The MultiLit team has been delighted to work with the inspiring Parikrma Humanity Foundation, assisting them in providing the MultiLit Reading Tutor Program (RTP) to disadvantaged students in India. Below is a report about this project from Jill Hellemans, who worked as a Special Educator for the foundation. If you would like to learn more about this program or offer assistance to it, please contact Jill Hellemans at [email protected] or visit www.parikrmafoundation.org.
The Parikrma Humanity Foundation in Bangalore, India is excited to trial the MultiLit program in their centres for learning. We are a Non Government Organisation providing 970 street, slum and orphaned children with quality education, health care, nutrition and family care. We pride ourselves on giving our students the highest quality education available in India so that they can compete on equal terms. We are very excited to now incorporate the MultiLit program as part of our curriculum; it will be available to students who are struggling to read. We believe that by empowering these students they too can achieve their goals and become self-sufficient, contributing members of society. We strongly believe that developing strong literacy skills is one of the key factors in our children reaching their potential.
The MultiLit program has shown fantastic results in Australia and we are hoping that we too can achieve these results for our children, even though they are from a different cultural background. The MultiLit team has supported us with training and resources, and this has given us the opportunity to trial the MultiLit program across all of our centres for learning.
The concept of the MultiLit program was introduced to the teaching staff of Parikrma on the 2nd of June 2008. The response from the teachers was overwhelming – they all wanted to know more and be involved as tutors themselves. We then organised a team of local and international volunteers to become Parikrma’s Literacy Tutors. These volunteers were trained in a one-day workshop and were supported throughout their first week of tutoring by Parikrma’s Special Educator, who was trained at the Macquarie University Special Education Centre (MUSEC) and attended the MultiLit accreditation course.
After the MultiLit training, the volunteers were off to a fantastic start. The children have really enjoyed their sessions, and are very quick to run out of their class and find their MultiLit tutor for sessions. The tutors have had to become a little creative in finding places to do their sessions. When you walk into the schools, you’ll see MultiLit sessions on the rooftop, in the food hall, in the computer room and in the classroom hallways. This has not phased our tutors or our students, as the students get very excited when they pass their MultiLit levels and are thrilled with the tutors’ constant praise and enthusiasm.
Many students at Parikrma need to participate in the MultiLit program, but due to lack of resources and volunteers, only 120 children have been able to participate at this time. We hope the partnership between the MultiLit and Parikrma team can strengthen for many years to come. We are truly grateful for the time, energy and support we have received from MultiLit.
(Report from the Parikrma Foundation)