November Newsletter 2015

Blink Foundation

Brain Gym and Super Brain Yoga

Blink’s Academic Director – Ms.Jayashree Ashok, conducted a workshop on brain gym and super brain yoga for the Blink Team members and our Change Agents, who were intrigued by the utility of such an exercise.

We all got to learn the significance of coordination between the left and right parts of the brain. Simple actions like doing aarti and ringing the bell simultaneously in our households can signify such a coordination happening inside our brains. As children, unfortunately, we are all pushed to rote learning in our formative years, which activates only the analytical side of the brain. And the exciting part was when we were told that simple exercises practiced on a daily basis can improve the left and right brain coordination drastically.

Beginning with theory, the workshop morphed into a practical session as the participants attempted to perform all actions/exercises demonstrated by Ajay, Blink’s Knowledge Coordinator. Change Agents who immediately related to their Change Classes that yearned for more practical learning experience, decided to incorporate brain gym everyday during their classes to improve mental activity among the students.

Change Agent Orientation

Blink had planned to organize a Rural Camp for all its team members and the Change Agents to facilitate the team’s understanding of rural issues and the rural-urban landscape in order to make sense of the social issues one comes across. In doing so, the opportunity also allowed the team to ease out, reflect upon their experiences and share their insights for future planning. Given these objectives, it was important that the team was oriented about the camp. The orientation programme for the rural camp was held on 18th at Blink Office and was facilitated by Ms. Jayashree Ashok, Academic Director for Blink. The Change Agents and the core team members were taught creative math, categorization and other basic strategies and methods to be used when dealing with rural atmosphere.

Mount Senario School, Rural Camp

A small group of recently trained Change Agents were selected to attend the rural camp in Sivagangai District, coordinated by Mount Senario School. 5 members representing Blink’s core team and 11 Change Agents took an overnight train journey to be welcomed by the Principal of the school, Fr. Suresh Micheal at the railway station. The camp started with a small introduction to the school students about celebrating differences and the activities of Blink Foundation. Then an action song was performed by the Change Agents, which broke the ice between the students and the team. Learnings from brain gym and super brain yoga were also shared with the school students, who vowed to practice it everyday.

We taught in classes 3-10, individually and also in pairs. We put to use all that which were taught to us - like creative math, categorization, Blink’s self-esteem worksheet, 7 questions themed storytelling, 16 word memory, brain gym and super brain yoga. From 10 am to 4 pm the team members were all busy with the classes and post the classes, the complete team visited the Naval Base in the region. The whole experience reminded us of these lines:

“Everyone stargazing into the twinkling dark skies,

the saline smell of the coast marinated with laughter and

Moon’s reflection on the sea washed us of all the thoughts but the current;

this serene moment was captured with flashes of thunder”

We returned to school to enjoy home cooked food and the dance night hosted by Blink’s Lifesaver Mr.Tarun. The same day's routine was followed the next day too, along with an orientation for the school teachers on how to improve their classes. Final photo session and exchange of autographs with all the school students set an abiding adieu and an unforgettable experience for the change agents and Blink's team members. We reached Chennai on Sunday morning, cherishing these two days in our memories.

Some excerpts from the Change Agents

Srividya Satish: “It felt amazing to realize that I was actually a change agent. The kids were jovial, supportive, and not to forget, they were equally amazing and amusing.”

Fathima Firdouse: “We not just taught the children to be unique and special , but even they made us feel special in treating us in a unique way as they all ran for our autographs and smiled and waved their hands as we bid farewell to them and on seeing their faces our hearts were filled with joy and complete satisfaction. “

Aamna: “From these two days, we learnt how to socialize, to be patient with the students, to survive. We also had a lot of fun.”

Tasneem Nashrulla: “After the first day I was quiet positive that my second day would go well too. I was mentally preparing for my second days class and I was more confident I will do it better than the previous day.”

Rajeshwari: “The more I taught them, the more I learned and never ever in my life so far I had such a satisfying job done.”

Charulatha Velumani: “From teaching to playing and staying with friends in a totally different surrounding caught us in a unique way which was one in a lifetime experience. My heartfelt thanks to Blink, sir and the mount scenario school.”

Ihthisham: “We generally taught them Social concern and self-esteem, which was the worksheet topic and apart from that categorization, 7 question theme story, creative math, brain gym and super brain yoga.”

Aiswarya: ” Overall a great exposure and experience for me. My perspective of a rural area changed after this camp. I learned the reality, the students were well disciplined, open to share knowledge and learn as well. It gave me immense satisfaction in teaching the kids and knowing that I have made an impact in their lives in some way.”

Solomon: “I had the best experience to actually reach out to the kids to awaken their minds and to make them understand and realize how special they are as themselves. I learnt how humble and polite I should be while talking and getting connected with the students, also how understandable and clear should I be while teaching.”

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