Akanksha partners with the Motivation for Excellence Foundation to provide 3rd-8th grade math classrooms with tablets and access to high-quality, adaptive learning material such as Khan Academy to allow students to progress at their own pace and to engage more actively with material.
Akanksha has incorporated independent workstations in classrooms to help students focus on practicing and mastering one task. Students rotate between different workstations in groups to perform certain tasks within a limited time frame. Workstations foster a culture of independent, active, and purposeful learning.
The Buckle Up and Read program helps develop elementary student's reading skills. It exposes children to books that include more text than illustrations and helps them gain confidence in reading comprehension. Students also recommend books to each other and learn new vocabulary.
Art for Akanksha empowers children with a powerful art education supported by its curriculum developed in-house, as well as providing art-related career opportunities for Akanksha alumni and generating revenue through high-quality products. Art for Akanksha is guided by a firm conviction in the power of art to build skills, strengthen values and nurture a positive attitude.
The Sports Program’s primary goal is for children to have fun, create friendships, and build self-confidence through physical activity. In addition, the students are taught the value and importance of teamwork. Sports offered include football, hockey and cricket, amongst others.
Students who are particularly successful in classes are invited to join one of Akanksha’s teams that compete in leagues with teams from other community organizations so they can continue to develop their skills in a more competitive environment. These include the Just For Kicks School Football Championship, Sakal Schoolympics, and the Inter Akanksha Volleyball Tournament.
High school can be a challenging phase for students because of socio-emotional change as well as the increased academic pressure from preparing for college. Sustained adult interactions and support through structured advisory programs help students navigate this phase. Akanksha’s Advisory program ensures that all students have an adult who knows him or her well and is an advocate for them. These advisors support them when they face personal or academic difficulties.
Additionally, student voice is an essential component in Akanksha schools. At least once a week, a structured process called ‘circle time’ takes place in all classrooms. During this time, students share concerns, support each other and seek solutions to challenges they may be facing. The circle time is particularly special because it ensures that every student expresses themselves with the school advocate who is their teacher.
Comprised of parents, teachers, and school leaders, School Management Committees aim to ensure parent involvement in students’ education and accountability for school management. SMCs often help conduct intensive interventional work in areas surrounding schools, including programs that raise literacy levels among parents or build awareness about proper hygiene and nutrition.
Akanksha's social workers lead a team of parents in each school and help equip them with knowledge and skills they can use to drive positive change within schools. This comes in the form of developing life skills ranging from health, hygiene and nutritional awareness, to effective parenting and financial organisation.
At the pre-primary level, Akanksha has created bilingual materials that allows parents to reinforce learning from school at home. Many Akanksha Schools also run spoken English classes for parents to build their confidence and to keep up with their budding fluent English speakers at home.
India School Leadership Institute (ISLI), established in 2013 as a project of the Akanksha Foundation, is one of the first initiatives in India to focus on developing the skills of school leaders to build high performing schools that commit to and deliver academic achievement and character development of children in government and affordable private schools. School leaders are defined as headmasters, principals, head teachers and school owners. ISLI offers a 2-year fellowship during which Fellows can shadow and observe Akanksha leaders and schools in action, seeing that effective practices from Akanksha Schools can be transferred into different contexts but focused on reaching the same demographic of students.