During the past 17 months of school closure at the face of the pandemic, we have been delivering several programmes and handholding support to these children to protect their mental wellbeing, self-learning capabilities, and creativity. In this regard, we have developed at least two self-learning manuals for children using alternative pedagogical methods involving Storytelling, Creative Writing, Theatre, Drawing and Painting, Folk Art etc. The first Children’s Art Manual was released in June 2020 and brought very positive results of coping among children.
The present 90-page second manual “Let us Face Corona: Children’s Art Manual for Action” which is being released on August 31st by Dr. Aneesh Sekhar IAS, District Collector, Madurai has been developed with the specific purpose of helping children to face post-pandemic school reopening with a positive mind set and hope.
In the first place, the manual provides scientific and rational understanding of the dynamics of COVID 19. This is followed by problem-solving exercises that creatively challenge the children and build ‘agency’ in them. Children are helped to easily internalize ‘Covid Appropriate Behaviour.’ Several of the ‘do it yourself’ artistic activities are designed to make children active agents creating awareness among other children, parents and public at large. In this campaign, they will use painting and drawing for poster making, theatre, storytelling, folk art, creative photography etc.
On the whole, the manual underlines the idea that children are not mere objects to be protected against COVID 19 but are creative agents who can play a positive role in containing it at their level. In the first phase 500 copies will be supplied free to children in our project area who have little or no access to digital platforms. We also welcome individuals and organizations to print this manual obtaining consent from us and supply it to poor children.