The modern man caught in a world of crashing values has become a part of the madding crowd. He is wholly, ignorant of his power to shape his own destiny and that of society. Only individuals who have developed their own potential can contribute to the welfare of others. History is replete with examples of persons who cultivated their qualities of head and heart to be able to help their fellow countrymen. Their life is judged by how it touches the life of others.
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Community Outreach is the practice of conducting awareness activities, the way how we influence the individual units of society by strong helping the weak and the fortunate helping the less fortunate. It can encompass a range of intervention and approaches including community meetings, training sessions with people, street plays, cultural activities, marches and demonstrations. Evidence shows that these mediums can produce positive change in the attitude and behaviour of society. It is basically many projects with a single goal: creating concrete practical differences in the lives of those who are down trodden, struggling for those who could pull themselves up out of destitution if only someone would extend a helping hand.
Providing financial aids for widows and victims of poverty and disability, establishing Care Homes for the Elderly can entrench a tranquil, supportive atmosphere for those who have no one else to look after them. Extending hope and solace to the prisoners helps to restore faith in their own goodness, making them realize that someone might still accept them, regardless their past. This faith gives them hope for the future and strength to persevere in their efforts to join the main stream of life.
‘Community Outreach’ in true sense should be beyond the rhetoric of the word outreach providing the various resources with a significant role and resilient environment, away from legal limitations, so that they could function efficiently.
Due to globalization, imperative values of yester years have taken a backseat. Informal agencies like family, community have realized the explosiveness of the situation. Educational institutions especially schools are playing a vital role in sensitizing the children towards social issues like Global Warming, Corruption , Increasing Population and so on â€¦â€¦â€¦ Exhibitions, Nukkad Natikas and plays organized by the school stand apart from the crowd in the sense that they do something different by creating a conducive environment.
Yes, our school children can be the living harbingers of change by developing propinquity with the society.
‘Satyamev Jayate’ being telecast on Star Plus recently stands testimony that conscience of the general folk is not lost somewhere, but it is deep rooted in the subconscious mind lying latent dormant awaiting a spark. The social issues raised by Amir Khan have not fallen from the clouds but were lingering around us languished in silence. The way it touched the heart of people the way it aroused the curiosity of every age group is incredible, reinforcing the influence of emphatic outreach.
It takes years to change the society but it takes a fraction of second to change the mindset. The clarion call is on. Lets all be driven away by the passion to single mindedly pursue our vision for the upliftment of the society. Lets embark upon a new horizon of co-operation because we shoulder the divine responsibility of social change.
DAV CENTENARY PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROHTAK, HARYANA
AN ARTICLE FOR CENBOSEC
The verbal meaning of it is to reach community for awareness and health. The education empowers us with a lot of capacities to bring a change in society. If the society is aware with the recent trends of education it can give drastic change. As per the past periods the education couldn’t be scored by everyone and they couldn’t reach to their proper destinations. As a result they couldn’t understand the meaning of life and its importance.
Now the education is directly linked with life. Even teachers and students can play a major role in it to give the best result to communicate easily with the community.
CBSE has already initiated lots of programmes through which the educational institutes can enrich the community. In today’s date the recent name is ‘Smart classes’ through which everyone is aware of the upholding and outgoings in the community. With the help of this the adults of today’s generation are able to get complete education by this we can eradicate polio, we can secure environment protection programmes to keep them safe and sound. Community and its harmony are inter-related.
Firstly, the students should get to know the meaning of community. They shouldn’t have the feeling of hatred and poison to inject their body badly.
It should be in their inner conscious that community is today and will be tomorrow for ever. Awareness of each and every topic should be taught to them.
Secondly, after getting the knowledge they are trained to distribute their known acknowledgements. We all love to have democracy so the society members like to have community.
CBSE with its full effort has well maintained the graphic level of community as in comparison to the past. A child should have the proper knowledge of education, adolescence; safety rules its all with the help of community but its outreach.
So to capture it we should be like an eagle as in search of its food.
Gain the love of community without any pain.
Today’s generation members are patience less and aggressive natured so their capturing power of harmony is decorating. They have less peace of mind. With the help of CBSE Programmes it helps community in the awareness traffic methods, vigilance awareness, Sadh Bhawna Programme, Quomi Ekta Programmes and Road Safety.
Younger generation can make a big impact on social awareness. If both the teachers and students plan a systematic programmes then the whole world will be benefited as they are the pillars of the society.
Mass awareness programmes for adverse impact of population increase literacy also can bring up positive change in society. It is very essential now that communication outreach should; be a compulsory agenda for all the Institutions.
The future citizens of India are studying in our school and they must take a pledge to reach community by street place competitions like poster Exhibitions and Public Meetings.
The people of India can be enlightened as the major of the population lives in villages and slum areas. It is the need of time that we should reach to communicate to bring out the change. If the young people take the challenges to outreach to communicate and be in favour to do the selfless service.
If we all follow the footsteps of good will and welfare to be in community then not only a child but even a young and adult can have the fruit of it. Which is very tasty and free of cost.
India will be converted into a happy and prosperous community, which will be included in every aspect of human life. Because if peaceful mind, co-operation, mutual understanding and other practical potentialities then it’s a moral giving community. Because we all love to have a keen gathering and communal harmony.
That is the dream of our leaders and stakeholders. We must appreciate the major efforts taken by the CBSE to make Students and Teachers aware about community outreach.
“So join hands together to have together a good community because it’s our major Duty.”
Dr. S. V. Sharma
COMMUNITY OUTREACH FOR BETTER HEALTH
Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan
A school cannot be an island in society. It is an integral and indispensable part of the society. The school has to cater to the needs and aspirations of the society though it is primarily meant for educating the young ones. They should connect themselves with the society around them and have a fruitful symbiotic relationship. It is not a new phenomenon and the past is replete with instances of such happy outreaches. Sometimes it is only the infrastructure of the school put into use for the community and at other times, the teachers serving for the cause of society beyond their call of duty.
At recent times, it is the turn of the students to reach out to the community. The learning has taken new meanings and it takes place outside the four walls of the classroom. Nowadays, the students reach out to the community as a part of their learning experience. The students come into contact with people and their interaction helps them build knowledge. Learning is rooted in their surrounding environment. The learning in the outdoors could be an extended activity of the classroom or application of the knowledge gained inside the classroom.
The society is facing numerous problems, some very closely affecting the health of the people. One such problem is fluoride levels in ground water and soil. At minute levels, the fluoride strengthens the enamel in our teeth but a slight excess can cause debilitating effect on the human body. Flourosis can make the bones deformed and brittle. The people are not even aware that they are consuming the toxic water and when they realisation dawns it is too late to reverse the process. No corrective measures are possible after a stage of the onset of fluorosis.
When the organisations ‘Arghyam’, along with ‘Oracle Thinkquest’ launched a project related to involve the school students in detecting fluoride levels in drinking water resources around their immediate environment, a new initiative of community reach was in the offing. The organisation provided kits to test the level of fluoride in different water samples and report them systematically. A manual containing all the details was also provided. The tests were easy to perform and a fun filled activity for the students. The students came forward to involve themselves in this project.
The results poured in from different parts of the country and the student volunteers had become members of a great enemy fighting the scourge of fluorosis. The kind of survey could have been carried out by health agencies of state governments or some other professional bodies. But the involvement of the school and the children had a greater purpose. The children had to be sensitised over issues that affected the society. As it is aptly said, we have not inherited this planet earth, but we have borrowed it from our future generations. It is our prime duty to understand that over exploitation without sustained development can cause havoc to this fragile planet.
The project was carried out by teams of students under the guidance of a teacher. The analysis was carried out as per the instructions in the manual supplied. The results were loaded on to the web site in the prescribed manner. The students uploaded photographs also of the activity carried out. The experience was a memorable one for everybody participated as they were not only learning something but had the satisfaction of reaching out to the community.
The students had enthusiastically talked about this project amongst their friends, family members and the people. They themselves were aware of the problem of fluorosis and they succeeded in spreading the message. Students of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Khanapara, Guwahati went a step ahead. They did not stop at finding the fluoride levels of different water sources around the city. They extended their project to find solutions. They developed a simple method of reducing flouruide levels by treating the polluted water by using indigenously available material. They had gone into the chemistry behind the process and tested several materials before discovering the right one. They presented their project in children’s Science Congress and also at other conferences and won kudos for the good work.
The team had used rice husk charcoal as an adsorbent material to remove the flouride ions from the affected water. The rice husk is abundantly available to the people in their immediate environment. The rice husk had to be pre heated to a particular temperature for optimum results. They need not go for some costly chemicals which they cannot afford. The device model conceived by the students can be easily mass produced and distributed to the needy people.
This project is a very good example of community reach. More such projects which take up the task of mitigating the sufferings of people can go a long way in redefining the roles of schools in society. The students are benefited by the study and the society too is immensely benefited. We have to identify areas where the help of students to be enlisted. Proper guidance can be provided so that the project is systematically carried out and the results beneficial to th society.
Reference: “Comparative soil and groundwater analysis for fluoride content and its removal in Guwahati region.’ A paper authored by Abhilasha Lahkar, Debarshi Raj Borah, Kakoli Roy, Kasturi Sarma and Uddipana Kakati under the guidance of Mrs Remya Parameswar Iyer, KV Khanapara, Guwahati
SEEMA VIJAY NAIR
ALL SAINTS HIGH SCHOOL, KALYAN
“Education is a process of living and not a preparation for future living. We cannot separate education from life: The connection of the two is the point” – Dewey (1933)
The school, the family and the community are three major contexts in which students live and grow. These overlapping spheres of influence are extremely important because they directly affect children’s learning and development.
The school and the family both, obviously share responsibility for children’s learning. This relationship between the school and the home is based on mutual respect and acknowledgement of the assets and expertise of each member. But this partnership can be extended further, schools can emphasize a broad base of community involvement. Here it is essential to understand that schools are communities unto themselves because they don’t exist in isolation. They reside within the communities they serve and must cultivate relationship with them.
The community should have a vested interest in what schools offer and in the outcomes of the education process for their children of the community and in turn schools should have an obligation to be sensitive to the community they serve, to care for and protect the children entrusted to them and be accountable to the local community in their governance and management.
And when such mutual relationships exist, the result is improved learning for all students and strengthened schools, families and communities. Research shows that parent and community involved in education is associated with improved student outcomes (Ballen and Moles, 1994).
Thus connecting with families and communities can help students, families, teachers and school leaders to better understand each others perspectives and create a more open, diversity – friendly school environment in which all students have a better chance to succeed. Linking schools and communities is widely recognized as a good pedagogical practice and is considered to make children indulge in more meaningful and engaged learning.
Some benefits of community collaboration can be summed up as :-
Schools get help from multiple sources
Community partners can offer a variety of mentoring experiences to students.
Community business can benefit from the positive public relations of working closely with schools.
Students can see the connection between the curriculum in the school and the skills that are required in the real world.
School – family – community partenerships will enable students and families to produce their own successes.
HOW TO BRING ABOUT A COMMUNITY COLLABORATION
Assess the diversity of families in your school including diversity in culture, socio economic status, language. Knowing more about students families and background will enable in identifying the goals and strategies for an effective partnership with family and the community. This can be done by survey questionnaires, telephone, interviews, meetings and discussions.
Developing effective communication: Effective communication from home to school and school to home. Strategies for personal contact included home visiting, establishment of a parent center and a parent liasion to co-ordinate involvement efforts, parent teacher conferences. Strategies for written communicate can include introductory and year end letters to parents and students, classroom newsletters. Hence special consideration must be given to communication and care to be taken that the content in the communication is jargon free. Also CDs can be used instead of written material to communicate.
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Encouraging parents and community member, groups to participate in the school events. For this, plan regular events sometimes in informal gathering. Have staff personally distribute leaflets in the community concerning school events, meetings or other activities. Volunteers should be valued for their efforts in whatever capacity they are able to participate. Offer classes or workshops to parents on various strategies or parenting skills, helping children learn at home, skills improvement, etc but here it is needed to be emphasized that once is not enough. It should be an ongoing process. Preferably a timeline should be given to brief them when to expect actions.
To encourage the participation, schools should create positive experiences so that the parents and community members realize that they are welcome to school and are free to suggest, recommend and initiate.
Include families as decision makers, advocates, members of school councils and committees.
Collaborating with community organizations and agencies. These partnerships promote sharing of information and resources that are helpful to students and families. Some cultural organizations and religious organizations can provide cultural recreational and extra curricular activities so that children’s lives are enriched
Partnerships with community agencies can make health and social services such as medical care and counselling available to students and families through the school.
Hence it is important for the school to become acquainted with the social service agencies in the community, set up one-on-one meetings or group meetings with service providers and learn more about what service are available to students and their families. Community member and parents may be invited to talk about their skills and experiences, talents to students every fortnight. Build a community network of concerned aduts, to talk about and publicise issues of concern to the schools and to the community.
Make students sent appreciation notes, thank you notes to the service providers in the community like the police, fire fighting squad, etc.
Thus by reaching out to the community, school can address a wide range of problems and issues that students and families face. They can in fact serve as a hub for the delivery of services that complement and support education. Above all, effective school and community link can strengthen education because it is undoubtedly the key to a strong local economy, a good quality of life and a brighter future for everyone.
“Communities that work to make education better are communities with bright
Richard W. Riley
Dr. Dharam Veer Singh)
Sri Guru Harkrishan Sr. Sec. Public School
G.T. Road, Amritsar.
“When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.”
“What a child doesn’t receive he can seldom later give”- goes the popular adage. Major traits of a child’s personality are developed during the very early stages of life. A child learns an endless amount about life at its formative age; like how to treat others and what is right or wrong. It will be mainly the parents, along with other members of the family and teachers who will teach these traits. So setting a good example for children, be it parents or teachers is very pivotal. Trying to teach them positive lessons they can carry on through life, is equally essential. The more good habits they develop at a young age, the easier it will be as they grow up to teach them. And the more good qualities the child possesses, the more he or she will be able to contribute to the world.
‘Community Outreach’ is synonymous with contribution and service. Community outreach is the practice of conducting local public awareness activities through targeted community interaction. It means giving back to the surrounding community — not only through contributing time and money, but also by sharing our expertise. Outreach activities are those efforts that can directly affect the behavior of the driving public through local interaction. They are designed to educate the public about a particular issue using respected and locally relevant channels of communication. The term outreach generally refers to ‘efforts to increase the availability and utilization of services, especially through direct intervention and interaction with the target population’.
All ‘Outreach Programs’ must provide students with educational support and services. Some examples of educational support include personal and career counselling, conflict resolution and anger management techniques, time management and study skills, parenting skills, learning strategies and addiction counselling. These services may be provided onsite or in coordination with community agencies. Each Outreach Program is unique and is designed to meet the individual needs of its students. Outreach Programs are, by definition and practice, different from regular school programs.
Here, students are able to follow a customized education program. For example, the school may open later in the morning and stay open late in the afternoon, it may be open only in evening or it may be open only during the summer break or on Sundays.
The student/teacher relationship is more meaningful at such classes as teachers have the opportunity to provide more personal attention thereby allowing them to get to know the individual needs of students including their personal lives as well as how they are performing in their school work. This results in students believing that teachers care about them as individuals. Flexible scheduling and attendance requirements provide for low student/teacher ratios during the school days. As a result, students have a learning environment that provides additional individualized assistance to meet their learning needs. A low student/teacher ratio provides teachers with the opportunity to focus on the individual needs of students.
In an Outreach Program, teachers have the opportunity and responsibility to work with students to address their behavioural, mental and physical health issues. These issues frequently arise during group discussions or one-on-one discussions with the teachers. Teachers have a chance to assist students to realize their goals and have confidence in their own abilities. Teachers work with students one-on-one and, through discussion and support, show that the goals which students have, are possible to attain. When students meet their goals, they start to believe in their abilities. Teachers have an opportunity to change students’ negative school experiences into positive ones. Some students find their time in a regular school to be a stressful and negative experience. These students often find that Outreach Programs provide an environment that is positive and supportive.
Community outreach typically originates from the initiative of highly motivated faculty. Socially committed faculty members, who believe that community engagement creates learning opportunities for their students, take the lead in establishing outreach activities. Changing academic traditions is a major reason and consequence of ‘Community Outreach’. The longstanding traditions of academia also present significant obstacles in institutionalizing outreach where the requirement is to change institutional norms, to encourage more interdisciplinary and applied work and to adopt new forms of scholarship and pedagogy.
Executive leadership, exercised by heads and administrators, can provide powerful support for community outreach and collaboration. Leaders at this level can articulate a vision of community outreach, advocate the values of partnerships, and promote discussion and debate about new approaches to teaching, research and civic responsibility across the campus.
Since teaching is the primary business across all types of institutions of higher education, integrating community outreach into the curriculum puts it at the heart of the institution, shaping the activities and experience of both faculty and students. Numerous institutions with professional degree programs such as urban planning, business, law, social work, and various health professions have added to their curriculum clinical experiences or pre-professional workshops that were developed with community partners. Educational institutes can provide a focal point for community outreach, elevate the visibility of outreach in the academic institution, and provide a recognizable home for these concerns for the community. They can surely build community issues and concerns into the core of the academic institution’s teaching and research agenda.
Connecting with the community is an important fabric of our moral ethics and the teaching profession. The whole theme of community outreach believes in reaching people where they are, no matter the what condition or place in life they are at. Remember that your life, your story and your daily interactions effect other people’s lives. Do something for somebody every day for which you don’t get paid.
“Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Swami Vivekananda aptly said, “To serve mankind is to serve God.”
Social service is the best prayer, perfect deed and can bring something very simple , a smile on somebody’s face and spread kindness which in return can form a chain of humanity that will benefit one and all. Every single person on this planet Earth is engaged in some form of activity and tries to strive towards excellence .In this technology driven world which is full of hatred, ego centricity, selfishness man is circling over material gains and prosperity and hardly has a time to spare for others. Richness or highly social status doesn’t represent the true self. The perfect self is the one that follows the community services, with heart that beats forever for others. But sadly human beings have lost faith in one another and also in the established community principles. They have forgotten service before self. Men themselves are not their enemies. The primary culprit of the social fabric is illiteracy, ignorance, unawareness, poverty and unemployment. In fact Poverty is not only the result of the changing labour market but is also linked to household structure and demography .The only question that matters is in which direction we are moving. In fact , Goodness in human beings does not die , it only sleeps which can be aroused by love. Love , which is neither taught nor learnt but cultivated in our daily routines. Through reaching the weaker sections of the community services the seed of right ideas, noble and courageous aspirations get the right channel and are received by the minds of the same nature.
Community outreach programs are an important supplement and complement to a solid social infrastructure. A wide range of community services can reach the wider section of poor people and can do important social services such as child care, home care , nature care etc. As Stephen Spender says in his poem:
” Show the children green fields and make their world,
Run azure on gold sands, and let their tongues,
Run naked into books, the white and green leaves open.” which gives the message that Community initiatives build on the ideas and strength of individuals , recognize their ability to apply unique talent, creativity and hard work to improve their lives.
Communities can outreach the weaker sections by :-
Meeting the basic needs : Food, cloth and shelter.
Removing barriers : working towards health care services.
Building skills : Removing illiteracy, academic up liftment .
Promoting economic development : Training in self employment.
The dark clouds of filthy air of ignorance , invisibility can be purified by community outreach programs. Who can forget the works of Baba Amte , Mother Teresa, Dr Abhay Bhang, Dr. Rani Bhang who really worked for the up liftment of the poor and the downtrodden.
C. Gopalachari words still echo in nook and corner that the real essence of life is ” Pain instinctively felt for other’s sufferings, Pleasure felt instinctively in others joy”. Community Outreach programs comprising of students and young teens can work for the holistic development of the under privileged and conservation of environment. Useful distribution of Free Cycle ride in the Delhi University is a great drive and an effective step to make Delhi pollution free . Schools also hold a prominent role in creating awareness like holding rallies to make the neighborhood aware about the sensitive issues like Save Planet Earth, Save Environment , Say No to Crackers etc which can be instrumental in bringing change and transformation in the society. Distribution of free pamphlets on AIDS Awareness, Say No to plastic bags , fire Safety tips can widen the mental horizon of the people. One Cannot forget the Times Of India initiative of ‘Each One Teach One’ and the Hindustan Times effort of ‘You Read and They Learn’. Such initiatives through volunteering can go a long way in eradicating illiteracy , ignorance and unawareness. Fund raising events, charity shows for the upliftment of the poor , for collecting money for the flood effected victims if tackled with proper honesty and sincerity can bring a great change and smile on people’s face.
Community Outreach Programs have also played leading roles in sending the message of unity , brotherhood and service to mankind. Be it the most devastating floods in Assam, cyclone in Orissa , earthquake in Gujrat, We find hundreds of people associated with different community programs jump to lend their helping hands to the victims irrespective of their caste , color or creed. Without waiting for Government to act first these people voluntarily do rescue operations, relief work, free distribution of cloth, food, rehabilitation, health care etc. Community Outreach is a medium and invisible force that binds humanity together just as a force of gravitation binds all matter together into a single fist. Endeavors like interaction with slum children to know their root problems and to take necessary steps by the different communities and NGO’s can sort out the cause of their miseries. Visit to old age homes by different schools can uplift the
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