Summer Camp at a primary school in Kondapur: India Literacy Project

As I had written in an earlier post, I am teaching English at couple of hours a week at a primary school.

The school is now closed for the summer vacation – but turns out the needs of parents are same regardless of rich or poor, so here comes Summer Camp! We also look at this as a chance to interact with the kids a little informally, so that they pick up some spoken English from us while having fun.

I am the self-appointed games teacher – we’ve been playing Kho-Kho, dog’s bones, basketball ( with a bucket instead of a basket), before the heat drives us inside into indoor activities like storytelling and coloring.

I have been taking N to the summer camp – she sometimes participates in the games with the other kids. She calls them “Telugu kids” – thats how she thinks of them I guess. They speak Telugu and she does not, so they are Telugu kids. Other times she is content to sit and watch me being “teacher”. I admit – I get a kick when the kids come running to open the car door eagerly each morning, shouting “good morning teacher”. Makes me look forward to it.

The ILP seems to be making a difference – and that gives me motivation too. There are two schools I’ve been too, one where the ILP program has been going on for a while now and one that has just started. I can see the confidence and ability for interaction among the kids where ILP has been functional. Whether this is purely because of ILP I cannot say – this is one of the problems with such teaching. You don’t know what good you are doing until you have been doing it for a while. Tests your perseverance.

The summer camp is on for the next two weeks – I have some  ideas once in a while of taking the kids to ISB or to our apartment complex, and let them play in a proper play area. Teach them some basketball maybe. But the logistics of transporting them are a little overwhelming right now, and I am not sure how far the other teachers will be eager for this.Nor am I sure whether I will be able to convince ISB or SMR residents.

FOr now, its the dusty school yard where they play. The challenge is to keep the kids engaged and have fun. And these kids are every bit as noisy and unruly as you will find in any playground 🙂

These photographs are from a crafts session at the summer camp – the kids having fun with the balloons and glue and paper.

Yes , it was very messy. Eeks – tomorrow we’re going to paint those paper covered balloons. More mess coming up!


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