Samsidh Group: Our Vision and Mission for the 21st Century

Interaction with visionaries who are dedicated to the cause they so passionately believe in is an enriching experience. We present the contents of such an interaction for the benefit of our readers. We spoke to Ms. Veni, Head of Education, Samsidh Group of Schools about the group’s vision for the 21st century.

 

Vision statement for Samsidh Group of schools

Samsidh Group was founded with the objective of creating leaders for the 21st century, and our mission is to empower 80% of people to achieve their true potential, and also ensuring the youngsters grow into humane and ethical adults. All of us who serve in the organization are dedicated to making the vision our tour de force.

 

How the long involvement in the field of education has helped shape Samsidh’s vision

An association of a quarter of century in the education realm has helped us to acquire deeper understanding of the system. During this period, a number of significant changes have taken place. Education has moved away from mere rote learning to learning with reasoning.

 

We have realised that mere knowledge will not make one successful, one needs to acquire the relevant skills to utilize this knowledge. Our group of schools adhere to the teaching through a concept based methodology which gives equal importance to knowledge, skills and values - a vision that will help take forward our mission.

 

Contribution of Samsidh Group of schools to education

Teaching our children the importance of learning to keep fighting despite failure. Making our students realize trial and learn is our truly learning process. We have tried to eliminate the stigma attached to failure and encourage to view it as an important aspect of the learning process. We believe one can learn a lot more from one’s failure than from one’s successes.

 

Association with ZEE, incorporation of integrated methodology, and the way forward

Zee were one of the the first to understood the need for a change in the current education system. It is a well known fact that 80% of graduates in India are not employable. The only way forward is to, therefore, revolutionise the education system and help make our country produce creators and innovators rather than a workforce that works hard.

 

Zee has begun this revolution through its concept based methodology and it will be our endeavour to take it forward and make it an effective tool to bring about the change.

 

Challenges faced in incorporating Integrated methodology when compared to the conventional teaching methodology and Samsidh’s plans for training and development of  the teaching professionals a painless process

We recognize change is the only constant and real growth occurs when we adapt easily. With relevant and regular training and handholding, our teachers are capable of doing wonders.

 

We are helping our teachers to understand the need for this change. The process becomes easier once they understand and embrace the need for change wholeheartedly.

 

We also hold regular training sessions for our staff throughout the year, both through the external and internal facilitators, which helps them take that additional step forward.

 

Other  important skills for teachers and steps taken to empower Samsidh Group teachers

What differentiates an extraordinary teacher from an ordinary one, is the presence of 7E’s – being energetic, enthusiastic, effective, ego-less, empathetic, engaging and entertaining.

 

There are two types of teachers – those who have taken this up as their chosen profession and those who were forced to take it up for a variety of reasons.

 

To the former, it has to be our goal to keep fuelling their choice as the right one and to the latter, we need to see that they never regret their second choice.

 

Impact of CBSE and CCE pattern of education and assessments

The current system is designed in favour of rote learners who are adept at reproducing verbatim what they have memorized. But such learning methodology does not ensure success in a real-life situation. In fact, there are reports of students ending their life due to failure in the examination. Such senseless deaths of students can be directly attributed to overemphasis on marks, ranks and the related stress.

 

On a positive note, we are happy CBSE has taken note of this and bringing in the much needed change. The CCE helps us assess the children everyday through a plethora of activities and not only through a pen-paper test. The assessments are now all round and not a one-time affair.

 

Differentiated teaching/learning and its incorporation at Samsidh Group of Schools

Human beings are not assembly line products and therefore, are not identical. Each individual is distinctive and has his/her own style of learning. So using one method for all, will not help. The teacher should have a complete grasp of the students and mould his/her teaching to cater to not only the audio, video and kinaesthetic learners but also to learners with different grasping abilities.

We have a streamlined Enrichment Curriculum which aims at helping the students move one level up, regardless of the level.

 

We are also planning on having differentiated worksheets to help the children overcome their subject/exam related phobia and be able to learn at their own pace.

 

Role of parents in child’s education and plans on involving parents in the teaching- learning process

Parents are a child's first teachers. Every parent wants to ensure their child is given access to best education. In the days gone by, mothers generally tended to be homemakers and monitored their children’s  progress constantly. The present scenario is that, more often than not, both the parents are busy professionals and hence anxious about their children’s education, on account of  being not being able to devote as much time to their children as they would ideally like to.

 

An ideal approach for modern parents would be to lay more emphasis on meaningful interactions with their children to learn about their progress.

 

Parents and teachers have an equally important role to play and we urge parents to be connected with us in every aspect of their children’s learning at our schools.

 

Identifying the unique potential of a child and steps taken to prepare the children for future challenges with this mission

At Samsidh, we strive to make each student feel that he/she is a winner and that a winner isn’t necessarily the one who scores a centum.

 

Every activity of the student is analysed and we help him/her to hone that uniqueness. The choice of profession is no longer limited to only two. The world outside offers a variety of options and we help the children choose wisely and judiciously.

 

The children are exposed  to the real world through various activities, competitions and projects which help them to identify their inner potential. We believe in helping the children become independent, pro active and capable through these activities.

 

Significance of the educational program and philosophy of Samsidh Group, say, three years down the line

Samsidh Group believes in not merely creating 21st Century leaders, but leaders with conscience, with values, with ethics and empathy.

 

Three years down the line, people will be certainly seeing a set of youngsters who have a sensible head on their shoulders and for whom material acquisitions will be of secondary importance.

 

We have made a great beginning and hope to see it gathering further momentum in the coming days.

Samsidh Group of Schools: Meeting the 21st Century Challenge

Dear parents,

 

The 21st century is all about the relentless pace of change, advances made in the field of technology and its impact on our lives.

 

Just in the last decade and a half, the way we communicate, the way conduct our business, or even the way we live has undergone a complete change. To compound matters, technology which is considered advanced today may not remain so for long.

 

Education and learning methodologies have not been immune to the effect of advancing technology, making introduction of modern methodology and advanced learning techniques in the field of education a matter of priority because education is the glue that binds technology, economy and society into a cohesive and well-functioning unit.

 

Let us look at some of the trends and qualities required to be a part of the 21st century workforce, where traditional jobs are on the way out and automation is gaining ground.

 

We will also look at the qualities required to be successful in the new century:

 

Being innovative and and creative, being a team player, being a good communicator, being disciplined, being morally and ethically sound, and being physically  fit and healthy.

 

At Samsidh Group we anticipated the changes and their impact early and responded with the introduction of the concept based methodology in association with Zee Education, the pioneers in the field, which gives equal importance to knowledge, skills and values.

 

Our mission is to make our students ready to face the challenges of the new century - they can be leaders, job creators, educators or employees with exceptional skills. Our goal is to see them grow into exceptionally skilled humane and ethical individuals.

 

Our alumni today is 1500+ strong and made up of exceptional individuals whom we consider ourselves fortunate to have been associated with. Their success is our true reward.

 

This would not have been possible without the unwavering support from Samsidh Management who have ensured the infrastructure and facilities at all our schools meet the best quality standards, unflinching commitment from our teaching staff and their enthusiasm for learning new methodologies, parents who have had the foresight to anticipate changes as well as we did, and for entrusting us with the responsibility of shaping their children’s future.

 

Last but not least, our students deserve our appreciation for recognising the power of the new approach to learning and adapting to it effortlessly.

 

However, the most defining feature of our schools in Horamavu and Electronic City is the emphasis we place on sporting activities and cultural activities, in addition to academics.

 

These activities  are now a part of the curriculum and the necessary infrastructure, safety features and highly-trained support staff is in place to support activities like taekwondo, cricket, tennis, in addition to regular sports activity. The aim is to encourage a sporting culture.

 

We have also incorporated dance, music, and yoga in our school curriculum to provide our students a way of showcasing their talent and creativity. Yoga classes are designed to help them to calm their minds and to face any situation with confidence.

Packing school lunch the right way and making sure your kids are eating right

Most children tend to have a short attention span and one of the greatest challenges is to keep them alert, active and attentive in class.

 

Teachers know from experience that one of the ways to keep them energetic all day is by getting them to eat nutritious and wholesome food.

 

However, the task is a delicate one. Get the children to eat well and you will have half the children trying hard to keep their eyes open in the post lunch session. Get them to eat a little less and you will have them looking restless and impatient to go home. The trick is to get them to eat nutritious food in right quantities so that they are energetic but not lethargic.

 

This seemingly mundane everyday job is very important for children’s development. Eat right is a concept that advocates right eating habits in children and is attracting a lot of attention, in the developed nations. Schools in the West have been running Eat right campaigns with considerable success for some time now.

 

In the West, managing children’s diet is often a part of a school’s many responsibilities. But in India, by and large, the norm is for parents to pack school lunch. That being the case, how can we ensure our children eat a healthful, well-balanced diet? Let us find out:

 

  • First rule of the thumb is, junk food is not an option: Many schools have come down  heavily on junk food and rightly so. Junk food is rich in calories but are devoid of any nutritional value and is not acceptable as the main item of school lunchboxes. It is extremely harmful for the children’s growth - both mental and physical. Think of the preservatives, additives and artificial colours in the junk food and you get the picture.

 

  • So what constitutes a well-balanced diet?  According to Wikipedia “A healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition: fluid, adequate essential amino acids from protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and adequate calories. A healthy diet supports energy needs and provides for human nutrition without exposure to toxicity or excessive weight gain from consuming excessive amounts.” A great definition which gives us a good idea about what should be a part of our child’s lunchbox.

 

 

  • Packing the lunch box: Let us look at some of the essential nutrients that should be a part of your child’s lunch box and their source.

 

 

 

  • Amino acids: Nuts like almonds, peanut butter, cheese, soybeans.

 

    • Essential fatty acids: Walnut, leafy vegetables, fish, olive oil
    • Vitamins: Milk, butter, eggs, chicken
    • Minerals: Our body needs Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Sodium and Potassium. Some of the sources are : tofu, apricots, yoghurt, bananas, orange juice.
    • Fresh fruits: Always include fresh fruit but make sure they are free of traces of pesticide by washing them thoroughly.
    • Water: Boiled and cooled water should always be a part of the lunchbox and children should be encouraged to drink water regularly.

 

The ingredients listed above are the essential dietary elements around which you can improvise using your knowledge of your child's likes and dislikes and also your culinary skills.

 

Disclaimer: This write-up is to only serve as a general guide. Consult your doctor or dietician for expert advice.

Protecting Your Child's Health During the Monsoons

Summers appear to be getting harsher with every passing year, and this year was no exception, with mercury touching high 40s in most parts of the country. But mercifully, the relief from the relentless heat seems to be around the corner.

 

The southern part of the country has already experienced pre-monsoon showers, bringing the temperatures down. Finally, the famed Indian Summer is giving way to the famous Indian Monsoons.

 

The Monsoons this year are expected to be normal by Met Department and one hopes it comes true. We just cannot afford one more deficient monsoons after successive years of scanty rainfall.

 

The Monsoons, while providing the much needed relief from the physical discomforts and ailments associated with the summer, bring their own set of problems. Commuting to work, attending school, and even shopping assumes additional levels of difficulty, with waterlogging, falling tree branches and chaotic vehicular traffic, adding to our woes.

 

During the monsoons, our health can be adversely affected if we are not careful. But rains can be good fun too, if you take a few precautionary measures:

 

  • Indigestion: Eat moderately and stick to fruits and vegetables. But make sure you wash them thoroughly as they are apt to be a little less cleaner during the rains. Boiled vegetables are a safe bet as they are high on nutrition and germs-free.

 

  • Dehydration: Contrary to the general belief, on can get dehydrated during the rains, causing indigestion. Encourage your children to carry a water bottle at all times to stay hydrated and to make sure they are protected against water-borne diseases.

 

  • Food contamination: This is probably the number one reason for illness during the monsoons. Advise your children to avoid eating at roadside eateries and always stick to the nutritious and hygienically prepared homemade food prepared by you.

 

  • Mosquito control: Make sure there are no breeding space for mosquitoes. Malaria, Chikungunya and Dengue are not only dangerous but also have a long recovery period. Make sure there is no stagnant water around your homes and schools.

 

  • Avoid puddles: Children and adults alike cannot resist the temptation to step and splash into a puddle. Not a good idea as the stagnant water may be home to insect and worm larvae and can enter our body through cuts and bruises on our legs.

 

Finally, get the children to wash their hands and feet thoroughly after a visit outdoors. If they get soaked in the rain, get them to change into warm and dry clothes.

 

In addition, also make sure your children are watch out for fallen live power transmission lines, overflowing stormwater drains and falling tree branches. They also need to be told to be extra careful while getting on and off school bus or other modes of transport.

 

Now that we have taken all the necessary precautions, let’s welcome and enjoy the Monsoons!

Writing by Hand: Encourage Children to Take up Cursive Writing

Now that two weeks worth of holidays are behind us, it is time to make the best use of the remainder of the summer vacation. It is hoped that our students’ time has been well spent, and they are thoroughly enjoying themselves in the company of friends and family.
We had previously discussed about ways to protect ourselves from dehydration and heat strokes in the summer, which pose great and sudden danger to the people exposed to the sun when it is hottest and when adequate precautions have not been taken.
We had also talked about the prudency of staying indoors when it is really hot and doing small projects like the family photo album to help children to put their time to good use.
Here’s one more addition to the list - cursive writing.
Encourage your children to take up cursive writing this summer as the benefits are immense.
With the advent of computer-based technology in the field of education, writing in general is slowly being replaced by typing. It may be noted that typing as a skill is important too, but from the point of view of the overall development of the child, writing by hand is priceless.
What is cursive writing and why it is important?
According to Wikipedia, “Cursive, also known as longhand, script, handwriting, looped writing, joined-up writing, joint writing, or running writing is any style of penmanship in which the symbols of the language are written in a conjoined and/or flowing manner, generally for the purpose of making writing faster.”
Educational experts and researchers opine that writing by hand with the characters joined, otherwise known as cursive writing, has the following benefits:
      Think and write: Writing cursively by hand using pen and paper gives students the time and space to ponder what they have learnt.
      Less distraction: Improves concentration levels in children who sometimes tend to play games or surf the internet while using a computer.
      Greater satisfaction: As it takes greater effort to pen one’s thought, end result is far superior and more clear. The sense of fulfillment and pride in children is greater when they write a piece of poetry or verse in their own hand.
      Mental alertness: Writing longhand sharpens memory as repeated reading of what we write improves our memory and keeps us mentally alert.
      Clarity of thought: Helps children to learn to use their own ability to organize their thoughts and present the information in a coherent manner instead of relying on pre-defined and standard templates designed by others for the purpose.
      Promoting individuality and creativity:Cursive writing is all about expressing one’s thoughts through writing, and helping children to find their own niche and develop their individuality.
To conclude, there are many screenwriters, journalists, and authors who still write in the traditional way and they also encourage others to do so.
Jhumpa Lahiri, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Indian origin, prefers writing using longhand. The eminent writer says that she feels “freer when she writes by hand,” thus strengthening the case for the use of cursive writing as an important educational and child development tool.

Education: Role of Technology and Teachers

Has introduction of technology in education diminished the role of teachers?
Early humans learnt by experience, usually through a process of trial and error.

The learning process involved observation, experimentation, and finally documentation for the benefit of later generations.
The method worked exceptionally well for millennia. Discoveries and inventions changed the fortunes of humans - the last century being an exceptional one. As the technologies evolved, the kind of expertise expected of humans also underwent a change.
Horse-drawn carts were replaced by automobile, typewriters were replaced by computers, and even humans were replaced by robots. Efficiency and cost-effectiveness are the name of the game now and the world needs a new workforce capable of taking our legacy forward.
Technology is all-pervasive, and in the field of education, increasingly so. Analog has been replaced by digital and books by the World Wide Web. Google is the new equivalent of the famed libraries of yore, providing access to a wealth of information, mostly for free.
What is the role of Information and Communication Technology(ICT) in the field of education? According to Wikipedia, “(it) can contribute to universal access to education, equity in education, the delivery of quality learning and teaching, teachers’ professional development and more efficient education management, governance and administration.”
With wide adaptation of technology in education, what role do teachers play? Students are ‘connected’ all the time, with access to information at their fingertips. Does all this information gathering amount to real education? Have teachers been rendered obsolete by technology?
Absolutely not. Technology and teachers complement each other. For teachers, it is just an enabling tool to harness the learnings - at home, classroom, and increasingly, online.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) takes a holistic and comprehensive approach to promoting ICT in education, and are of the view that access, inclusion and quality are among the main challenges they can address.
Teachers figure prominently in UN body’s mission of A Teacher for Every Child: Projecting Global Teacher Needs from 2015 to 2030
To read the full report, click here
Technology has its place, but teachers have a greater role to play. The mode of education may have changed or changing, but the spirit of learning remains the same, with the teacher playing a central role in the moulding of character and building of moral and ethical values.
And that’s fact that is never likely to change, ever.
“Every child should have a caring adult in their lives. And that's not always a biological parent or family member. It may be a friend or neighbor. Often times it is a teacher.”

-       Joe Manchin, US Senator

What Kind of Education do we Need in the Future

Key to success is often keeping pace with the present so that we are ready to face the challenges posed by an uncertain future.
Technology is ever-evolving and constantly influencing our lives and means of livelihood. But we can rest assured technology will play a major role in shaping the future of mankind.
To quote an authoritative source, Dr. Vishal Sikka, Chief Executive Officer, Infosys, “Emerging technologies in artificial intelligence, deep neural networking, and machine learning (will) enable us to reimagine the possibilities of human creativity, innovation and productivity.”
However, Dr. Sikka is deeply concerned about the current system of education. Says he, “Our educational system was built more than 300 years ago when farmers composed the majority of our society; when memorization was rewarded more than curiosity and experimentation; when getting something right outweighed learning through failure.”
He adds: “We must transition away from our past; shift the focus from learning what we already know to an education focused on exploring what hasn’t happened yet. This system would resemble an ecology – constant, small adjustments made by independent actors inside of a cohesive whole.”
The analysis by Infosys CEO is fascinating. It offers definitive solutions and charts out a clear road map to overhaul our education system and to transform our learning methods:
      It is very important for every individual to find their niche to learn. When a balance is found between high level of skill and challenge at a personal level, then the scope for our potential is limitless.
      Mother Nature’s most disruptive innovation is human mind. It enables us to analyze, understand, evaluate, communicate, empathize, collaborate; imagine, dream, and create.
      But these capabilities have a pre-requisite - our fundamental ability to understand and to learn. This is what transforms raw data and information into true knowledge.
      Public policy must be transformed at all levels, starting with Governments, through modern, responsive IT infrastructure. It must help create a conducive environment for our students to become fluent in technology. The education systems must keep pace with the latest trends in technology.
      The new reality is our educational systems must modernize to keep pace with the rapid technological changes, a fact corroborated by the  results of a recent Infosys survey of 9,000 16-28 year olds worldwide. (see graph below)
      Our education systems must teach the ability to learn, not the ability to memorise.

      Computers should be made available to all. With a word of encouragement from an instructor, a friend or a relative, students will self-organize around the devices. The result is emergence of natural leaders and also the curiosity of children, and subsequently, their willingness to share new ideas, and the solutions.
      The best way to take away students’ fear or timidity is by familiarizing them with technology at a young age and by encouraging a more inclusive and open debate about the role of tools and technologies in finding solutions for the great problems of our time.
But, Dr Sikka also cautions that in order for these new educational systems to be successful, we must re-examine our own approaches. All of us can help to transform the context around us - the context which limits our potential.
He continues, “These are times of great transformation; a period when I believe the technologies around us will alter all aspects of life. Education has the unique and unassailable opportunity in our society to prepare us for such a change.”
Dr. Sikka concludes with a note of optimism: “It is precisely our human ability to learn, to harness our minds and to apply creative thought to new problems that will allow us to adapt and overcome any future technology or transition, as it has so many times in the past. Undoubtedly, the next industrial revolution will amplify our humanity, but we must also bring a new context, to make it as adaptable, curious, collaborative, engaging and powerful as our own minds.”
(Thanks to Dr. Vishal Sikka, CEO of Infosys, whose article ‘What kind of education do we need in the future?’ for the World Economic Forum (WEF), which appears on their website https://www.weforum.org/ and has been condensed for the benefit of our readers)
Note: The graph is not part of the original article and has been created using the data provided in the article.
 

Summer Holidays : Protect Yourself from Heat Strokes & Dehydration

These days, kids tend to spend a lot less time than their counterparts from a generation ago due to a variety of factors, mainly change in our lifestyles.
In our overcrowded cities, concrete, steel, and automobiles rule, while lung spaces are shrinking and playgrounds are disappearing.
Generally speaking, the attention has shifted to excelling at academics, with sports and physical education taking a backseat. It is also true that kids today are exposed to far more dangers than the children from previous generations, making the parents weary about encouraging their kids to spend more time outdoors.
However, it is essential that children are encouraged to lead an active lifestyle and spend a reasonable amount of time being themselves. The advantages are many:
      Increased interactions with outside world boost children’s confidence levels.
      Keeps them away from TV and gadgets.
      Improves health and reduces risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
      Broadens horizons and contributes to the overall development of the child.
However, summer is a cruel month, especially in a tropical country like India. Heat strokes and dehydration are common occurrences. Therefore, before we do anything else, let us make safety our top priority and learn more about the dangers of overexposure to the summer sun.
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion
Symptoms and signs of heatstroke may differ from person to person. It is not uncommon for the symptoms to manifest themselves suddenly and without warning. That is what makes the heatstrokes dangerous, especially to the aged and small children.
However, following are some common symptoms and signs of heat stroke:
      Nausea and vomiting
      Fatigue and weakness
      Headache, muscle cramps and aches
      Dizziness
      High body temperature, the absence of sweating, with hot red or flushed dry skin
      Rapid pulse, difficulty breathing
      strange behavior, hallucinations
      Confusion, agitation, disorientation
      Seizure
Treating a heat stroke victim
There is not a moment to lose and victims must be get immediate medical attention. Any delay could result in permanent organ damage.
Immediate medical help may not be readily available in some cases. In in the meantime, you can do the following until help arrives.
      First up, cool the victim by shifting him to a shady area. 
      Loosen/ remove clothing and fan the victim to promote sweating and evaporation. This procedure helps cool down the body naturally.
      If ice packs are available, place them under the armpits and groin.
      Drinking water, and liquids that do not contain caffeine is helpful.
Prevention is always better than cure
      Stay hydrated and encourage children to drink water frequently.
      Avoid strenuous physical activity when it is hot and humid.
      Always insist on carrying an umbrella/hat, and a water bottle, if you must venture out.
      Use a good quality sunscreen to protect yourself from sunburns.
      In summer, cars can get really hot and suffocating. Keep them locked so that children and pets are not locked in accidentally.
      Never leave your kids or pets in a locked car when you go shopping.
The best of all is to stay indoors, from around 11 AM to late afternoon when it is hottest, in well ventilated rooms, It is a good time for indoor games and activities too.
Have fun in summer holidays, but take a few basic precautions to stay safe.
Happy Holidays!

(Source: medicinenet.com)

Indoor Fun and Games for Kids this Summer

The eagerly awaited summer holidays are finally here. The holidays always evoke mixed emotions, depending on whom you are speaking to.
Speak to kids and they can’t seem to wipe the huge grin off their face. They do feel a little nervous at the end of each day, but then they remind themselves that a good part of the holidays is still ahead of them and cheer up quickly.
Speak to parents and they are at their wits end as hordes of kids - their own, kids’ friends, and those from the neighbourhood suddenly start acting their age. Their energy and enthusiasm levels are so high that grown-ups struggle to keep up with them.
It is said that, summer is the time when the parents feel the teachers are grossly underpaid!
This summer, get your kids to do something interesting indoors in the afternoons, when heat can be intense, and even dangerous.
Let us also pledge to stay away from the usual TV and gadgets and do something different.
      Monopoly: The board game is an eternal family favourite and is a mixture of fun and education. It is great for some good old fashioned family bonding. You can also train your kids about money management, investment, and risk analysis.
      Magic Tricks: There are good books and online resources that teach kids to perform some cool tricks. Good for kids to improve their reflexes. Being able to perform at a birthday party can be a great confidence booster for your kid.
      Scrapbook: A scrapbook is a great way to help your children to be creative and learn to implement ideas. This book provides a great template of blank pages for sticking cuttings, drawings and pictures. It is all about researching.
      Family Album: Every home has its share of old and crumbling photo albums and fading photographs. Those precious memories from the past need to be preserved and cherished. Get your kids to catalogue them and also explore options to digitise them.
      Cooking: Old-fashioned home science classes are a great way to cook together as a family. Being able to cook some basic food is a great asset when the kids are on their own. Getting your kids to share some of the work will make them appreciate the labour that goes into the household chores.
      Comic Books: Get a bunch of old comic books from your neighbourhood library. Visiting such old classics as Archie, Tintin,  Asterix, Phantom, Amar Chitra Katha from your own childhood with your children will help you bridge the gap between the two generations. It will also allow your children a glimpse into your own childhood.
Summertime is family time. It is a chance to set aside our worries and concerns for those two wonderful months. Let your children have as much fun as they can.
Dear parents, don’t forget to take an active part in the fun and games. Time flies and before you know your kids will be all grown up.
Dear students, ‘Have great vacations with family and friends. Have loads of fun!’

Ugadi: A new beginning a new hope

The name Yugadi or Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit words yuga (age) and ādi (beginning): "the beginning of a new age".
Yugadi specifically refers to the start of the age we are living in now, the Kali Yuga. The Kali Yuga began when Lord Krishna left the world. Maharshi Vedavyasa describes this event with the words "Yesmin Krishno divamvyataha, Tasmat eeva pratipannam Kaliyugam.” (wikipedia)
On Ugadi, the day starts with the whole family waking up before the break of dawn and then indulging in a leisurely head-bath (Abhyanjana-snana). The house entrance is decorated with  mango leaves which in Hindu custom marks general well-being of a community. The Hindu calendar (Panchangam Almanac) is then worshipped by performing pooja.
The calendars are read in temples with the priests making predictions for the coming year.
Perhaps the most important custom observed on Ugadi is  sharing of Bevu-bella (Neem and jaggery). People visit family members and friends and the mixture is shared, indicating that we should overcome our sorrow and seek happiness, take failure in our stride and maintain balance of mind regardless of the circumstances.
The neem is extremely bitter tasting, while jaggery is very sweet. Together, they signify the two conflicting aspects of human life - joy and sorrow. The essence of life is to  accept the sweet and bitter moments in equal measure and with equanimity and gratitude.Ugadi is all about taking the rough with smooth and moving on in life, but learning some valuable lessons in the bargain.
The health benefits of neem are well known. In the olden days, a neem tree was a regular feature in most backyards. Neem is known to be a natural disinfectant, scoring over chemical disinfectants on every scale from effectiveness to price. Try placing a few dried neem leaves in your wardrobe where you have stored your most valuable silks and see the results for yourself. It is also known to boost the immune system and purify blood.
Similarly, jaggery is considered  a better option when compared to sugar as it is made from a natural process and largely free of chemical and artificial substances.
It would be apt to quote the noted Kannada poet Da Ra Bendre (D.R. Bendre: Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre), on the occasion of Ugadi,  the festival marking the beginning of a new Hindu lunar calendar, with these lines from his poem:
“Yuga Yugadi Kaledaru,
Yugadi marali barutide,
hosa varushake hosa harushava,
hosatu hosatu tarutide …
These immortal lines gladden the hearts of people of state of karnataka, for whom ugadi is a festival like no other, and the best possible way to usher in a brand new year with optimism and hope.
Mount Litera Zee School wishes everyone a prosperous and joyous time throughout the year and beyond.
“Ellarige ugadi habbada shubhashayagalu”