...Today, nearly all of our students' parents made their inaugural visit to the Carmel Convent School for a four-hour seminar on parenting, behavior, health, hygiene, and expectations. They joined approximately 30 other parents from another nearby slum whose children already attend the Carmel Convent School. I was impressed by the large turnout of our families.
The event was incredibly well structured by the sisters. Once again, Sister Pushpa showed remarkable leadership and care. She can command a room as well as anyone I have ever seen. Even though she cannot speak much Hindi, she had the entire room laughing and greeting one another in no time.
--Ajeet and Ankit--
While the parents received instruction from doctors, teachers, sisters, and administrators, the children played dodge ball, cops and robbers, and basketball. I didn't ask, but I'm confident it was the first time they had ever touched a basketball.
--Pooja and Ankit playing cops and robbers--
--Prianka, Ajeet, and Neha--
--Abishek getting taken to prison by two current students of the Carmel Convent School--
--Roshan studying someone with his penetrating glare--
After almost three hours, hundreds of samosas and juice boxes were handed out, courtesy of the sisters.
Once the seminar was finished, we had our students and their families stay behind. We announced that school will start on Monday (in 48 hours) as scheduled and informed them of important reminders. We then called the students' names from a hat so they could come up and pick from a variety of new backpacks. We also handed them their brand new custom-tailored Carmel Convent School uniforms.
--Kajal with her parents--
--Pooja with her parents--
--The other volunteers with Sisters Pushpa and Prasanna--
Next, we went outside to get photos of all of the families with their new Carmel Convent School students.
--Rani with her parents--
--Prianka with her mother and sponsor's daughter, Natalie Wills--
--Versha and Kashak with their parents--
--Manisha with, much to my surprise, both of her parents--
Showing gratitude or even saying thank you is not a large part of the culture here. Today, however, many parents and even more children came to shake my hand and say thank you. Today was the first time that most of the families have ever entered the Convent School grounds or probably any school for that matter. I am certain that the size and rigidity of this event woke many of them out of their educational oblivion. It won't be long before their children know much more than they do.