are long days to fill. We appeal for people who can offer their expertise in Computers, Music and other areas to get in touch with the school. We are especially keen to find someone to help with piano as we are finding it difficult to source these skills locally. Please remember that you do not have to be a teacher to share your skills and help our children.
Although through shop business we are able to provide meals and essential items for the home stay children, it is difficult during off seasons (May, June July, December and January) to find extra money to support their wider needs.
For these home stay children in particular it is important to raise extra money and appeal for additional donations.
- We ask that kind donors give to a fund to be shared amongst all homestay pupils to accommodate their general needs and perhaps provide occasional treats.
- We also have a vision that individuals could agree to sponsor a particular area of need for all homestay children, for example provide new shoes or uniform for all homestay pupils and not just one
Our particular areas of need are:
- Clothing, shoes and schoolbags: We understand that in foreign countries these items are often used for a short time and discarded whilst still in good condition, but they would be most useful for our children. Donations of money to buy these items new would also be gratefully received.
- Vitamin supplements and medicines: We aim to keep our pupils as healthy as possible. These items are vital in caring for the children.
- Games and toys: The pupils enjoy their free time and are always so happy to have new toys to share.
Outings/Holidays and Festivals: With little extra money it is hard to provide these extra treats for our homestay pupils. The pupils are happy, content and hard working. We would love to have enough money to show how much they are appreciated by giving them special experiences, for example camping, days out and treats at festival times.
- Computer technology: We want to offer our pupils the best opportunities in line with other countries, however computer equipment such as laptops, digital cameras, scanners, printers and internet connection are expensive costs for our school. Currently we have one desktop computer and four laptops for all pupils to share. Help towards these costs would mean we could buy additional equipment and our children can advance their ICT skills.
- School materials: We are always in need of additional school materials such as pencils, pens, exercise books, reading and course books, colouring pencils, geometry sets, practical materials to support early maths and literacy skills, plain paper… the list goes on!
Certain pupils at Ganga Valley School show great aptitude for learning and dedication to their studies. The school teaches children throughout their Primary studies, however does not provide a Secondary curriculum. Currently homestay pupils Divesh, Santosh and Gitendra only have the future option of government school which will not nurture their talent or provide the best opportunities for them. We ask that donors may consider paying private school fees to ensure the best teaching for these pupils at an alternative secondary school. We also have a view to build on their individual areas of interest and talent by providing extra private tuition, for example in Computers or Science.
If you feel you can support our appeals in any way, or would like to find out more information, please do not hesitate to contact the school. We will be most grateful to hear from you.
Tour to Buddhist temple in Dehradun city in summer holidays