Monday, July 16, 2012

The start of a new school year at AIC

It's that time of year again!  After a 2 month break from school (mid-April through mid-June), all of the children at the Education Outreach Centre are now back in school.  To ensure that they didn't forget everything they learned last year (and since so many kids rely on AIC for their meals and medical treatment), we only gave them a 2 week holiday at the Centre. So despite the fact that school was on break until mid-June, the AIC Education Outreach kids spent the month of May attending their daily tutoring classes. 

Newly admitted student
New admissions to the Education Outreach Program took place over a week in April and included the following new additions to the program: 16 nursery students, 2 children into the kindergarten program, 4 English-medium children in upper standards (1st standard and above) and 12 Marathi-medium students in upper standards (1st standard and above).  All in all, 34 new students were admitted to the program through the April admissions process.  

While it is hard to leave so many names on the waiting list, we at AIC have to be realistic about our ability to offer the highest quality of education and care to those in our Education Outreach Program, and must make admissions decisions based on that ultimate goal.  Furthermore, even though we moved into a new (bigger) building just one year ago, space continues to be a limiting factor for the program, and classes run non-stop from 7am until 8pm every day to maximize our use of the facilities! 

Poonam at the "painting party"
Before classes started again in May, On-Site Director Claudia held a "painting party" at the Education Outreach Program, and the classrooms were completely scrubbed from top to bottom and repainted in bright, cheerful colors.  We are so grateful that many local supporters and friends of AIC (as well as the Residential Program children) came and devoted their entire day to the painting party - the end result is great!  It is quite a fresh, welcome change from the whitewashed walls that we had been living with since last year when we moved in.  In addition, the nursery classroom walls were partially tiled to allow for easier clean-up, and many necessary repairs and improvements were made to the facilities over this short 2 week break from classes.  Thank you to all who helped with the painting and improvements!

Home visits to confirm new students' admissions
With more than a month of tutoring and preparatory studies under their belts, the AIC students were excited to go back to school in the middle of June.  They have received all of their school supplies and books and are now being outfitted for new uniforms, school bags and everything else that they need to get off to the best possible start to the new year.  

Watching the new nursery students settle slowly into the AIC school routine, and the older kids covering their books and preparing for another school year like old pros, we feel confident that these children are on their way to brighter futures and look forward to the day when we will be helping them explore their college options and post-graduate opportunities as well. 

Happy to be back at the Education Centre!

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