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It seems ages since we communicated with you, but that's probably only because so much has happened here in the last few months. The school is doing very well and once again we want to thank you for being with us in this process of re-defining NCBS. Our steadfast aim is to make the school a model that others can follow. Did you know that nowhere else in India does a school in an underprivileged area endeavour to become CBSE-affiliated and recognised? This calls for some research and we are ready for it. If we can do it, others can!
Devi Saundariya and Shakuntala : ready to carry life's burdens lightly after graduating from our school this year..
A full year
We're looking back at a full and fruitful school year. It was a joy to see teaching staff and students alike becoming more and more enthusiastic and innovative about their approach to the new (NCERT) school books and curriculum. Innovative in the sense of finding (play)ways to expand the programme to make it fit the Auroville system of integral education whose aim is to develop all aspects of the being. The enthusiasm even reached the 8 th standard kids who still had to prepare for the Tamil Nadu state exams this year: all but one student passed!
The children are immensely inspiring, which attracts an amazing amount of energy to the school. It may be that the parents do not realise how privileged their children are. One day they will..
This year the general theme throughout the school was ‘Our Earth', with many projects, performances, essays, artistic creations and lessons created around it.
Utmost concentration for term assessment tests..
For instance, the Kindergarten pupils built a real mud house fitting their size, while older kids gave an animated performance of the ‘big bang'! +++ The ‘special needs' programme gets more and more shape and each week the team reviews one IEP (individual education plan) per child. Children from sensorily deprived backgrounds may come to us psychologically stunted and stifled, and there is no greater joy than to see them loosen up and become alert and alive. +++With the help of Deepam (Auroville's centre for handicapped children), students with learning issues get hearing tests and, if needed, a hearing aid. +++ Auroville Health Centre continues regular health check-ups, and the Dental Clinic arranges for dental treatment. Sometimes the parents also get treated. +++ Special tuition hours have been arranged to help students with their home work. +++ Since applying for CBSE recognition, many Chennai-based teachers and students are interested in NCBS and visit our school. +++ Our new kitchen has a Lorena Stove which uses only one-fifth of the wood used in conventional wood stoves. +++ On the last day of the school year, each grade gave a fine little performance in Priyannam Hall. The improvement from three years ago in the quality, discipline and freedom on stage of the children, was remarkable. Kudos for teachers and students! +++ We most sincerely thank newcomer Bronwyn and the volunteers who were with us this year, specifically Tanja Ramer, and also Alexandra Jacquot, Tanja Adamcik, Ortrud Staude and Iris Ouwehand; and 3 students from the University of Washington : Krissy Kyan, Eryk Vinke and Maddie Cunningham. +++ In May 40 of our students joined the other Auroville children at the Auroville Nature Camp in Kodaikanal Hills. It was a great and happy experience for all. +++ In the meantime some 25 new applicants are awaiting entry in June. Although there is a larger demand, we cannot possibly take in more new students because a) play-way methods take considerably more place, space and resources than we have, and b) our children come from families where generally no attention is given to learning, so more attention needs to be given in the school itself.
Cutting of the ‘Priyannam' ribbon..
Priyannam & Fair
On Sunday February 24 th , the teachers, students and parents held a grand Pep-Rally Fair on the school's grounds, aided by a good many Aurovilian friends. It was a splendid day during which our new kitchen-cum-dining hall, Priyannam (‘Lovely Food'), was inaugurated with a varied cultural programme. Thousands of villagers attended and we ended up providing free food for them all. This meant that the required funds for the kitchen and school camp could not be raised. However, thanks to the sale of items made by the students and donated by Auroville handicraft units, we broke even and gained a lot of goodwill and respect in return!
We warmly thank our friends in France and Italy , and several others of our supporters, for having helped us piece Priyannam together; and the Foundation of World Education for help with the summer camp.
This is our 8 th newsletter and we hope that we have succeeded in keeping you abreast of what is happening here. The progress made during these last three years is enormous, and this brings with it the need for better skills, better equipment, better facilities. And of course, on this last page we always voice our appeal for funds. Some of you have responded with financial help, others send their good wishes, while from some we haven't yet heard.
‘Priyannam' in action, with grateful thanks to the ones who enabled this..!
As NCBS is getting increasingly serious about its quality education, so does our appeal to you. Basic costs, such as most salaries, maintenances, food, and some essential repairs and equipment are coming from Auroville's Central Fund via SAIIER, but it is not nearly enough to properly run a growing school. The running cost is the backbone of the school and a monthly amount of Rs 150,000/- ( € 2250; US $ 3,510) is called for to maintain the quality and momentum of that which is provided today , with some essential additions to the staff. We have enough in our account today to manage for 1.5 months.
As for the school's very much needed expansion, our next daring step is towards a library-cum-media building for which we have received already Rs 13 lakhs (€19,225; $30,385), which is enough to complete one section. The total cost is Rs 30 lakhs (€44,776; $70.126), but we will only seek those funds, when we have enough to cover our running costs.
With prices rising very rapidly, we ask you all to please respond from your heart, and come forward generously to help us build a better school and environment for these underprivileged children. For big companies and donor agencies we are too small to be noticed, - we need help from you, our long time-friends and supporters..
Please, transfer your monthly contribution or other donation via the Auroville International Centre in your country, or send a cheque made payable to ‘Auroville Unity Fund', and address it to: ‘Auroville Unity Fund', Town Hall, Auroville, 605101 Tamil Nadu , INDIA .
We ask you to indicate clearly, on an accompanying note if needed, that the donation is for New Creation Bilingual School , and specify it for ‘running cost' or ‘library' . A receipt will be sent in return. If you want to receive breakdowns, project proposals, budget overviews, annual statements by SAIIER, a 5-mnt documentary, powerpoint presentation, or other documentation, you are most welcome to get in touch with us via the contact details given below.
By doing so, you're working with us on a great, good venture!
The New Creation Bilingual School Support Group
Principal Shankar, and Dianna, Franca , Françoise, Janet, Mauna, Suriyagandhi, along with all the school's children, teachers, other personnel and friends.
(Dr. Heidi Watts of Antioch New England Graduate School in USA, Martin Littlewood of Auroville International UK, Satyakam Karim and Devasmita Patnaik of Auroville International France, all long time friends and supporters of the school, attend our meetings when present in Auroville.)
New Creation Bilingual School ,
phone: +91 (413)-2622358 or +91 (0)9443860106
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