Thursday, August 26, 2010

The School Line(s)

The 2010/2011 school year is in full swing, and if you've wondered what it's like trying to get 54 kids out the door for school every morning, on time, dressed properly, and with their school bags, books, pencils and pens, lunch boxes, socks, shoes, ties, and belts... well, organized chaos might be a good description.

We send 54 kids out the door each school day: three little ones in pre-nursery school, 17 children in kindergarten, and 34 kids in first through seventh grades.

A few of the older girls: Divya, Arabia, Shanthi, Prema, and Pooja

The Lines (left for kindergarten, right for 1st to 7th)

Devaraj, Nanjunda and Sadif (first graders)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Project Food and More now supports women

Project Food and More, our effort to assist children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, now supports women with HIV who have been abandoned by their families. These women are often thrown out of their houses and/or after their husbands have died (from causes related to HIV), their in-laws with whom they lived refuse to help them and their children.

We currently have three such women in our program, and we endeavor to assist many more who are poor and struggle with the stigma of HIV/AIDS.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

the "skippers"

Our older kids (aged 12 to 16) are behind a couple of years in school because they either missed a few years when living on the streets, or went to substandard schools and their attendance was spotty.

After a couple of years at their current private school, four of our oldest boys skipped a grade this year. Last year they proved that they were ready to skip a grade, as their study habits have improved tremendously and they are getting excellent grades.

Sreenivas, Harish, Kaleem, and Venkatesh waiting to head to school

Kaleem, age 15, skipped sixth grade and is now in seventh. Venkatesh (14) and Sreenivas (16) skipped fifth grade and are now in sixth grade. And Harish (12), who skipped fourth grade, is now in fifth.

They had to study hard during their summer break with daily tutoring sessions and, although they sometimes complained about having to go to "class" every day during the summer, their hard work paid off. On their first tests this past month, they all scored no less than B+s, with most of their scores as either As or A+s.