A little girl of grade one couldn’t read simple words and usually ended up copying the question instead of the answer, as an attempt to cover her embarrassment. Two adorable kindergarten kids couldn’t read or recognize alphabets when they entered the senior kindergarten of their school. Although, the examples represent seemingly harmless mistakes done by children, they are soon becoming a precursor to a grave problem in our country’s education system. The lack of reading amongst children.
Kavish Gadia was a voracious reader since he was a child. Early on, he observed the big impact that reading had on him, on his scope of knowledge and in improving his confidence as a whole. Sensing the importance of reading skills in any child’s overall development, Kavish, along with Jagruti Gala and Nikhil Saraf, laid down the foundation of Stones2Milestones, in October 2015. They ventured out with an expansive dream to give rise to a nation of readers.
Till date, they have worked with 120+ Schools in 15 cities and have reached more than 30,000 students and 700 teachers. The numbers are an evidence of the holistic techniques the team uses to instil the passion for reading among students. “Like any other foreign language, English, especially reading it, needs to be taught as an explicit extension of the curriculum and in a system way. We aim to do just that through our programs.” He added. S2M through their various programs like, Wings of Words (WOW), WOW Connect, Freadom and FAST works on the weaker areas of children, so that they are able to read fluently and with comprehension.
By teaching the right skills at the right time through age appropriate contextual literature and fun activities, WOW helps a child to read with confidence. The combination of various approaches is served to young children through schools, for that the schools’ own teachers are required to take the program and are trained by the S2M team. They are provided with deep and in-person training sessions. Also the teachers receive support and training through videos on teacher app, called WOW Connect.
Also their latest offering, ‘Freadom’, tries to rope in parents so that happy readers can be raised at home as well. The parents and children come together for 10-15 minutes a day to build reading, listening, comprehension, and vocabulary skills or just enjoy stories and poems. Parents, through Freadom, get a unique way to talk about reading with their children and build it into the culture at their home. Nikhil who believes reading to be quite magical and feels that if taught well it adds to one’s imagination, logical thinking, visualisation, comprehension, writing and creative thinking, strongly recommends it for every child and parent alike.
The work of Stones2Milestones has shown that children, who read, have an unabashed curiosity, a certain academic edge over their peers and an advanced understanding of the world. They are striving to embed it as a conscious design of the curriculum. Their focus is on enabling the skill to make reading easy and also on developing the will to make reading enjoyable. Through their goal, the start-up wants to help each child find his place in the world and the first mission they have set out on is to create a nation of 10 million readers by 2022. A mission statement that looks great and seems achievable as the title of the first chapter on the symbolic book of growth – A nation of readers.
You can visit http://stones2milestones.com/ or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to know more about the work of Stones2Milestones.
ALVEENA AHMED | TOC[infobox]
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