Friday, April 24, 2020

Ramadan Kareem

23 April 2020

Wishing you a blessed month of Ramadan! 

Every activity in our school is aimed at providing a helping hand to those who are not as monetarily privileged as us. 

Every time you teach a student, every act of growing the school is an act of kindness. It is soul enriching if we can provide every child with the right direction - good attitude, good knowledge, good skills and right values! 

I thank all of you for every single initiative and every act that helps us uplift our fellow human beings!

Stay blessed! 

Friday, April 10, 2020

Our gardens provide plenty!

13th March 2020

Today saw a crop of raddish from our school garden...

Teachers Johnson, Ramamurthi, Grace, Revathi and all the children have been doing wonderful work during their activity periods everyday!

Monday, April 6, 2020

Fight Covid 19

06th April 2020

Volunteers of Trust Children along with Rotary Club of Chennai Central, started distributing food for the daily labourers who have been badly affected by the Covid 19 crisis! 

The daily labourers in India have been hugely affected. With no means of daily income, their tiny savings are deplete. The best help we can do, is to provide food to sustain them till we come back to normalcy!

Teachers and Staff of Trust Children volunteered to cook and provide food everyday!

Our teachers and staff are our real heroes!! 

May they stay blessed! 

We thank Rotary Club of Chennai Central, Paramahansa Yogananda Trust, RVS Education Trust, Greenpeace India Society and all our individual donors who have made this possible! 

Day 1: 06th April 2020

Today saw us distributing 218 food packets to daily labourers...tomorrow we expect to reach 275 people!

Day 2: 07th April 2020

Today we distributed 327 food packets in total. Far exceeded the number we estimated yesterday. 

From one of our volunteers: Good afternoon all!
Couldn’t resist posting this. Today, while handling over the food packets, many people including some children expressed their happiness at the quality & taste of the food. It was simply emotional when some joined their hands to thank.
Thank you all who are behind this!!!
Must share this with the Aunties too tomorrow.

Day 3: 08th April 2020

Today 265 packets were distributed in and around Kovalam village. 

Day 4: 09th April 2020

501 packets were distributed today! The daily labourers whom we could help have been extremely grateful for this help at this very needed time! We thank all our donors who responded without a hesitation towards supporting this initiative...

Day 5: 10th April 2020

527 food parcels were distributed to the daily labourers today! Of which 143 food parcels and 73 eggs reached to gypsy families at Vadanemmeli village close by. 

Day 6: 11th April 2020 

And it continues....our volunteers are working tirelessly, selflessly to reach out with food to daily labourers who have lost their jobs and daily income...

........and day after day Trust Children volunteers have been providing the much needed food!

18th April 2020: As of today, we have distributed food to 4558 daily labourers! 

........our volunteers have continued everyday distributing cooked food to all those in need around Kovalam and neighbouring villages.

05th May 2020: We have distributed food, as of today, to 8560 people over this one month of service!! Apart from uncooked vegetables, onions and dry rations!

The youth organisation from Kovalam had sent us the below message:

Daily labourers coming in Q for collecting food

Our helpers Ms. Akhtar, Ms. Hussain Bee, Ms. Divya, Ms. Krishnaveni preparing the food for packing
Our helpers along with Ms Usha and Ms Shirin of GVTC, Ms Jyoti PT teacher packing the cooked food. 
(L to R) Mr Naushad Abbas, volunteer from Panchayat, Mrs Uma Village Administrative Officer, Kovalam starting the day.

Mr Abdul handing over the food parcels. 
Mr Sathya handing over the food parcels

Mrs Sabita Currimbhoy, our Trustee, at the forefront. 
Panchayat volunteers handing over food in the village to those who could not make it to school

Our own Covid 19 Brigade!! (L to R) Jyoti, Abdul, Sathya, Naushad

Mr Abdul handing over the food packets

(L to R) Usha, Shirin, Jothi, Dharani

Pictures Day 2:

Mr Sathya giving out the food packets

Panchayat volunteers handing over food in the village to those who could not make it to school

Mr Sathya handing over food packets

Ms Jothi handing over food packets

Environment Education Program 2019-20

Year end report from Environment Education Team 2019 - 2020

Our sincere thanks to the entire team from the Adyar Eco Park for coming forward to educate our students.

Thanks to the volunteers, our students have learnt the do's and dont's to save our Environment.

Environment Education Program
at Gurukulam Trust School 2019 - 2020 Year end report - 9th & 10th Standard

Report submitted by Environment Education Team Pitchandikulam Forest, Chennai

Understanding our Coast and Climate

Adyar Poonga Treasure trail
Date of the session : 29th July, 2019

Objective of the Session:

We intensionally designed the day as a fun day to enjoy each other and the poonga and get to know the space purely through all the fun

Key Aspects of the session:

      Ice breaker and the story of the Adyar Eco - park:

The children arrived and they were very excited to be here in the poonga with us and also curious to know what we havein-store for them, we started with an ice breaker game called four corners, all inhibitions were shattered when we formed teams of two and ran across the ticketing finding our safe zone, after a few rounds of the game we huddled thechildren up and gave them an introduction about the Adyar poonga and we entered the gates.

      The Adyar poonga treasure trail begins:
Before venturing further in we split them into two groups for the treasure trail and explained that we had hidden clues across the poonga and each clue would lead them to the next level of the trail, the clues contained information about the next clue and of the different iconic spots  in the poonga the ant lion hut, the sand dune replica, the spill way to name a few that would aid their learning experience, in a more experiential way.
After the rules had been explained the children were off to discover what the poonga had hidden for them.

  • Highlights of the session:

It was a good experience with the children of Gurukulam, they are from the fishing village of kovalam and had a new take on the information we shared, the children were energetic and eager to learn about new concepts, since they already had a background information on few of the topic that we shared, it was more of an engaging discussion rather than a class, they knew about knowledge about mangroves, waste management and also a good eye for spotting new organisms, the conversations and learnings were refreshing.

From the clouds to Covelong : The watershed session

Date of the session: 19th October 2019

Objective of the session:

      We re-designed the session in a way that addresses the local context of the children, for them to know more about the watershed of their regions

      To aid the children to appreciate their environment more as they will be the next stakeholders for this booming ecosystem.

  • Key aspects of the session:

The children at Kovalam were really enthused to begin the watershed session with the paper crumple activity. They were very interested in coloring we covered the aspects thats make up a healthy watershed such as,
      Vegetation on landscapes, etc.
The activity was followed by a briefing on the watersheds of Chennai and they were amused to share about how their water flows through and ends at  Muthukadu estuary. They also delved into topics such as understanding Bathymetry  maps, tracing the flow of Adyar river using the contour maps and problems that Adyar watershed faces making it an unhealthy environment.

  • Highlights of the session:
  • Children were startled to understand the amount of damage that has been done to the Adyar watershed by means of Industrial development, encroachment by roads and government buildings, residential development on wetlands and other pressing issues

  •   They shared that they don't want to be part of this messy system and would like to work towards convertingunhealthy watersheds into healthy ones.

All about Climate Change

Date of the session: 8th January, 2020

Objective of the session:

For Children to have a comprehensive understanding of the basic concepts of  climate change.

Resource people: Isai Prakash and Nipahsah ( Shadow puppet Artists)
Key aspects of the session:

      Mind jog: The sea level rise game
       Introduction to Climate Change : video
      Difference between weather and climate with a game
      Factors that maintain Global climate
       The position of the earth and its relation to the sun : Demo
       The ocean currents: Model
       The greenhouse gases : Live experiment
      Carbon through the seasons : Math activity
      Effects of Climate change
      Rise of temperature
      Ice sheet meltin
       Sea level rise

  • Background and importance of the session:

The school gurukulam is situated near the muttukadu estuary and comprises of a lot of the students who hail from fishing background, incidentally they will be the most affected by climate change. We as a team thought that It would be a goof idea if they could present some findings about this in the Eco- Fest 2020, and hence we had our resource people Mr. Isai Prakash and Ms. Nipahsah also attend the session.

  • Thoughts after the session:
After the session was over we the educators and the resource people came to a conclusion that they would be the best fit to do a performance on the subject so we designed our field trip in line with what we wanted them to talk about. The coastal ecosystem of Muthukadu and climate change.

The Mangroves, the oceans and the baby squid: Muttukadu Estuary with the bay of life foundation

Date of the session: January 22, 2020
Resource people : Mr.Showkat Jamal and Mr.Siddharth from the Bay of life foundation

  • Learning directions with the sea as a reference:

The children were energetic to begin the day in learning about their coastal ecosystem, since most of these children live near the coast. Showkat greeted the children and taught them about directions, the meaning of cove, the reason why certain beaches have waves and some don't and the concept of horizon. He gave children insights about the floral and faunal diversity of the coast.

Talk by Dr.Joe Kizhakudam, CMFRI

After the introduction, children visited Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) at Kovalam where they got to meet Dr. Joe K. Kizhakudan - Principal Scientist at the Mariculture Division.
Children loved talking to Dr. Joe, he spoke to them about the beauty and value of Chennai ecosystems, the importance of the algae in the ocean, why so much of organic materials dumped into the ocean is causing a major disruption and he also gave a lot of motivation for the kids to aspire what they love in the future. It was an amazing one hour of discussion.
There he connected all the loose ends that the children had from the climate change session and we could observe from the way that they were answering that the connections were slowly being made about how the oceans are related to this big disaster in the making called climate change. 

  • Learning about by-catch at the Bay of life foundation: 

After the discussion children saw the bycatch which the bay of life team has brought for the children. Looking at the bycatch the children were super interested to enquire about them. They learnt about squid eggs, octopus eggs (which inspired them so much it ended up in their skit at the eco-fest 2020) soft and hard corals, Ray fish, Box crab, Spider crab, Dresser crab and seastars.

  • Highlights of the session:
  • The most rewarding part of the day was when we took them to the beach, after the session with the bay of life foundation, we gave them an asseamentsheet (designed by us as a team) they started to answer the questions looking at the clues in front of them which was proof that the sessions impacted them in such a deep way, in way to learn with things right in front of them.

    We as educators learnt a great deal about how different children learn differently, we understood that with our children here at Gurukulam they learn better and fuller in the outdoors.

    Preparation for the Eco-Fest 2020

    Resource people: Mr.Isai Prakash and Ms.Nipahsah

    Background: We had planned out that we would split the children into two groups, one group who was interested in talking about climate change in their performance and the other who are interested in the Muthukadu estuary and the environmentthat surrounds it.

    After our session at the Bay of life foundation we headed back to school for lunch and began with the session.

    Fest prep:

          The children were engaged in an imagining activity, where they pictured the Bay of life visit and the Climate change session - because these were the topics the children are working for the eco-fest.
          They were given a basic outline on what a good story should have by the resource people.
          We began a story telling activity, with each child saying one line and the next child to continue it, this excercise was done in a larger group.
          We then split into smaller groups based on the childrens interest and began to make story lines on the topic ofinterest and make puppets for the same.

    It would then later (in the following fest prep days) be decided that we would merge the two groups and make one big production of the Muthukadu estuary and climate change featuring the story of a the squid which they observed in their visit to the bay of life foundation.

    The final play that was performed was the result of the toil of our resource people Isai and Nipahsah, who broke the ice so effortlessly with the children, taught them what team work means.
    The team worked with the children for about 5 sessions as preparation for the skit they put forward and it was a such a worthwhile experience for us to witness.

    Eco- Fest 2020

    The Ecology of Madras through the eyes of children
    The Eco-Fest 2020 organised by the Chennai Environment Education Team, Pitchandikulam Forest, in association with the 3schools the team works with the Al qamar academy and The Gurukulam Trust school and the Vidyaniketan Matriculation schooltook place on the 7th of March at Vidyaniketan school.

    The fest was centred around the local Ecology of Madras, showcasing models, games and artistic renditions like shadow puppetry and street play. The fest specially designed for the people of Madras to enjoy and be aware of their environment.

    The fest started off with a time to display exhibits,  these  exhibits were the result of the children's learning with the team for the past two years. Some of the exhibits were water conservation methods in Tamil Nadu, The Tropical Dry Evergreen Forests of South IndiaReptiles of south IndiaClimate Change: Specific to Ennore. There were theme based games such as “The polluter shootout”: identifying the sector which contributes to the most emissions, “The kuppai wheel”:guessing         the decomposition time of the objects we use daily.

    Finally the entire congregation gathered together to witness the theatrical renditions of the children, with the Gurukulam school performing Shadow puppetry performance on climate change and its effects on our oceans and the children and educators of the Nadukuppam school putting up a professional level therukoothu performance on the adyar watershed.

    The fest was a celebration of our children, the forests, the water bodies, the birds and the people that make Chennai,Chennai….. Majority who attended left with a feeling of being a small part of this big urban, thriving ecosystem. 


    To each and every person at the Gurukulam Trust School and our collaborators: We as a team, would like to thank the school for giving us this opportunity to spend time with your amazing children and to learn from them, we came to teach them and ended up opening our own  minds to new ways of thinking and adapting. We thank all the teaching and non-teaching staff for all your efforts to make our time with the children a smooth experience.

    Special thanks to Ms. Sabita, Ms. Farah, Ms. Usha and Mr. Ram Moorthy for the constant support.

    To our partners Mr. Isai Prakash and Ms. Nipahsha:

    We as a team are at awe of the amount of warmth and hard work you have approached this project. The pictures that we have put up in the front cover is because of your efforts, from making the children sit in a circle and share, teaching them about teamwork and then finally the performance on the day of the Eco-fest, have your whole hearted efforts behind it. Thank you so much for redefining the word “sincerity”.

    To the bay of life foundation:

    We would like to specially thank Mr. Shaukath Jamal and Mr. Sidharth and all the stakeholders from the Bay of life foundation, for the eye opening session at muttukadu. We call it the “light bulb session”, it was from their time with you that our children started making the connections from all their sessions with us.
    Right from the planning phases of the session, to the way it was beautifully coordinated and explained with passion to the children.

    We would also like to thank Dr. Joe Kizhakudan, CMFRI, for spending time with the children and giving theminformation that is relevant to them, most importantly, giving them the assurance that their questions can change theworld.

    Thank you once again for the Journey,
    Adyar Education Team.