Tackle provides opportunities, particularly for those from under privileged backgrounds, to explore and develop their capabilities through creative means and healthy social interactions. This in turn will facilitate and promote positive and healthy frames of mind for children. The programs under Tackle are :
The caravan as the name suggests is a traveling amalgamation of activities, which started in two areas around the city. A third area has been added since June 2014. Packed with volunteers and innovative activities, every Saturday the caravan enchants children with its colourful and engrossing stalls. The caravan blasted off on the 13th July 2013, drawing in crowds ranging from 80-150 children on any given day.Tackle Caravan – Kodihalli was inaugurated by a whopping 200 children. Volunteers are split into various stalls based on their interests, each week volunteers prepare a medley of activities to enrich impressionable minds. Children are given the freedom to do whatever stall catches their fancy. The caravan was born out of constant requests from children and parents alike to be available for the children throughout the year. The caravan is stationed currently at three locations namely Nellurupuram, A. Narayanapura and Kodihalli from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. The caravan boasts the following stalls
The Music Corner – Creating a guitar with boxes and rubber bands, or Learning to hum a foreign tune. Simulating the rain using your fingers, or exercising your vocal chords in unison. The music stall emulates tunes from all over the world. Not only exposing the children to different cultures and languages in the process but also to bring a eureka moment of creating music with anything available around you
The Dance Corner – Working in close association with the music corner is the dance stall; the body develops a mind of its own when certain melodies reverberate in the caravan. Children and Volunteers alike add their unique styles and flaunt their steps. The dance stall not only encourages children to emote using their various moves but also introduces them to dance forms not popularized by mass media.
The Craft Corner – Craft combines the flexibility and focus of ones mind to create wonders out of materials seldom given a second glance. How to turn an old bottle into a cheery pen holder? How to build your own city out of cups? How to turn a sheet of paper into a beast of the jungle? These are just the tip of the iceberg. The children learn about recycling, reusing and reinventing every time they engage with the craft stall.
The Games Corner – The corner custom made for the energetic and the enthusiastic. Want to try your hand at a new game, or be the master of your game, the sports stall introduces and encourages children to actively play, jump and enjoy the mesmerizing pull of sports. Be it kabbaddi, Basketball or Football children learn more than just the rules of the game they learn the importance of team effort. Many a times you will see a game being created out of the simplest of actions. The children jump, Skip, Dash, Catch, Challenge their own boundaries as they dive into the game.
The Story Corner – Would you like to visit the tallest tower in the tallest castle over the tallest mountain? Or Do you enjoy the shimmer of shiny silver dust which would make you fly? Volunteers bring the magic of the world hidden between the pages of colourful books to patient listeners. Their audience holding their breath when the dark forest looms ahead, and shouting with joy when the dragon has been vanquished. Children riding on wings of imagination, going on a journey in the quest for adventure and mystery, bringing alive the characters with their own actions and emotions.
To witness the Tackle Caravan and all its glorious moments follow any of the links below
Tackle Caravan – A. Narayanapura 2014 (Coming Soon)
Tackle Caravan – Kodihalli 2014 (Coming Soon)
Tackle Summer Camp – 2014
The year 2014 has been a milestone for the Tackle Summer Camp program. It marks the third consecutive year for the Tackle Summer Camp in bringing two enthusiastic set of people under one scorching summer sun. The curiosity and energy of a fresh new summer was explored by the children at Government School Jeevanbheemanagar and Lowry Memorial School, A. Narayanapura with the eager participation of 21 volunteers from around the city. The children and volunteers were divided into four colourful groups, to promote easier facilitation and higher interaction. A good number of volunteers were re-visiting the summer camp craving the irresistible concoction of fun and learning.
All notions of veteran volunteers and first timers were lost in the excitement of the myriad of activities done for the children. In addition to Music Art and Dance which has become a staple of the summer camp over the years, the children dived headlong into engineering Balloon Cars, constructing their unique memories in Photo Frames and molding the dimensions of imagination and paper creativity through Quilling. The interaction between the volunteers and children soared as high as the summer sky as it was supported by activities revolving around Theatre, volunteers and children alike struck poses emulating real life situations which not only brought out the creativity of children but also addressed different ways of reacting to a scenario.
The final day of the summer camp showcased a fusion of all that the children and volunteers had learnt in the week they had spent together. The four groups namely Orange, Blue, Yellow and Green along with their group volunteers put up songs, dances and plays for their families. Parents watched with pride as the children performed The Ram Sam Song, If you are happy and you know it and What’s that you say with the finesse of a trained orchestra. They laughed along with their little sopranos as the volunteers and the headstreams team put up a spoof of the antics of volunteers and children at the camp. The excitement reached pandemic levels when the volunteers took the stage with their lungis and entertained the children to a medley of popular songs like Lungi dance, Jamma Jamma and Gangnam Style. Parent’s expressed their joy and expectations at the podium imploring that the summer camps continue for the rest of the summer.
Tackle Summer Camp – 2013
2013 hosted two summer camps, at Jeevan Bheema Nagar government school and Lowry Memorial School K R Puram. Each of these week long camps were packed with fun themes and activities for the children who attended it. Volunteers from various colleges around the city learned and laughed along with the children of the camp. The camp was split into 4 groups and each volunteer was assigned to a particular group.
Learning from the previous years experience the activities in the camp were taken further by the use of themes for each day. The children were informed of a themes like Funny Hat , Funny Hair , and Funny Jewellery a day in advance. The children went all out, using every available material from coconut shells to newspapers to adorn themselves and flaunt their creative ideas. Some of the activities which were done with the children were Build your story, Painting, Paper Bag making, Mark your presence, Dance and Singing. It was hard to differentiate the volunteers from the children while cheering on their group while playing Tug of War, or while shaking a leg to The Chicken Dance.
The activities were designed by the team at headstreams to not only act as a creative stimulant and help the children in articulation but also as a window into the childs mind to give an insight about their mental health. The objective of Positive Mental Health in all the children was the core theme around which all the activities revolved around. Build your story, tapped into the imagination and experience of children, the volunteers sat along with the children in a circle and introduced a character into the story. The children would each then be give turn to add their character to the story. Not only did the stories show a lot of creativity but many a times the plot twist would be so drastic, they would put many film-makers to shame. These stories were documented and also enacted out either as a Play or as a Big Picture by the group, adding in the element of emotion and drama to it. Pot Painting was another activity which was carried out with great joy by volunteers and children alike. Armed with a brush, children dived into the realm of colours and expression, bringing about a calm to the otherwise noisy and energetic environment of the camp. Mark your presence not only helped to account for the number of children who attended the summer camp but also gave volunteers time to talk about the childrens preferences and attitude.
Throughout the duration of the camp the volunteers and team from headstreams met at the end of every day to discuss highlights and challenges they faced. Volunteers shared their one on-one time with the children who opened their hearts to the volunteers. The depth of this relationship was reinforced by the feedback from the children which was collected at the end of every day. It not only gave an insight into the childs mind but also helped the volunteers to get a better understanding of what sort of impact they had with the time they spent with the children.
The last day of the camp included a video about the weeks activities and also a dance put up by each group in the camp. The first camp featured a parody of the camp put up by the volunteers who re-enacted the unique styles of children in the camp. This left the audience and the children in splits. The second Camp concluded with a dance featuring the volunteers and team of headstreams to the explosive cheers of the children at camp.
Tackle Summer Camp – 2012
The first summer camp was held in A.Narayanapura in Lowry Memorial School. It was a 10 day camp which began on the 23rd April 2012 and concluded on the 4th May 2012. The activities that were conducted in the camp were not only educational but also fun and brought the creativity in the children.
The camp was from 9.30 to 12.30, a three hour session, so a total of 30 activities were planned for the camp duration. The various activities in the camp drew their inspiration from powerhouses of creativity like Music, Dance, Art and Craft. The camp registered 86 children who would enthusiastically come every day to learn, play and cherish the time with the different annas and akkas at the camp. Vasu, a professional dancer and painter, volunteered to bring together the magic of music and colours to the children in the camp. He also taught them art, the jungle was invited into the camp through the deft hands of Nithya Thomas who taught the children craft. Crocodiles and Origami birds soared with the excitement of the children. Ashwini, a trained singer and music teacher got them all to burst out in a chorus of Maavina Chiguru Sabina Hanu everyday.
The final day of the camp there was a program arranged in the courtyard of the school, a shamiyana was erected with seating arrangements for the parents who composed the audience, with great preparation and pomp the children took to the stage, showing off all that they had learnt in the camp, the parents who attended the event cheered with pride when their children ruled the stage with joy and confidence.
The bond that the children had formed in the short duration was evident in the heartfelt goodbyes they shared with the volunteers and the headstreams team. They implored to do these activities throughout the year. Even the parents inquired if we would start a training center, because children enjoyed the days in camp more than the months in school.
Tackle Fest 2014
The last Saturday of November 2014 was a memorable day for over 270 government school students from 3 different schools in Bangalore. The students of A. Narayanapura, Garudacharpalya and Jeevan Bhimanagar witnessed as St. Joseph’s College burst into a palette of exciting learning stations.
Passionate student volunteers from St, Joseph’s College came together to put up a total of 40 creative stalls representing different departments and disciplines. Over 45 corporate volunteers from Mphasis and TCS walked hand-in-hand with small groups of ten children exploring and experiencing the magic of each stall.
The host of 160 volunteers stood behind a large variety of stalls like Hocus Focus, Microbes On Me and You, ChemHub, Golden Rain, Read Your Blood Cells, Fishpond Ecosystem, Reptilian Specimens, Development of a Human Foetus, Optics, Hydraulic Arm, Murder Site, Joseph’s Aids Awareness Movement (JAAM), Know Something New and Mind Your Language to name a few. They sparked curiosity in the students with their exciting activities and demonstrations.
The students dived headlong into the realm of Physics, Chemistry, Mathamatics, Botany, Zoology, Biotechnology, Microbiology and Environmental Science and refused to leave until they had their fill of adventure at each stall. The Zoology and Biotechnology department promoted the importance of a healthy environment by creating a Fishpond Ecosystem.
The department of Microbiology invited students into the world of microbes through Microbes On Me and You. Each student had an opportunity to don the mad scientist hat at ChemHub, a stall put together by the students of Chemistry showcasing a variety of experiments. The labs drew a lot of gasps and exclamations as they witnessed bottled Reptilian Specimens and different stages in the Development of a Human Foetus. The students also saw forensics in action at Murder Site and tried their hand in playing detective at Hocus Focus, a Math stall that explored a myriad of concepts through games. As the students explored the stalls they were directed to, time took on a dimension of its own. Students found themselves debating whether to check out the dancing lasers at the Optics stall or the Hydraulic Arm at the physics lab. Joseph’s Aids Awarness Movement (JAAM) instilled a sense of social awareness among the students through a presentation on the myths and issues surrounding HIV/AIDS.
The Social Sciences had an allure of its own amidst all the stalls. Students interested in Journalism were drawn to Know Something New, a stall by the students of English and Media studies. This stall demonstrated how different forms of media reach the public with their unique mode of delivery. Mind Your Language conducted by Dr. Cheriyan Alexander and students of the English Department was a runaway success of the Tackle Fest. They kept all who visited the stall on the edge of their imagination.
The sun rose high in the sky signaling the end of another half day’s experience for all the participants of the Tackle Fest. Music and Dance has been a tradition in the concluding ceremony of the fest. Teachers and children let their hair down along with the host volunteers and the headstreams team by shaking a leg to Ram Sam Sam, an action song with an irresistible tune.
The Banyan tree resonated with a symphony of cheers as dignitaries took the stage for the vote of thanks. Teachers representing the government schools in attendance expressed their gratitude to St. Joseph’s College for their warm hospitality and for an unforgettable learning experience. Father Principal of St. Joseph’s College Rev. Dr. Praveen Martis SJ addressed the gathering and reinforced the importance of learning and fulfilling ones dreams. He also encouraged the children to pursue their dreams by setting goals and urged them to continue their education. Many children took the stage confidently sharing their experience at the Tackle Fest and their aspirations after school.All the participants were provided with refreshments and the volunteers and headstreams team bid adieu to the buses filled with cheering children.
To catch a glimpse of the excitement Click here
Tackle Fest 2013
The Second Tackle fest was held on 17th August 2013 at St Josephs College of Arts and Science.Two hundred and fifty five high school students from Jeevan Bhimanagar Government School & Gurudacharpalaya Government School participated in this fest. Working professionals from MphasiS & TCS were given Two hours to interact with students and guide them through the fest.
Twenty creative stalls featuring activity based learning methods from various disciplines were put up by the college students and faculties of St. Josephs Arts & Science College. The school students were guided by the NCC cadets of the college around the campus to explore various stalls.
The campus staged many creative and vibrant stalls, ranging from understanding your DNA structure; exploring fungi, algae & plant stems under a microscope, knowing your own blood group, understanding your economy and to seeing a real Green House and many more. The departments which participated in the fest included the Economics, Zoology, Microbiology, Chemistry, English, Physics, Mathematics, Botany and Biotechnology departments. St. Josephs College also opened its laboratories and other learning spaces within its campus for the students to explore and experience the academic life in college.
Once all the children and finished visiting the stalls, they all gathered under the wise branches of the banyan tree for a small function. The students, volunteers, and teachers alike joined together for a group dance to the infectious tunes of If you are happy and you know it and The Chicken Dance.
The respective teachers from each school expressed their joy on being a part of the Tackle Fest and commended headstreams for carrying out such an initiative. They also thanked the college for opening their doors and making their children aware of all the opportunities and fields available after school.
Several school students also came forward and expressed their excitement in experiencing college first-hand and recounted their time in the laboratories, the joy of seeing microscopes, models and many experiments which they have only seen as pictures in their textbooks. They also expressed the wish that children in every school would get an opportunity to visit a college and be exposed to such fun learning activities.
Prof. Cheriyan Alexander, the H.O.D. of the Department of English in St. Josephs College addressed the students and exhorted them to look at education beyond just subjects and books.
After a vote of thanks composed and conducted by the coordinator of headstreams, the children waved their goodbyes until the bus left the campus.
Tackle Fest 2012
headstreams joined hands with the English department of St. Josephs Arts & Science College, Lalbagh Road, Bangalore and organised an education fest on December 8, 2012. The fest was designed for children from high schools. Over 250 students from Government schools attended the fest. The students were exposed to various creative and activity based learning methods from different disciplines. St. Josephs College also opened its laboratories and other learning spaces within its campus for the students to explore and experience the academic life in college. The fest brought together college students from the city who are passionate about using their creative ideas to further learning of school children. The interaction of college students with the Government school children in an open, fun and exploratory learning environment helped to create a positive learning experience for the school students. The stalls featured in the Fest were love the earth (environmental science covering about the different Rocks & Minerals found on earth), kitchen science (science in everyday life simple fun activities from chemistry & physics), Jungle life (wild life photography understanding the ecology through photographs), Mind your Language (English grammar game), Fun with Numbers (mathematics understanding basics from geometry), Mystery Physics (laws of sound and hearing through musical instruments from physics), Animal World (zoology & understanding formation of a baby in a mothers womb), Fun with Chemistry (Experiments explaining the fun to know & learn chemistry), Shapes & Sizes (understanding mathematics with shapes) and Math is Fun (new monopoly creation to learn the numbers better).
The groups were given an hour and forty five minutes to go around and complete as many stalls as possible. The high school students were encouraged to ask questions to the presenters at the stall to understand the subjects better. The teachers who had accompanied the high schools children also went around these stalls to see and understand the new methods they are exploring to share the subject.
After the students visited the stalls, they gathered in the quadrangle of the college for the final valedictory function. The Chief Guest, Dr. Sujatha Virdhe, a former scientist with ISRO and director of Sunday Science School addressed the children and volunteers and wowed the students from the high school and college with couple of her fun tricks and simple experiments from different subjects. She exhorted the students to enjoy what they learnt in classes through exploration. During this time the teachers from these high schools also appreciated the initiative to help these children and requested us to do more such programs for teachers and to train them on exploratory learning/teaching.
A center located in a slum, where in children are free to walk in, spend time, play, learn, interact with people, discuss, debate and explore the world around them. Providing a steady role of mentor and buddy will be volunteers and experts from various fields, counselors, creative persons ,etc. The resource center will moonlight as a space for serious introspection and exploration. It is also a space for the children to engage in tackling their academic challenges with the help of the volunteers present there. The resource center functions on the bond which has already been established through the Tackle Caravan, volunteers and children are well acquainted and can broach sensitive topics in the safe and secure walls of the resource center. Awareness in various issues faced by children and tools to deal with them will be discussed with active inputs from children and volunteers.
Tackle School Partnership
Women often shared their struggles in getting their children to study, to get good ranks, in dealing with complaints from the teachers about their childs behaviour, etc. Moreover our own assessment sessions relating to education have helped us identify some of the key areas at school
In trying to do well and succeed, children often become the victims, the problem, the ones who are incapable thus seriously and irreparably harming their self-esteem and sowing seeds of fatalism and long-term discontentment with self and society.
In all our three summer camps when we asked the children to tell us what they wanted the most, there was one answer which was repeated
Please can you come to our school. It will be so nice if school is like this summer camp!
Tackle has tried to address some of issues related to children. It would be incomplete if the schools are not taken into account , particularly considering the fact that a child spends an average of 6 hours of the day in school. Moreover we can never ignore the fact that teachers play a very crucial role in molding a child. A single word or action from the teacher always goes a long way in making or breaking the child. Therefore taking the childs holistic development into consideration it is important to take the teachers and the school administration on board.
We also understand the inherent pressures and the challenges that the teachers combat every day.
The Tackle School Partnership aims to :-
- Understand the teacher-child relationship & how the teachers perceive the same
- The challenges faced in their relationship with the children and how they deal with it.
- Explore options together with the teachers to address these issues differently and creatively
- Facilitate a process of building positive relationships between the teachers and the children.
At the same time it also looks forward to working with the students in schools with positive mental health being the focus.
Tackle School Partnership wishes to proceed by
- Conducting a short study with teachers from four different government schools.
- Sharing the findings with the teachers through workshops.
- Conducting workshops with the teachers to explore options to deal with issues differently.
- Conducting workshops with the children twice a month with focus on positive mental health, with an inherent component to build the bridge between the teachers and the children
Tackle Out-of-the-Box (Other Initiatives)
Makkala Grama Sabha
Our primary school does not have a toilet. Tell us, by when will you build toilets there
-A question asked by a child studying in the middle section, at the Makkala Grama Sabha held in Kittali Panchayat.
The Makkala Grama Sabha is an initiative to realise the right of children to participate in local public decision making. In 2006, the Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department issued an order making it mandator for all panchayats within the state to provide children a platform for putting their concerns in front of elected representatives.
This was to be done through special meetings or makkala grama sabhas (children’s village meetings). However, these grama sabhas had never been conducted in any of the working areas of headstreams. Through the Tackle programs, through headstreams team worked in fifteen schools across villages in Badami taluk. The aim of this program was to interact with the children of these areas on a one-on-one basis and get them to talk about their needs, the issues that they faced and to help them articulate their demands. Tackle stepped into fifteen schools through fifty six sessions, with 3-4 sessions being conducted in each school. The focus of those sessions was on helping the children to compile their thoughts and articulate them openly, without any fear of apprehension.
Once the children had expressed their ideas, needs, difficulties and demands, they were supported in compiling them together for presentation before the competent authorities. The headstreams team visited the district administration and the panchayat officials to convince them about the need to conduct the makkala grama sabhas. Letters were handed out to the PDP [Panchayat Development Officer] of the 4 panchayats where headstreams would directly participate in makkala grama sabhas. The children who were ready with their questions and demands would repeatedly ask the headstreams team if the makkala grama sabhas would actually happen.
The idea of speaking to governement officials and discussing their issues face-to-face was not an idea they could relate to easily, as they were used to these officials being unreachable and their problems being unheard. To ensure community participation, headstreams organised a training session on makkala grama sabhas on October 7,2012. Fifty two youth from different villages attended the training session at the headstreams training centre in Badami. Resource materials for the training were provided by UNICEF.
The main concerns of the children that were raised by them during the sessions ranged from infrastructure issues tin their schools to bonded labour, child marriage, the dowry system, school-related issues, alcohol and gambling problems. The children not only demanded solutions but also asked the officials to commit to deadlines for solving their issues. The makkala grama sabhas saw some immediate outcomes, with a number of issues being solved within a few days of the sabhas. For example, the Kittali bus stop was repaired, gambling issues were checked, compound wall height of schools were increased, new plates were bought for midday meals, toilets were constructed and gambling in a place next to the school was stopped by the authorities.
Some of the changes that could not be brought about immediately were included in the 2013-14 action plan, and a committee was set up to monitor the progress of the issues. But above all this, the confidence gained by the children in airing the issues facing them and in being part of a democratic process was the biggest gain.
A workshop on Environment day was conducted for the Govt. School children at A.Narayanpura on the 6th & 12th of June 2012, partnering with the employees of Tally. The workshop was conducted for students from standard 4 through 7. An hour long session was conducted, where we a played a game with these classes and showed a short cartoon movie about a seed.
For classes 4, 5 & 6 a board game was played which helped them understand the good and bad effects of our actions on the environment. Some of the teachers also joined their classes to encourage and discuss this as a group. For class 7 we played a game in which the students were made to think about various situations related to us and the environment, they were asked to take a stand for what they thought if the situation/scenario was good, bad or whether they were unsure about it. The games were developed by the team at headstreams and it gave us an opportunity to make these children think and discuss about the environment. After playing the games every class was shown a cartoon movie titled ‘One Seed’.The movie was a medium for both learning and introspection, where the children were encouraged to think of themselves as a seed who grows slowly and steadily to form a big strong tree. The children also learnt a song from this movie, which they sang at the end of their session.
We had 2 one hour sessions before lunch (4th & 5th Standard) and 2 one hour sessions post lunch (6th & 7th Standard). Hibiscus samplings were distributed to all the children of these four classes and to their teachers. The reason a hibiscus plant was chosen was because it grows in all environments without much attention required. The children were taught how to plant the sampling and take care of it. The teachers were also given samplings. A total of 167 children attended the workshop (40 from 4th Std, 46 5th, 35 -6th & 46 7th).
These samplings were obtained from the nursery of Association of People with Disability. Each sampling was priced at Rs.15. Employees of Tally partnered with headstreams to make this workshop successful. They donated an amount of Rs.4500 to reach out to these children.