Collaborative Inclusive Project – “Time to Enhance your Skills”
Posted: 15 March 2021
Bangalore International School, Birla Public School, Chanderbala Modi Academy, Hyderabad Public School, KC Public School, Maria Public School, Pathways World School, Rajmata Krishna Kumari Girls’ Public School, Sunbeam School, Lahartara, Vivek High School, Yadavindra Public School.
The project was initiated with an aim to create awareness about equity and inclusion. The delegation size of each school was 6 students with at least three differently abled students. With this initiative, students with different abilities participated in a group, which helped them improve their confidence and self-esteem.
Differently abled criteria-
- Students with Mild Attention Deficit.
- Students with Specific Learning Disability- Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia.
- Students with mild Autism.
The activities provided them with a virtual platform to showcase their abilities. Students benefit from this initiative as it may increase their confidence to participate in more activities if given a chance.
Activities chosen were enjoyable and enhanced their teamwork and social skills. Problem-solving, creative thinking, listening, and comprehending skills were encouraged through various well-planned activities by students of Genesis Round Square Team.
This project has its seed in a small random idea of creating a participation platform for differently enabled students. A forum where they can participate without being judged or left out. GGS RS Student Team discussed the idea with the GGS Learning Support Department Head, Ms Anju. The team planned an inclusive project in which all students can participate which will further encourage their participation and inclusion in their schools.
GGS RS Media and Cultural Student Council member, Diya Badana rooted this project as she was already working with differently abled students in the school in her Psychology project. She worked with the LSD department teacher, Ms Divya, to plan the structure of the session. They planned activities that were engaging and did not create any performance pressure for the students.
The next task was to train and sensitize the organizing team to be emphatic and patient towards all the participants. It was important that the team leaders not only actively engage students but also motivate them to participate. Team leaders were also trained to make other students learn how to be good team members and appreciate others’ skills irrespective of their abilities. Demo sessions were planned where team leaders shared their chosen activity and their planning on how they will be executing the sessions
A variety of activities were created to allow the students to participate. Here is and overview of the different activities available to the students.
- Paper Mache + Each describe the object and its use + Story building and telling
- Draw characters + Each describe the object and its use + Story building and telling
- Organisers narrate the story + draw and colour anything or character from the story + Story building and telling
- Pictionary (Student choose any option) + Use Phrase and Pictionary pictures to build a story
- Make food dishes (characters) like caterpillar with apples, tortoise with fruit or tomato + Story building and telling using these dishes
- Blindfold + riddles (both team activities)
- Make expressions of assigned emoji + Solving Puzzles (Both team activities)
- Identify three objects in the house with any one or any of the primary colours + Choose 1 item from each student + Story building and telling using these dishes.
Extra small games (can be played beside the main activity from above or merge with your activity to add interesting sections)
- Memory games- show some objects signals etc and then they have to recall
This inclusive project was a celebration of diversity through inclusivity. It will encourage their participation and inclusion in their schools, leading to sensitization towards strengths and different abilities of the children. Seven sessions were conducted with three schools participating in each session.
- Sensitizing the organizing team so that they are emphatic and patient towards all the students
- Completing the tasks in the stipulated time limit as sometimes students took time to complete the task or follow instructions, so we accordingly made changes to our planning after the initial one or two sessions
- To sensitize participating students without highlighting any differently abled student in the group, so that all have empathy for other team members in the group and appreciate each team member skills
- To make all students equally engaged in activities and making participation fun for them.
The project was planned to bring a change for the differently abled students, but the sessions’ impact was not limited to them. GGS student organizing team also learned a lot from these sessions, and they became more empathized and matured while conducting the sessions. They learnt how to identify and appreciate the unique skill in each person and teach all the participants. We received positive feedback from all the participating schools. Participants, parents, and teacher escorts shared how overwhelmed they were during the sessions and were touched by the team leaders’ mature and sensitive handling of the participants. They appreciated how team leaders took care of all the participants with a lot of compassion and respect.
We were pleased to see the beautiful smiles on all participants’ faces and how motivated and happy they were on participating in an Inter school event. The differently abled students were confident and were excited to see their thoughts and creative ideas being appreciated. Finally, they had a platform where they can share their skills with no one challenging or judging them. The project strengthened in small ways self-belief and confidence in the participants.
Long Term Outcomes
A project like this one has the potential to create an ever-lasting impact in many students thinking process. It will boost confidence, motivate differently abled students. For others, it will make them more compassionate, caring, and empathetic. Through such projects we will be able to significantly provide equal opportunities to all participants to enhance their skills.
- Choose the theme based on equity and inclusion
- Consider differential multi-sensorial activities
- Choose activities as per the abilities of all participating students
- Accept the difference respectfully
- Appreciation Rewards for each one without segregating anyone
- Never talk about the child in front of the whole group.
- Train the organising student team to interact with the participants with encouragement and respect for each other`s uniqueness.
Author: Leenu Singh, Round Square Rep, Genesis Global School