Being a part of 'ONE DAY, ONE STORY', a Pratham Books initiative

Pratham Books is a not-for-profit children's book publisher with a mission to provide 'a book in every child's hand'.  I discovered Pratham six years ago at a book fair at my son's pre-K.  Beautiful picture books for children upto the age of 14!

I subscribed to their newsletters and learned more about Pratham.  I often considered signing up as a volunteer for their initiatives.  But it was not to happen until this year - 2015.

My friend, Chitra Panchapakesan and I signed up as volunteers of Pratham's 'One Day One Story' initiative to share their story, "The Boy and the Drum".

Chitra and I are aspiring storytellers mentored by Roger Jenkins, a professional storyteller from Singapore.  With his encouragement and support, we did a 'tandem' telling of the story at the Geylang East Public Library on September 5.  Disappointingly, attendance was low with just about 10 children and their parents.  But our morales were high due to the presence of professional storytellers like Kiran Shah, Ai-lin Chuah and of course, Roger himself.

Chitra and I began by introducing the audience to Pratham Books, its mission and its "One Day One Story" initiative.  We proudly told them about our session being one of more than 2,300 storytelling sessions being conducted globally on the same day (Sep 5)!  We were part of a 'movement' - to make children enjoy stories and books!

Chitra (R), myself (L)
Chitra (R), myself (L)
Then it was time to begin!  Chitra and I feigned a mishap of forgotten props and justified the use of a handbag strap to tell the entire story.  The strap was used as a piece of wood, a roti, a pot, a coat and a horse's collar!  Chitra played the boy in the story while I assumed the other roles (the mother, old man, potter's wife, etc.), changing my appearance by wearing a dupatta (scarf) in different ways!  The children loved the song we created and sang along.

Last week (Sep 10) I shared "The Boy and the Drum" story with another group of children, who thereafter, splendidly re-enacted the story with props and dupattas!  The session ended with a craft activity where the children made their own drums with reusable containers.

The children after their enactment
Chitra and I will be doing another telling of the story at the Marine Parade Public Library on October 3 at 5:30pm.  Come, join us if you can!

THREE CHEERS to Pratham Books for their mission and the 'One Day One Story' initiative!
The boys and girls with their drums


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