September 8 has been proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO to highlight the importance of literacy. Education being a thrust area of the Essar Foundation, the occasion was commemorated by conducting special interactions with young students in Mumbai, Maharashtra, and Hazira, Gujarat.
In Mumbai astory-telling and book-making session
was organized for the children at Colaba Municipality School, Mumbai. Ms. Anita Vachhrajani,
a well-known children’s author, conceived and conducted the session.
The day began with a book-reading session where Ms. Vachhrajani read from her book: Nayana and the Not
So Scary Owl. She then followed the book-reading with an interesting interaction, where she explained the nuances of writing
a story and making a book. The excited children were keen to write their own
story and participated in the book-making exercise with enthusiasm.
The children were first asked to draw a picture of anything they liked. The children were then paired together, and each pair had to come up with a story interspersed
or pictorially depicted by their pictures. Essar volunteers lent a hand by guiding the children and helping them develop their stories.
The aim of the exercise was to encourage the children to think 'visually', and help them develop their creative writing skills and comprehension.
At the end, the children proudly narrated their creations
to all present. The children were then presented goodie bags packed with crayons, story books, an art kit and pencil pouches.
The event to mark International Literacy Day was one of the many initiatives undertaken by the Essar Foundation that are aimed at 'building a reading India'.
In Hazira, the Essar Foundation team joined by 10 Essar employees visited primary schools in Junagam, Hazira and Suvali villages. Each volunteer along with 18 teachers from the schools participated in a story-telling session with the children and each child was given a set of three engaging books. A total 194 students participated in the program.
Almost 607.million children across the world are illiterate. In Asia and South East Asia, International Literacy Day has the overarching theme of 'Education for All'.