After a busy, busy, busy spring, everyone at AIC’s Education Outreach Program was ready for a brief reprieve during summer vacation. Before we could break for a month during Pune’s hottest season, however, there was much to be done.

FF2A2468In March, we administered the ASER (Annual Status of Education Report) survey to students in Stds UKG (upper kindergarten) through 3. We were encouraged by the results, which showed that AIC students graduate from the AIC Pre-Primary School doing exceptionally well (nearly 100% attaining or surpassing age-appropriate math and reading skills by the end of their three years in the pre-primary program), and that their math skills continue to develop as they move up in grade level at a pace that far outpaces the national average. For example, nationally, only 13% of 2nd standard students and 25% of 3rd standard students sampled could correctly complete a series of 2-digit subtraction problems with borrowing, which ASER estimates to be a 2nd standard level question. At AIC, 100% of our 2nd and 3rd standard kids were able to correctly answer the same set of questions, which is definitely something to be proud of!

However, while our 2nd and 3rd standard students’ reading/English results were still significantly better than national averages, there is still room for improvement. For example, nationally, 21% of 1st standard children sampled could read at a “word” level, whereas at AIC, 67% could correctly read the word sets. While this seems like an achievement at first glance, ASER estimates that by Standard 1, children should be reading at the “paragraph” level, so the fact that 33% of AIC students were still unable to even read proficiently at the “word” level illustrates an area in which we need to continue to hone our focus and probably offer additional support for our students. All in all, the results gave us lots of food for thought, and provide baseline data against which we can compare future years’ results.

In April, five of our rockstar girls from the Education Program interviewed for spots at the prestigious new Avasara Academy, which opens this year and combines the internationally-recognized Cambridge syllabus with unique mentorship opportunities, extracurricular development, and a partnership with Yale University to “develop the leadership potential of India’s brightest girls.”

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We were elated – but not surprised; after all, we’re pretty proud of our girls – to learn that three of our students were selected for the pioneer class of students at Avasara Academy. Neha, Payal, and Saniya will represent the Waghri community, the Sikligar community, and our first tiny group of Education Outreach girls from the program’s inception in 2006, respectively, at Avasara. We are so excited for them as they begin this new educational journey!

In addition to these two developments, there were about a million odds and ends to wrap up before breaking for summer:

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teacher evaluations…

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distribution of all of the clothing donations that had piled up over the past month or so…

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final exams (and many, many hours of studying to prepare)…

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kitchen miscellany (like plates inventory and labelling)…

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last days of school….

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parents’ meetings about summer scheduling and next year’s plans…

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new pre-school admissions…

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photo projects…

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celebrations (thanks, Angram Legal Associates!)…

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the end of the fiscal year…

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cleaning and sorting…and so much more.

We received the generous donation of an ELMO interactive document camera from Jaguar Land Rover, and had 12 brand new desktop computers delivered as a part of an RBC UK-sponsored computer room that is in the works – you’d better believe that our teachers and students are over the moon about these two technological upgrades to the Education Centre! We’re also extremely excited about a new water project that will be sponsored, designed, and completely implemented by Lloyd’s Register and can’t wait to share details about these projects as they unfold over the next few months.

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Stay tuned!