“Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
Re-echoing Martin Luther King’s ideals of education, National Public School, Indiranagar, recently introduced ‘Rhapsody Week’, a new initiative, which aims to foster a sense of community through collective action towards a common cause. The school plans to celebrate ‘Rhapsody Week’ twice a term in this academic year, where all four weeks will find the student-teacher community reinforcing different elements of our school’s vision.
The chosen theme for the first week (16 to 20 July) was ‘social responsibility’, which witnessed students and facilitators from across the school, eagerly participating in a myriad of small but significant activities to promote this powerful idea. Needless to say, the classrooms, stairways, corridors and bulletin boards looked festive, with participants engaged in a flurry of innovative activities.
Cleanliness drives were organized around our school and videos were screened to generate maximum awareness. The students of Kindergarten presented their learning on Social Responsibility through a short skit, which they proudly presented not only to their peers but to their seniors as well. The Students of Montessori presented their learning through Bulletin boards. Songs, Stories and activities helped them take baby steps in a journey towards becoming Socially Responsible. The little ones from Grades 1 and 2 watched demonstrations of converting a newspaper into a gift wrapper and an old shirt into a handy cloth bag, while the students from Grades 3 to 5 made posters of their vision of a Utopiac world and ‘thank-you’ cards for our school’s support staff. The older children enthusiastically participated in a book donation drive, spun stories around social responsibility, and created posters on traffic rules, saving electricity, food adulteration, pollution, saving trees, bullying, gender equality and substance abuse. Students across grades also took charge of their immediate surroundings - planting saplings, watering plants and keeping their classrooms clean. Worthy of mention were also a handful of students along with a teacher-leader, who successfully managed traffic on 13A Main for an entire year. Although not officially a part of the ‘Rhapsody Week’, the school felicitated them for their committed and selfless work, which resonated well with the ideals of social responsibility.
While most of the current generation is motivated by instant gratification, individual profits and myopic, short-term goals, the week-long celebration of ‘social responsibility’ inspired them to look beyond themselves. ‘Rhapsody Week’ nurtured a sense of belonging in everyone, encouraging universal feelings of empathy and brotherhood through campaigns they spear-headed for global, long-term gains.