Reading out stories to her son was a passion with Charanya Prabhakar who has also completed various courses in Montessori methodology. She embarked on this exercise when her son was just six-months-old. The habit continued and when he stepped into play school she realised that the reading sessions had built a good vocabulary in him. This amazed the parents of his peers. They prompted her to conduct story telling sessions for their wards. She began with just 15 children and slowly the number grew.
Not wanting to stop with just stories, Charanya decided to introduce children to Indian Mythology. During the Navaratri season last year, she held a two-day camp on Ramayana. Using the kolu dolls, she narrated various episodes to the kids for nearly two hours. The good response of the camp enthused her to hold workshops on culture, rainwater harvesting, animals and more. These camps had features such as case studies, stories, work sheets, craft and conversations.
She also decided to launch a library for children. . “Children can walk into the library anytime after their school hours (12 noon to 6 p.m.). Some of the collections include Zeds Baby books, basic concepts, first environment, fairy tales, classic tales, Indian mythology, folk tales, bear series, Dora series and many others. She also offers a number of packages for them and interested parents can take on a membership too.
Charanya also realised the role of music during a child’s developmental years. “Rhythm is part of every child’s development. Rhythm is also part of daily routine and enables one to learn mathematical concepts and any other concept with ease,” she says. With music as an integral part of curriculum, Charanya Prabhakar began the school, Oyster Kids, at Mylapore.
The school offers opportunities for children to grow holistically in an atmosphere of care and with the assurance of being individually valued. The school was inaugurated in late June this year by Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam, Bharatanatyam exponent; R. Natraj, Chairman, TNPSC; Uma Shanker, Educationist and Director, CMTC; and Anil Srinivasan, classical pianist and musical educator.
The school adopts music in its Montessori curriculum to provide a natural and powerful foundation for tiny toddlers. It is an initiative that envisions the creation of a holistic and fulfilling pre-school learning programme that aims at developing multiple proficiencies in children.
Breaking free from conventional educational conditioning that pushes a child on to a career path that is ratified by society, rather than by individual choice, the Early Years Learning Programme envisaged by Oyster Kids is an attempt to allow every child to explore, connect to and exult in the unique potentials that lie within him or her.
Oyster Kids is a joint venture by Charanya (9840917714) and Preethy Prasad (9840074429). The school is at New No: 177, Luz Church Road, Mylapore.