Growing in body and mind
from strength to strength
The Karuna Vihar Child Development Centre (KVCDC)
At the Child Development Centre we offer strength and hope for the long journey ahead.
A simple task like making Nimbu Pani can lead to learning in many areas. A young volunteer shares what she learnt while observing a session at the centre.
“At the beginning the session was announced and the students washed their hands, then helped collect and position chairs around the round table in our room. This gave the opportunity for 1-to-1 matching (one chair for each person), an important pre-counting skill. With the teacher’s guidance, they then gathered all the materials needed for the preparation and placed them on the table, in full view of everyone. The students were asked what items were and how many there were; basic counting is a skill all the children practice at every opportunity.
Once all the necessary tools and ingredients were assembled, the teacher did some sight word practice, using teaching aids prepared by the teachers at Karuna Vihar. Words such as pani (water), nimbu (lemon), chammach (spoon) were held up, and some children read, while others matched words (pani to pani, for example), and the words were placed by the items they represented.
It was almost time for the operation to begin, but the teacher extended the learning to a lemon, asking the children to identify its color, taste, and shape. Once the students correctly ascertained this, they were asked to look around the room and identify other examples of roundness, such as the table they were seated at.
Finally, with the children all focused and interested, the actual drink preparation got underway. The children told the teacher how many glasses of water to put into a bowl, and counted as it was poured. They all then helped cut the lemons, squeeze the juice into the bowl, and stir the refreshing-smelling concoction once the sugar and salt had been added (again, spoonfuls were carefully counted!). The resulting juice was passed through a strainer, the seeds in the strainer were examined and discussed (Why don’t we want to drink these?), and the nimbu pani was finally poured, carefully and slowly, into our waiting glasses, where it didn’t last long.
But the learning didn’t stop there. Students gathered up the materials, returned them to the kitchen where they played a major role in washing and redistributing them to their proper places, the table was wiped, and order was restored in the classroom. In the afternoon, the students were given the opportunity to draw what they had done and explain it to the teacher, who wrote their ideas next to their drawings.
On an educational level the students practiced fine and gross motor skills, independence skills, taking turns, sharing, passing around, measuring, sequencing (what happens next?), 1-to-1 matching, sight word recognition, counting, relating shapes to each other, and probably much more that a better trained observer/participant could elucidate. On another level, it was a wonderful reminder of how much there is in such a simple activity if we give it our full attention. It all succeeded in bringing a sense of the extraordinary to the ordinary, like a good poem, with a number of different stanzas integrated into a fluid image, the energy sustained throughout. The children were captivated, felt a sense of achievement, practiced numerous useful skills along the way, and had fun!”
Admission is open throughout the year for children between 3 to 14 years of age. There are 3 hours sessions in the morning and 1 hour sessions in the afternoon. Seats are limited and fees for the services at the centre are charged on a sliding scale, based on family income.