‘Art for Akanksha’ in Schools
Having developed curriculum for lower KG to standard 3, the older standards are being worked on with the aim to build specific skills and attitudes at every level. Support, training, and in-class observation is also provided to art teachers in each school.
The curriculum covers 6 strands – painting, drawing, clay, fabric, construction, and printing, and carefully follows the developmental abilities of the child at various ages. The curriculum is cost-effective, easily implementable, and allows children to be creative while expressing and exploring who they are.
‘Art for Akanksha’ in Centers
While art has always been an integral part of learning at Akanksha, it has been introduced in a more structured manner to give children a medium through which they can express themselves, allowing teachers and students to get to know each other better, working on creative projects that push children to think harder and helping in identifying talented children.
Each session makes recommendations for ways to link the activity to skills, values, and broader learning objectives that the center is trying to meet.
Teachers are supported through trainings. The modules have been designed with the focus on the process and the sharing rather than the art created and hence require good teachers and not necessarily artistically talented teachers to deliver these sessions.
Talented children from Akanksha centers are selected to join Design classes. These classes are run by teachers who have a background in art and aim to give children an understanding of various art techniques, and a chance to express themselves through the creation of unique products. Design class meets on the weekends in multiple locations. Each class has approximately 20 to 25 children and an Akanksha alumni who acts as a teaching assistant. Design classes provide children with many opportunities such field trips to art galleries, workshops by artists and designers, and exploring new art medium and techniques. Children are also supported to take their elementary and intermediate exams.
The children, aged 12 years and above, earn points for every class they attend. At the end of 6 months, points can be redeemed and children get to collectively decide what they want the most. It could be school books for the start of the year or rain coats and umbrellas before the monsoon.
Many of the Akanksha alumni currently employed in ‘Art for Akanksha’ have been students of Design class and are involved in designing furniture, painting murals, conducting workshops, as well as major Akanksha events such as the musicals, art auctions, etc.