There’s no telling what incredible contributions the children we work with will make as they advance in school and move on to adulthood, but one thing is for certain: we don’t have to wait until then to see the profound effect that an investment in education has had on them. Take for example, the Child Management Committee of the Mandal Parishad Primary School Library in rural India.
Located 62 miles from the regional capital of Hyderabad, Mandal Parishad Primary School got its Room to Read library in 2008. Immediately, the administration worked with our team to set up a Child Management Committee, responsible for maintaining checkout registers and ensuring the overall upkeep of the library. Common across many of our school library projects, these student committees foster ownership within the school and help teach students skills like responsibility and accounting.
At Mandal Parishad Primary, the Child Management Committee is particularly active and regularly organizes literacy-themed events and activities. The last time our team stopped by to check up on the facilities, the schoolyard was buzzing with activity. Unable to contain her enthusiasm, a fifth grader names Smitha filled us in. “I am participating in the reading competition today,” she said. “My parents are coming to see me!”
In addition to Smitha’s competition, the day’s events included storytelling activities and a chance for the students to read to other members of the community—many of whom are illiterate.
Outside of that particular day’s festivities, says headmistress Ms. Karuna See, the library has had an incredible impact on the day-to-day operations of the school. “Not only has the absenteeism from classes dropped,” she reported with a smile, “but the level of community engagement in the school’s activities has also increased.”
She went on to share how the formation of the Child Management Committee for the library inspired other students to start similar operations. “I am amazed at the leadership capabilities of these children,” she says.
Various clubs within the school have now taken on such causes as health and hygiene, organizing cultural activities and disseminating news to the local community. The health committee has even gone door-to-door with a grassroots campaign to decrease waste.
Learn more about our work in India.