One of the things that our school is intentional about is being aware of, involved in, and a positive presence to our community. Two staff members are hired to lead the school in community and social responsibility. Part of our growth and learning as individuals, both staff and students, is to be aware of how privileged we are and to be aware of those around us who are not as privileged. In a country like India there is such an incredible range of socio-economic situations. On Sunday we went for brunch at a Luxury hotel nearby - The Leela Mumbai. The place was incredible - huge gardens and pools, marble and gold decor everywhere, great service and delicious food. Opulent and elegant.
Today we visited an Indian school that ASB partners with for both community service and professional development. The school is similar to a charter school in the states - partly funded by the Indian government and run by an NGO (Non Governmental Organization). The majority of the students are from 2 extended, interrelated families (about 80% of the kids share 2 common surnames) that have been street cleaners for 5 generations. It currently has students from PreK to 6th grade and is adding a grade per year as the first cohort of kids age. Instruction is in English, and the teachers we met were dedicated, caring professionals, most with masters degrees, eager to interact with us and learn together.
Reflections on the experience:
- Dang these kids are cute!
- There is so much hope and potential in the world.
- Education is so important and can make such a difference in people's lives.
- Kids are kids the world over - excited and eager to learn and playful and shy.
- Teachers are teachers the world over - caring and dedicated and eager to share and wanting the best for their students.
We are planning to continue our connection with these good people over the year, with some staff development activities with the teaching staff and additional visits in both directions.