Uhuru’s curriculum design is geared towards enabling children to acquire the tools needed to navigate the daily practicalities of life while also preparing to deal with some of the larger questions that life asks every child and adult.
Our focus is on creating a space where compassion is an integral part of daily living – with respect to the self and with others; resilience is built to deal with all that comes in the path; attention and observation skills are honed; emotions are acknowledged and negotiated; learning flows from connection with each other and an understanding of the larger interconnectedness of all and everything emerges naturally. The curriculum for this year titled ‘Churning Learning 2020-2021’
At Snehadhara, learning is embodied for the children and their families through many experiences provided by a range of facilitators, ABT and API practitioners , external faculty, visiting artists, peers, interns and volunteers.
Churning Learning 2020-2021: Intent
- Churning Learning 2020-2021 will focus primarily on the shift into the community living format. Activities of Daily Living (ADL) will no more be a session but a way of life in the new Centre, as the inhabitants grow into a cohesive community and understand their restructured relationships from a family and social perspective.
- Independence in terms of thought, deed and expression is our aspiration and goal, while the children will be facilitated to function at ease in all given circumstances.
- Me-myself time will be spread across the day to not just serenity in solitude but also to occupy oneself, meaningfully and productively. There will be an invitation to focus on developing hobbies and getting oneself involved in interactions and activities “at (the new) home,” based on individual interest.
A sneak preview into the Curriculum of 2020-2021
Structure Of The Day
The structure of the day at Snehadhara allows for the transitions that the children will be making through routines and locations. Any challenges of living and learning in different spaces separated by distances have been factored into the planning of the children’s time.
Mondays and Tuesdays are spent at the new residential Centre with the children returning home on Tuesday night. On Wednesdays, children attend the ongoing Kala Avahita and Snehasangiti programmes while staying in the city. Wednesdays also see them participating in – ‘Maitri – Building our social world together,’ the collaborative programme we have with Ishanya, another Centre that works for children with special needs, towards inclusion. The children return to the Centre on Thursday morning to stay until Friday evening. This plan has been put in place to enable children to experience greater autonomy and space for growth while parents get more time for self-care, even while feeling secure about how their children spend the week.
The Uhuru program opens its portals to each new year at Snehadhara with the Summer School program. Over the years though the program has evolved in form and content, it continues to retain its intent of providing children vivid experiences within and outside the centre that serve to enhance their goals of social interaction and independence.
Wonderland or Nelamangala is where the all the Alices (children and adults, boys and girls, men and women and all alike and different) of Snehadhara will spend the oncoming summer. Waking up to a wonder-filled experience unlike anything known before is what Summer School 2020 is about. Themed ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ the Summer School is about new experiences, yes, but more than that about transitions. It is about getting comfortable in a setting away from the family, meeting (strange) new people and creatures, and all their individual and collective quirks. Summer School 2020 is about understanding and experiencing growing in all directions not only up and that too outside the home. And yet, about finding home within. It is about finding release from the stress of city traffic and waking up to the sound of silence in tree-lined avenues. It is about befriending monkeys and squirrels and caterpillars and also about chasing butterflies.
A new place demands new approaches and there may be many of those at Nelamangala. The idea of travel will take on a new dimension during the Summer School 2020. The first layer is about travelling away from home. There is travel from the city to the new Centre. Apart from that there is travel around the new campus – getting to know new plants and creatures and clouds and trees. There is travel to nearby landmarks and much exploration of the skills required in exploration and adjustment to completely new contexts. Most of all there will be travel well outside of the comfort zone of certainty.
In Wonderland, the same food will taste different and produce (possibly) better growth rates. This will be because this is Wonderland, of course, but also because the children and adults of Wonderland take on new routines in the brand new kitchen and dining area with experiences of cooking and cleaning and homemaking in a very new sense of the word.
When awake, many new dreams will be lived in reality by the students, facilitators and staff of Snehadhara Foundation. When asleep, they will hear the crickets weaving them newer dreams and feel the sprinkle of magic dust falling from the star spangled sky.
Our aspirations for Summer School 2019-2020 were to weave artistic endeavours in as many spaces, with as many people and through as many experiences as possible for our children-– delving into new crafts, exploring new territories, greedily lapping up experiences through our interactions with each other and the new people we meet, all leading to enormous learning and revelations of spirit.
The Summer School this year saw a lot more Artists at the Centre and also the children travelled within and outside the city. Themed ‘People and Places,’ this was a summer of travel and new friendships, brand new hobbies and colourful portfolios. New relationships opened up with skills previously unexplored, in places familiar and unfamiliar.
Every year we create new memories of what epitomises Summer Vacations. It has often been about visiting friends and relatives and making new friends in new places.
Summer School 2018-2019 presented Meil Milaap, as the focus of the month of April where we ventured out to each other’s homes and other welcoming spaces to share our ‘sunful’ joy and partake of the generosity of our hosts. We devised a large canvas for ourselves to harness every possible ray of senses to touch and feel and explore; there was song and dance and paint, lots and lots of paint and colour as well as food in many hues, textures and tantalising tastes.
We believe what we learn outside the classroom is equally and a lot more important than what we learn inside. Each year our Summer School edition brings to children experiences where learning is fun and fun is learning. Dhoop Dhamal 2017 offered expeditions into the world of culinary delights, object theatre, dance and movement and wondrous weaves. It paved the way for a different experience in the culinary world for our children. They cooked together, they served together, they powered their creativity and gave a kick start to the cafe ‘Obattoo’. The highlight of the summer school was the 3 day trip to Devaraya Samudra, an excursion that created learning opportunities beyond the confines of boundaries and opened up a world of beauty and warmth.
The summer school ‘Atota Lakmose’ this year was a six week program that saw a heterogeneous group of children- the children at the center, their siblings and friends- experience art in its various forms. The children together enjoyed sessions in visual art, storytelling, puppetry, baking, gardening, pottery, dance and movement, and theatre. The various learnings from the summer school culminated with an hour long performance at ‘Paradigm Shift Café’.