Let’s Educate Children in Need (LECIN)

Partner From
08/01/2019 - On Going

https://lecinindia.org/


Supported by: Wipro

About LECIN

Let’s Educate Children in Need (LECIN), a youth led non-profit organization strives to make a difference in the lives of those young ones, who come from marginalized communities. We envision a world where every child is recognized as a unique individual and gets inclusive, equitable, joyful, and contextualized learning opportunities to reach their full potential.

Problem We Are Trying to Solve

Young children begin their schooling without any preparation or understanding of what to expect. They are thrust into a fast-paced world of learning without any pre-primary education. Pre-primary education helps young children develop their cognitive and creative thinking skills, encourages them to cooperate and interact with their peers as well as to grow emotionally and physically. Nevertheless, pre-primary education has its own problems and roadblocks, as there is a lack of awareness surrounding its need and importance throughout the country. Even though a majority of parents considers the benefits of pre-primary education and problems arising due to the lack of it to be minimal, that is not the case. This in turn creates problems of underperformance where children do not realize or reach their full potential. The lack of confidence arising from this leads to numerous children dropping out of schools. Looking at these facts, we realized the need to focus on providing quality based pre-primary education to young children between the ages of 3 to 6 years.

Impact of COVID-19 on our work

Before COVID, we were planning to work on capacity building of the team, bring more community facilitators on board and open our community library from April-May 2020. However, as soon as the lockdown was forced, we came to a pause. For the initial days, our major focus shifted to ration distribution. Our two facilitators, who live in the same community, initiated the ration distribution. With their help, we were able to provide help to more than 600 families. We were also simultaneously figuring out how we can restart the learning of children. Soon, we made three WhatsApp groups of parents, started making videos and shared them in groups. We faced some challenges and started making short-term plans. Most of the strategies and plans were on a trial basis – what works and what not. Overall, pandemic affected the pace of the organization but many good things happened too. Our interaction with parents increased organically. Parents took part in the learning of children. There was a strengthening of community engagement.

Current Projects

Early childhood education: The program was started in April 2019 at our learning center – Balwadi in Okhla Phase-II. Children of age group 3-6 years attend this program. They are further divided into three groups – Prenursery, Nursery, and Kindergarten. After working with children of primary and secondary grades for nearly 4 years, our team realized that there is a dire need to develop early literacy and language skills in children so that they acquire adequate skills and abilities that all children need before entering into preparatory grades. Formulating a plan for this problem, we started this program in 2019. The main objective of the early childhood literacy program is to facilitate optimum development of the child’s full potential and lay the foundation for all round development and lifelong learning. We train and hire women from the community and place them as full time facilitators for classroom sessions.

Community Library: The program was supposed to be started in February 2020 but due to COVID, it was delayed and started in August 2020. Since children were not able to come to the center, we thought of setting up pop-up libraries where we have age-appropriate books for 2 hours, once a week. We have different categories of books in the library – picture books, activity books, wordless books, non-fiction books etc. Through this program, we were able to reach more than 250 children in our community during the lockdown. We do read-aloud sessions, storytelling, audio stories and extension activities like storyboarding, free art etc. to engage children in our library program.

The Approach

We focus on five domains of child development: Physical development; Language development; Cognitive development; Creative development; and, Social-emotional development. We engage children with the medium of play and activities to provide a print-rich learning environment. We have adopted developmentally appropriate practices in our classrooms. Children in the age group of 3-6 years are divided into three classrooms.

We provide a print-rich environment where children get many different opportunities to interact with various forms of prints. This exploration of printed material is critical for literacy development because it shows children that it carries a meaning. Hence, reading and writing serve everyday purposes. Our theme-based curriculum helps in a more relevant and meaningful learning among students. It, further, harnesses curiosity and enhances theme-based learning, as they are able to connect it with their real-life events. Themes include – Me and my friends, My body, My family, My animals, Plants and trees, Water, Air, Transport, People who help us etc. We engage with the students through an activity and play-based learning pedagogy that includes art activities, read aloud and storytelling sessions, guided, shared, or independent reading and writing activities, gross and fine motor activities, dramatic plays, and activities based on phonological awareness and vocabulary development.

Locations

We are operating from our Balwadi center at Okhla Phase-II, New Delhi

Plan for Next 1-3 Years:

  • Expanding our work – Reaching out to anganwadis and pre-primary government schools in Delhi and in rural areas.
  • Capacity building and training of community facilitators.
  • Finishing curriculum development in coming months.
  • Learn and work on impact assessment
  • Strengthening and expansion of the library programs.
  • Creating a second line of management in the team.
  • Maintaining records and documentation of the organization
  • We have received 12AA. This year we plan to get 80G and then apply for FCRA
  • Pitching corporates and likeminded organizations for collaboration and support