All our eight teachers are very eager to give nature like, creative and vivid teachings to our students – also now in our „old“ school. In this newsletter I want to present to you some momentary impressions of the daily life in the Shanti Ananda School. On the last „Nature Day“ in September the students of the 5th and the 6th class developed visions for the daily life in the new nature school going to be built. In four small groups (each including two teachers and four to six students) they worked with methods chosen by them. It was fascinating how much creativity and enthusiasm was expressed by these groups presenting the results – after only one hour of preparation.
The first group presented small pantomimic scenes and integrated the spectators into their activities as well.
Swimming, hopping and other sportive activities
The second group painted pictures of the daily life in the nature school; and the third group wrote a story. In this story an essential part in the daily life of the nature school was the care for the animals and the duty to bring sick animals to the animals’ hospital. In the moment a small sick dog is hanging around on the railway area - where we use to have our outdoor teachings - together with other wild dogs. In India nobody cares for these animals; normally they are left to their fate…
Outdoor teachings in the kinder garden
The meeting of children and teachers took the decision to bring the small sick dog to the government animals‘hospital for treatment. It takes one rupee only; the medicine is given for free. Mounika, a student of the 4th class, who has been in the hospital already with her pet dog, was willing to take it there together with three other students. With this decision we went a huge step towards an active sympathy and practical realization of human values. Besides, on the area opposite to our new school area – on the other side of the road – an old age home is planned to be built – a good opportunity for the students to do some service to these people later. For the old people as well this could be an opportunity to contact children and to share some time with them.
The fourth group presented their vision with a song and movements and created a new school song like this…
Presentation of the song about the daily life vision in the nature school
The elder daughter of teacher Munemma was suffering of dengue fever which is caused mainly by mosquitoes. Unhygienic circumstances in the environment are the main reason for this disease. The girl had to be taken into the hospital and was in need of blood transfusions. Teacher Raja Sekhar donated blood for her – an excellent and exemplary behaviour. There are blood banks in India as well; but the stored blood is used for the very urgent cases only. The relatives of the less urgent cases have to organize blood conserves by themselves.
Teacher Jayalakshmi made up a small garden together with the students beside the school building wall. Different plants are grown up planned to be shifted to the new school area as soon as a water connection will be present. The compost prepared in the compost pit by the students was used for these vegetables, flowers and trees. The students of the 6th class are responsible for the garden; and they take this duty with a lot of enthusiasm.
Self-grown plants make the children happy
The Red Indian Tribal Chief Seattle held a speech in 1855 to the President of the United States of America - Franklin Pierce - who wanted to buy the land of the Red Indian people. With this speech only we could justify the building up of a nature school; and we are supposed to concern with it in our next teacher training in October.
"How is it possible to buy or to sell the sky – or the warmth of the earth? This type of thinking seems strange to us. If we do not possess the fresh air or the glistening water – how can you buy them from us? ... Every part of the earth is holy to my people. We are a part of the earth, and the earth is a part of us. The smelling flowers are our sisters; the deers, the horse, the big eagle are our brothers. The rocky heights, the juicy meadows, the body warmth of the pony – and of man – they all belong to the same family… We know that the white man does not understand our nature. One part of the land is same to him as any other part because he is a stranger coming in the night and taking from the earth whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and after conquering her he marches on. He leaves the graves of his fathers behind and doesn’t care for them. He is stealing the earth from his children and doesn’t care. His fathers’ graves and the birth right of his children are forgotten. He is treating his mother, the earth, and his brother, the sky, like things for buying and plundering, for selling like sheep or glittering beads. His hunger will swallow the earth and leave nothing behind but a desert… The Earth is our mother. What happens to the earth will happen as well to the children of the earth… the earth doesn’t belong to man, but man belongs to the earth – this we know.”
The daily life in the kinder garden became more varied and interesting; and the small children spend a lot of time outside in front of the school what is very meaningful. But because of the climate it is not possible to have outdoor teachings all the time; and to sit in our narrow class rooms is not only beneficial… Our kinder garden materials are not at all sufficient to guarantee a satisfying daily life for our smallest children – because of this we are very thankful for donations; we are in a need for pedagogically valuable materials.
Kinder garden children „write “with stones
One time weekly the kinder garden children practise yoga – inspired by the workshop of the two German teachers Andrea and Angelika in April. The children are very happy about this daily life enrichment; the kinder garden teachers Anasuya and Munemma as well discovered the benefits of yoga for themselves…
Teacher Anasuya is teaching yoga
Every morning the students collect the waste material on the area around the school and put the organic materials into the compost pit and the other materials into the dust bin. After the first bell Prayer and Oath are done; all the students gather in front of the school building – usual in whole India. Afterwards the elder children meditate in the temple room and the kinder garden children in their class rooms. The small children have shorter periods for meditation alternating with body movements.
Meditation with concentration onto the third eye of the partner
Of course music is a part of the daily life as well. In the last years Klaus Premananda offered several Bhajan workshops and gave an exact instruction how to sing Bhajans with his „Bhajan-Tutor” – a DVD with a collection of popular Bhajans.
Head mistress Sabitha playing the flute
Horst Wagner, our project manager for the new school area, is offering music teachings additionally by giving advice to the teachers how to play music instruments.Botida, Florian Meyer (see Newsletter 5/2010) enabled us to buy some music instruments with the help of a donation for this special purpose.
With cordial greetings from South India,
Yours, Helga Shanti Fründt
Foreigners should give their donation to this FCRA account
Shanti Ananda Education Society
Andhra Bank, Mudigubba Branch
Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh, India
Account No: 185410100007532
Indian persons should give their donation to the
Shanti Ananda Education Society
Geetha Nagar, Mudigubba 515511
Andhra Pragathi Grameena Bank
Account No. 19073080607