Learning By Leading
The children of SOFKIN are back from their summer holiday. Most of them completed the homework that Chaya asked them to do while they were away, so they had a lot to share with each other on their return. (Elementary age children shared a story about a special event or activity that happened during their vacation. High school students reported on a book that they read.) Everyone is now back in school and looking forward to the year ahead.
College admissions are in process for four of the SOFKIN students. Jagdish has been accepted into a video recording program at Politechnic College. Nina has been accepted into a Bachelor of Science program at Kasturiba Women’s College, while Sindhuja has been accepted at Kasturiba Junior College. Nikita continues to go through the application process for medical school. The majority of our students scored in the 80 percentile! We are so proud of all our college-bound students! A special thanks to Mr. Bhagavath for consulting with us regarding admissions and counseling us on student course work.
Elections for new group leaders - another event that occurs at this point in the SOFKIN year - have just been completed. As in past years, those interested in being a group leader submitted their names to Chaya. They then made a presentation to her, via a Skype call. In addition to discussing their plans and responsibilities, each nominee this year also chose a SOFKIN core value to be their group title and created a logo. After Chaya finalized the nominations, all the children gathered to hear speeches by the nominees, who explained why they deserved their vote. The nominees took the election very seriously and a spirit of friendly competition was in the room. The children then cast paper ballots and six new group leaders were elected.
Group leaders are responsible for guiding and monitoring progress in the core values of the children in their group. To provide a more comprehensive values framework, the core values have been expanded to 20 items and include such things as Discipline, Family, Accountability, Respect, Hygiene, and Humanity. (These, incidentally, are the group titles selected by the group leaders this year.) Every week, apart from daily group meetings, one core value will be selected and focused on during the weekly discussions.
On a weekly basis, the group leaders award the children points (stars), based on their progress.
They also maintain a chart summarizing each child’s progress, which is discussed with Chaya in weekend Skype calls. At the end of the year, all the stars will be counted and whoever earns the most stars will be awarded the SOFKIN STAR!
A key goal of this system is to develop leadership skills in the group leaders and character development in the children. It is an important way that SOFKIN supports one of our core beliefs that “Every child can excel with focused guidance under motherly care & love.”
Make sure to check back for next month’s blog. Chaya will be providing building progress and we’ll have news about some of the new admissions to the SOFKIN family.