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S.P.J. Sadhana School

Empowering persons with special needs.
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SPJ Sadhana School Update

Aug - Sep - Oct 2014
“A successful team is a group of many hands but of one mind” – Bill Bethel

Words of Encouragement from Sameer Tobaccowala, CEO, Shobiz Experiential Communications and one of the pillars of support of the School, over the years:

    “If there’s a place where actions speak louder than words, then that place is SPJ Sadhana School, where actions speak a language that pervades the entire campus, pervading the heart and soul of even the most casual visitor. From a simple act like helping these children tie their own shoelaces to the complexities of assisting them to integrate into society at large, the Visionaries at SPJ Sadhana have silently been at the heart of a revolution powered by an enduring belief in the Dignity of the Human Person. It has been my continuing privilege to be associated with this institution and its noble work and it is my fervent wish that SPJ Sadhana School goes from one degree of glory to the next.”

Staff Empowerment/Interaction

  • 4th Sept: Dr. Aijaz Ashai, Physiotherapist, has over 12 years of experience in physiotherapy and has several miracles to his credit. He conducted a workshop in the school, where he guided teachers on how to overcome several difficulties that they face with students such as, gait and balance, writing skills etc. It was a most successful afternoon, in terms of learning new skills.
  • 17th October: A staff interaction meeting was conducted to discuss the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act 2012, to frame a Child Protection Policy for the school. The staff was also asked to submit the half yearly analysis of Vision & Goal. A Management Review meeting was also held later in the day. It was the last working day for the staff before the Diwali holidays.

Parent Meetings & Workshops

  • 12th August: The PTA organized a talk by Fionika Sanghvi, Head, Formative Years, briefing all the parents about the procedures of Legal Guardianship of their children, an important issue with special children.
  • 9-10th October: Open days for Parents to see the teachers and check out the progress of their wards, in the current term.

Special Assembly – Independence Day

  • 14th August: Students from the Pre-Vocational class presented a play on the occasion. Mr. Vikram Parekh, husband of our long-serving volunteer Vibha and a businessman was the chief guest. The occasion was also graced by Bollywood new entrant Armaan Jain and the Consul General of Kuwait, Mr. Mansour Saad Al-Olaimi, amongst other distinguished guests. The students learnt values like patriotism and team work.

Celebrations

Teachers’ day celebrated:

  • 5th September 2014: The PTA organized a lunch party at the NSCI, in honor of the Teachers.

Diwali celebration

  • 13-14th October: Diwali was heralded early at SPJ Sadhana. The students were engrossed in Rangoli & Toran making competitions. On the 14th the girls were applied Mehendi whereas the boys had fun with tattoos.

  • 16th October: In the evening, we had the school Diwali Party. Both the students and staff were dressed in their traditional best, to enjoy dandiya raas, with live DJ music. There was a best dressed competition for the staff & volunteers, across different age groups. There were a host of fun activities lined up for the kids like, Diya Painting, Mehendi, Treasure hunt, etc. Candy floss and popcorn was free-flowing. This was followed by a light snack and gifts for all.

Sports Events/Camps

  • 4th - 9th September: Pooja Patel, Pooja Veera & Sahil Baride alongwith coach Rajashri Ghosalkar attended the 1st Preparatory Swimming Camp for Special Olympic World Summer Games,2015 at Hyderabad.

  • 20th September: Sahil Baride, Shivam Shetty, Sumit Singh, Naaz Khadim Shaikh, Hamza Kanchwala, Sagar Hate, Areez Bhagat, Rituparna Chakravarty, Pooja Veera, Mukund, Somak alongwith coaches Rajashri Ghosalkar & Atul Pawaskar participated in the A.W.M.H. State Level Maharashtra Table Tennis Tournament organized by Rotary Club of Mumbai, Versova at Goregaon Sports Club.

  • 6-12th October: Pooja Veera & Sahil Baride attended swimming camp for Special Olympics World Summer Games, at Bal Kalyan Sanstha, Pune.
  • 24th October-1st November: Pooja Veera & Sahil Baride attended the 2nd Preparatory Swimming Camp for Special Olympic World Summer Games 2015 at Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh.

Winners

  • 20th September: A total of 11 students finished on the podium at the A.W.M.H. Maharashtra State Level Table Tennis Tournament.
    Areez, Shivam and Mukund clinched the Gold. Congratulations!!

Institutional visits

  • 28th August: 46 3rd Year B. Sc. Nursing students and 2 professors from Bombay Hospital came for an orientation to the School, to study the workings of a School for the mentally challenged.
  • 20th August: 16 Second Year Social work students from College of social work, Nirmala Niketan, came for an orientation to the School. They even interacted with the students and staff and were visibly touched, by the work done at the school.
  • 11th September: Three foreign students, two from Switzerland, Hesso School, Ms. Caroline and Ms. Victoria and one from Sweden, University of Gavle, Mr. Alrazi, came for an orientation visit to the school. They are part of the College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan’s International Placement Programme and will have exposure visits to different Organisations working on various issues like children, women, youth etc.

International Volunteer

  • Helene, a psychotherapist from France has been serving the School as a volunteer for the past 2 months working with the Pre Vocational class.

Other Happenings & Events

  • 1st August: Students of Work world skills class celebrated Harshvardhan’s birthday at Om Creations.
  • 1st August: 4 students from Grade 4 and 7 from Pre-Voc participated in the annual Splash Arts competition. Iqra Kapadia won the 1st prize and everyone got a participation certificate.
  • 1st August: As part of their lesson on how to save the Earth from Global Warming, students of Pre-Vocational Class made 3D projects about various measures that can be implemented.
  • August: As part of the lesson on ‘Road Safety’, students of Pre-Vocational Class were taken across to Breach Candy to teach them different aspects of road safety like, crossing, reading the signal and other traffic signs.
  • 9th September: Students of Office Procedures Class visited a CDM machine at Union Bank of India and learnt how to operate it independently.
  • 2nd September: Sahil Baride invited his class mates, teachers and staff from the H&C department for Ganpati darshan at his home followed by a traditional Maharashtrian lunch.
  • 15-26th September: First Term exams were conducted across different classes and vocations.
  • 30th September: Abdeali took his classmates from the Pre-voc class to Kidzania to celebrate his Birthday.
  • 14th Oct: Miloni took her classmates from the Pre-voc class to Hotel Peninsula, to celebrate her birthday with games and lunch.

Enhanced Learning Centre

  • 15th-26th Sept: Ishani Kumble, a four year old girl from Bangalore, underwent AIT treatment.
  • Ashray Khened 18, has been undergoing OT & Sports therapies as well as learning academic skills, to enhance his Gross motor skills and sitting tolerance, since 1st August.
  • Prof. Amit Kumar, a naturopath, has been conducting Hydrotherapy and Acupressure sessions with some formative years students like Kashyap Pandya, Dhairya Shah, Prachi Jhaveri, Arjun Trehan and Rihan Maniyar, since August.

Visitors

  • 8th October: Rama Sridhar from TISS & Neelima D'Silva-Dalvi from the Axis Bank Foundation came on a visit to the School, for impact assessment of their programmes. In the words of Neelima.
    “The meeting has given us deep insights into work of SPJ Sadhana School. Indeed Great Work!”

Fashion Extravaganza

  • 22nd August: Students and Staff of Visual Arts and Craft & Work World Skills department visited the Lakme Fashion week 2014, where their paintings were displayed on creations by ace fashion designer Krishna Mehta, who is the person behind the upcoming fashion event. The children also posed with other designers and celebrities.
  • 24th September: ‘Blessings’ – International designer Krishna Mehta presented a soul-stirring experience, wherein works of the students of Visual Arts & Crafts were imprinted on garments designed by her. She was ably assisted by well-known choreographer Lubna Adam.
    The Work World Skills students created jewelry and accessories. A host of models and celebrities, including new Bollywood entrant, Armaan Jain, Tara Sharma, Rashmi Uday Singh, Sangita Jindal, Samir Dattani and Alisha Chinai among others, took to the ramp in support of the students. A select group of supporters and well-wishers, including the Consul Generals of Germany and Kuwait, took part in the ‘Celebrity walk’ and ‘Power Couple.’ The audiences was also treated to a soulful rendition of Sufi dance by Indian contemporary dancer and choreographer, Astad Deboo.
    The event was very well managed by Shobiz Experiential Communications’ team. A capacity crowd lapped up all that was on offer and heartily cheered the celebrities, students and teachers. The evening ended with a spirited performance from Alisha Chinai.


    A BIG heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who made this event a grand success!!
    For more pictures copy the link: http://timescity.com/mumbai/partypics/ armaan-at-krishna-mehta-show/43423515.cms

    In the words of Goutam Rakshit, Managing Director, Advertising Avenues (India) Pvt Ltd; “It was wonderful to experience their exuberance and joy, shared by each and every individual in the auditorium. Even Astad Deboo was inspired to perform as I have never seen before! A great thank you to you and your dedicated team, for helping us understand how true love and caring can transform lives – every life.
    We feel truly blessed!”

    Mr. Mansour Saad Al-Olaimi, Consul General of Kuwait, had the below to share:

Conclusion

    A hectic term, which included amongst other things, the Fashion show comes to an end. Here’s looking to a more eventful and fun-filled second term.
    Wish you and your family a bright and colourful Diwali and a festive season! Happy Holidays!!
June - July 2014

9th June - School reopens after Summer Break!

    After a summer vacation lasting a month and a half, it was time for the students to be back to School! The teachers also had their batteries charged for a tough academic year ahead

Awards

  • 5th May - 14th June: Sports instructor Rajashri Ghosalkar was selected by Special Olympics Bharat for a 6 weeks Diploma in Special Olympics programme held at Vivekananda University, Coimbatore. She was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for her efforts during the summer vacation.
    The Pre-vocational class participated in a project by Commonwealth games conducted by the British Council and won a digital camera for project no 4 and were judged as runners up of the overall project. They also won a hardback copy of ‘A River of Stories’ by the Commonwealth Education Trust.

Staff Empowerment/Interaction

  • 5th June: Fionika Sanghavi and Simida Correia, conducted a workshop for the new teachers, introducing them to the ‘Teaching Formats’, the planning method, used in the school at all levels.
  • 6th June: Dr Khanna had a meeting with all HODs, to discuss the various events happening in school, in the year ahead.
  • 10th June: Heads of Departments met to discuss the results of the Internal Audit.

Parent Meetings & Workshops

  • 16th - 20th June: Parent Orientation week. Different classes took turns, throughout the week, to acquaint parents, about the events due for the new academic year. To make the sessions interactive, different films were shown, the respective class teachers interacted with the parents; briefing them of the events scheduled in the next year and a talk by either Sr. Gaitonde or Dr. Khanna.
  • 3rd July: A Parent Meeting on Acupressure and Hydrotherapy was conducted by Yoga Master Amit for students of Formative years and Skill Enhancement. He explained the benefits of these therapies for special need students.

Special Assembly – Guru Poornima

  • 11th July: Students of the Hospitality & Catering dept. presented a skit on the occasion of Guru Poornima, depicting the age old bond of love and respect between a teacher and student. Aastad Deboo, ace danseuse, was the guest of honour. He was visibly pleased by what was offered at the school and offered to help in his own capacity.

Educational Excursion

  • 27th June: Students from OPC visited a branch of Union Bank of India, to experience depositing a cheque in a CDM machine.

Celebrations

  • 27th June: At lunch time, the teachers and staff celebrated Sister Gaitonde’s birthday, which falls on the 29th. The cake cutting was followed by a soulful rendition by the teachers and staff.

Sports Events/Camps

  • 16th - 21st July: Shahanoor Sayyed and Shevang Garg were selected to represent SOB Maharashtra in Bocce National Games held at Patna, Bihar. Shahnoor won the Gold while Shevang got Silver medal.
    Sahil Baride, Pooja Veera, Pooja Patel, Snehal Sharma & Sports instructor Rajashri Ghosalkar have been selected to represent Maharashtra at the 2015 Special Olympic World Summer Games, to be held at Los Angeles.

Institutional visits

  • 17th June: 32 first year students from TISS doing MA in Social Work, visited the school to get an exposure to educational organizations with marginalized groups. It was also to help the students get a broader perspective of social work practices and roles of social workers, para-professionals, etc.
  • 30th June: Students from Skills Enhancement and Grade 4 visited Om Creations to celebrate the birthday of Shlok, Alok and Kianoosh.

Other Happenings & Events

  • 11th June: Students and staff from the Pre-Voc class, celebrated Alexandra’s birthday with a lunch at Mainland China. It was the perfect beginning to the term, since students and teachers worked towards the annual goal of comparison, by comparing aspects of a Chinese meal to their daily fare.
  • Sukrita Bhattacharya from OPC has earned an internship with Deloitte.
  • Arjun Trehan from grade 3 invited his classmates home, to celebrate his birthday.
  • Rohit Ghatge from OPC class has been offered a full time job at Deloitte Shared Services India Pvt. Limited.

Enhanced Learning Centre

  • 2nd – 13th June: Randal D’Souza, a college student from Mumbai, underwent AIT treatment at the School facilities.
  • 30th June-11th July: Khushboo Doshi & Vikas Kanungo from Pre-Vocational class underwent AIT treatment.
    Vaibhav Arvind is undergoing Occupational therapy sessions and Work World Skills department training, to enhance his gross motor skills, and is to be placed in Shraddha Charitable Trust on its completion.
    Mukund Patel from Grade 2 is undergoing Cerebra Braintech Therapy since November 2013.

Visitors

  • 26th June: Aditya Gaur, intern at the Axis Bank Foundation, came for a visit to the school to make a case study for his project.
  • 9th July: Mr. Deepak Parekh, Chairman HDFC, was welcomed at the school, to have a firsthand experience of the facility and also take a look at the various vocational courses offered.
  • 9th July: Mr. J P Dange, Chairman - Maharashtra Finance Commission, accompanied by Dnyanada Karnad from the Axis Bank Foundation, came for a visit to the School. He also tested the culinary skills of the students of the H&C class.

Conclusion

    Preparations for the Fashion event is on full steam with ace designer Krishna Mehta roped in to manage the affairs with the help of the teachers and staff, volunteers and of course, the students.
    After years of waiting, we are a recognized unaided Institute of Special Education (MR), recognized by the State Government.
March - April - May 2014
“Nothing is as contagious as enthusiasm” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Honoured

    Our founder, Mrs. Durga Jain received the Padma Shri in Delhi. On 1st May, Mr. Shankarnarayanan, Govermor of Maharashtra, presided over the felicitation of all National Award winners from the state at the Raj Bhavan.
    Congratulations, Mrs. Jain! Well done, SPJ Sadhana!
    Platinum Jubilee – The Society of the Sacred Heart celebrated 75 years of its service in India. We are part of this for the past 40 years.
    Congratulations Sisters!!
    May you have many glorious years ahead.

Seminars/Workshops/Awards attended

  • 4th March: Sr. Gaitonde and Ranjana Mahadevia attended the “Victoria – Maharashtra Skills Forum”, organized by the CII in association with State Government of Victoria, Australia at Hotel Taj Lands End, Bandra, focusing on the valuable contribution that skill development makes in enhancing employability, increasing productivity, strengthening national competitiveness and supporting sustainable development.
  • 25th March: Sr. Gaitonde and Dr. Khanna attended the 5th Innovation for India Awards, the innovation recognition platform of the Marico Innovation Foundation at the NCPA, Mumbai. The Innovation for India Awards is a platform that seeks to recognize, reward and nurture innovation in the fields of business, social and public service in India.
  • 28th‐30th April: Simida Correia and Susan Raphael attended the RCI approved CRE Programme on ‘Sexual issues and their management in individuals with developmental disability’ held at the Sir Kikabhai Premchand’s Minds College.


Staff Empowerment/Interaction

  • 10th March: A briefing about the new wi‐fi enabling of the school premises and IT department was given to a few select members of the staff by personnel from Aquarius Computers.
  • 18th March: A briefing for the next academic year 2014‐15 was conducted for the Teachers and staff. A presentation on Snoozelen was given by the school counselor Shireen Palia, whose last day it was, at the school.
  • 29th March: Rajashri Ghosalkar conducted the Community coaches training workshop for all teachers.
  • 1th ‐9th April: Staff Development Week: The mid‐term break was utilized for a host of activities including conducting internal audits of all the classes and departments. Heads of classes gave short presentations on breakthroughs achieved throughout the year, in their departments, eg; Rajashri (Sports) spoke about successes achieved by students at the State and National levels, Fionika (Formative years) spoke about how students in Grade 4 were trained to use I‐pads and Tejal (Skills enhancement) spoke about behavioral changes noted in Shubh and Anya, two very difficult students in her class. Kashmira Vazifdar gave a presentation about challenges in Parent counseling, dealing with issues parents face with their wards, as they grow up and coping with the same. Sister Gaitonde conducted a session on report writing, where she gave tips to the teachers on how to write and present reports, in a more efficient manner. On 7th April, Aruna Raje conducted a brain storming session with the Teachers and Staff for a movie to be shot about the School. She also conducted a fun‐and‐learn exercise on how to communicate effectively in a successful relationship. Radhike showed the staff 2 videos and an enthusiastic discussion ensued after each, as to what, as a teacher they had learnt from them. The Japanese Name‐game was great fun for all and the ‘Empty Pickle Jar’ exercise stretched the staff minds to see possibilities


Annual Exams

  • 10th ‐ 20th March: The School Annual Examinations were conducted on schedule, with 31st March being the last day of the 2nd term and academic year 2013‐14. The New term of the academic year 2014‐15 began from 9th April.


Parent Meetings & Workshops

  • 3th ‐ 4th April: Open days for parents to collect their wards Annual report cards and meet the teachers to check on their progress throughout the academic year. In the feedback received from the parents, they sincerely recognized the efforts of the teachers

Intensive Integration Programmes (IIP)

  • 2th ‐ 7th March: It was the turn of the Visual Arts and Work World Skills classes to go for their IIP, to Jaipur and Agra, where they visited among other places Vrindavan, ISKON temple, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, and of course the Taj Mahal! They also visited a few workshops and learnt the art of block printing and blue pottery‐making. In the words of Avadhut Magar, Arts Teacher, “This trip was very good. It gave us, knowledge about various art forms and the students got a chance to learn different art subjects. It really was a fun and learn experience for us!”
    According to Tejal Kothari, Teacher Skills Enhancement, “It was a learning experience for me; to go with senior students and see them grow as individuals.”

  • 28th March: Grades 1,2,3 A & B went to KidZania, an indoor educational theme park, spread across 75,000 sq. ft. It emulates the workings of a real city and is built to scale for children. Complete with buildings, paved streets, vehicles and recognizable role‐playing destinations in the form of “establishments”, it offers kids more than 80+ role‐playing options in its 60+ establishments. Priya D’Souza, Teacher Class 3A describes the trip to Kidzania as, “Every activity that the students attended they got a certificate and some kidzos (money). There were activities where the students had to earn Kidzos and others where they had to spend the Kidozs. Thus, they were introduced to the concept of earning and spending money. It was very
    interesting for the kids. It was also a lot of fun for the teachers who accompanied the students!”

Sports Events/Camps

  • 25th March: 4 Boys and girls took part in the Bocce State games conducted by Special Olympics Bharat at Kolhapur Shivam Shetty, Shevang Garg, Yash Muppidi and Naaz Khadim all won Silver medals, whereas the girls bagged a 4th place finish.
    Hamza Kachwalla participated in the National Athletics Games at Delhi and bagged the Gold in Long Jump and a 4th place finish in the 100 meters dash.

Institutional visits

  • 22nd April: H & C students and staff to TajSats flight kitchen. They celebrated Mr. Dinesh Saxena’s birthday, had lunch and got return gifts by the team. The crew was shown the film, ‘Evey Cloud has a Silver lining.’ In the words of Mr. Dilip Saxena, “We are all touched to see the great service you and your team is doing for our special children. We would certainly do our best to support the organization in all possible ways.
    Thanks for the excellent film, interacting with the children made my special day (Birthday) even more special!!”

Summer Camps

  • 5th‐10th May: ‘Personal Grooming and Personality Development’ workshop was conducted at the school to help the students develop certain basic life skills, such as socializing, cooperating and learning from each other.
  • Computer Learning: A few students opted for this workshop to enhance their computer skills.

Other Activities

  • 28th March‐5th April: The School was a centre for the NIOS exams conducted by Pratham. A total of 143 students, including 10 from the School, took the exams.
  • 24th February: Sr. Gaitonde and Dr. Khanna attended the celebrations to commemorate the 53rd National Day & the 3rd Anniversary of the Liberation of the Sate of Kuwait, at the Trident.
  • 6th May: Sr. Gaitonde and Dr. Khanna attended the 66th Independence day celebrations of Israel, held at the Palladium and organized by the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai.

Enhanced Learning Centre

  • 24th March‐5th April: Kevin Chandrashekhar from Bangalore underwent AIT treatment at the School facilities. He also did one session of Snoozeleen therapy.
    Khushi Sengupta continued her Occupational & Sports Therapy and has been admitted to Grade 4. Mukund Patel, Yash Mupidi and Sagar Hate are undergoing Cerebra Braintech Therapy since November 2013. Vaibhav Arvind has been undergoing Ocupational therapy sessions since February to enhance his gross motor skills and is to be placed in Shraddha on its completion.
    Feedback from mother of Yuvraj Yadav, a student undergoing AIT, “AIT has been instrumental in making Yuvraj unlearn past learnt behavior and methods that he adopted to satisfy his needs. Although AIT was done in 10 days, the intervention continued from teachers, parents and his peers. And the result is overwhelming! There is a smile on Yuvraj’s face, as though he is telling us….finally you all understood me!”

Visitors

  • 19th March: Dnyanada Karnad from the Axis Bank Foundation accompanied by 3 officials from Commerce Bank, Germany visited the school.
    New students’ assessments, admission; recruiting new teachers and staff; attending seminars and workshops, quite a busy summer schedule. Wishing all Happy holidays.

    Let us remind you to help us ‘sustain’ this school by asking your friends, relatives and colleagues to donate generously to our CORPUS. This is urgent and critical. Thank you.

January - February 2014
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” Plutarch


Seminars/Workshops

  • 21st January: The National Skill Development Corporation organized a workshop for training providers, employers, foundations, resource persons, Sector Skill Councils, and ILO’s working in the disability sector. Sr. Gaitonde represented the School and Dr. Khanna Om Creations, at the symposium. It was a helpful meeting.
  • 29th January: 14 students from different polytechnic classes benefitted by a photography workshop conducted by Jagdish Naughane.

Staff Empowerment

  • 6th ‐7th January: A Math workshop was conducted by Ms. Tamar Apel, our ‘mathemagician’ from Israel, for Old and New teachers in the Math Lab. The teachers were asked to bring a case study, of one of their students, where they found it difficult, going forward, on a particular topic. Feedback from some of the staff: Ranjana Mahadevia, H&C, “Very useful. I wish to be present at many such workshops. Simple remedies were shown which resulted in fruitful learning. I learnt that one has to simplify the tasks and make it always interesting for the students.”
    Anju Daswani, Work World skills, “It was really helpful as it cleared a lot of doubts in our minds‐I am clear as to how to move ahead with various concepts like money transaction, connecting the number to the actual thing and learning colour.

    18th January: Prof. Louis Falik from Israel conducted a workshop for the Staff on Instrumental Enrichment to update their skills on the same and throw light on their difficulties.


Intensive Integration Programmes (IIP)

  • 24th ‐29th January : The H&C and OPC classes went to Infosys Mysore and Kabini, as part of their IIP. In the words of Ranjana Mahadevia, Head, H&C, “The students got the opportunity to reside on the Infosys campus, which is exclusively for its trainees and distinguished visitors. We stayed at the Red Earth resort in Kabini, which is built on an eco‐friendly footing, where they could enjoy nature to its fullest and got wonderful sightings of animals and birds. The students got a complete exposure to H&C and were able to expand their knowledge on outdoor location.”

    31st January : Grades 1 & 2 ‐ ½ day visit to the neighborhood Mahindra Park for games followed by lunch at a restaurant.

    3rd ‐ 6th February : Pre‐Vocational class to Hyderabad. Accompanied by the VP Dr. Khanna, they visited a lot of places of historical and cultural significance in and around Hyderabad, like the Charminar, and the Ramoji Film City.

    10th February : Grades 1,2,3 – 1 day trip to Karanja, a naval base off the coast of Mumbai, where they were shown the workings/training of a naval officer. They were taken to the local naval museum and also shown a demo of how the navy captures sea animals.

    11th ‐14th February : Grade 4 and Skills Enhancement classes went to Anandvan Resort, Bhandardara, near Nashik. They experienced fantastic living conditions and also indulged in grape stomping at Sula Wines, which the kids really enjoyed. In the words of Tejal Kothari, Teacher, Skills Enhancement, “IIP, the name itself speaks for what the program is about and how intensively teachers work towards integrating the students into society, by providing them with real life situations to deal with. A lot of learning happens spontaneously on such trips, which is not possible in a structured classroom environment, which in turn leads to improvement of cognitive, social communication skills, activities of daily living.


    13th February: 10 students of grades 3A & B and 9 staff members stayed overnight at the school to train the children for their forthcoming trip to Lonavala. They went through the routine of evening snack, games, dinner, leisure, bed, bath breakfast, et al…

    20th February : Grades 1 & 2 went to the Amateur Riders club stables at the Mahalaxmi race course organized by volunteer Vibha Parekh. Being with horses is of therapeutic value for our students. In the words of Preethi Beracha, Teacher, Grades 1&2, “It was a very good exposure for the children. Everyone actively participated in feeding the horses, they enjoyed looking at the horses and were generally well behaved on the trip. Initially, they expressed fear but later went around the stable and were comfortable after a while.”

    27th‐28th February: Grades 3A & B went for a 2 day trip to INS Shivaji, Lonavala. They also visited a wax museum, a chikki factory and trekked to the sunset point, amongst other things like fun and games.
    Priya D’Souza, Teacher Class 3A describes the trips to Karanja & Lonavla, “It was an amazing experience for the students. Lots of experiential learning. The children experienced an actual fire engine, a warship and their working, Arms& Ammunition, etc. The children were exposed to a variety of food and cuisines and modes of transport.”


Sports Events/Camps

  • Sports Coach Rajashri Ghosalkar attended the Unified Lead Trainers Training Camp in Goa from 16th to 18th February 2014. She underwent a certificate course conducted by Special Olympics Bharat and NFHS.
  • 25th February: Special Olympics Bharat Maharashtra organised their Athletic State Meet at the Sports Authority of India Ground, Kandivali, in which a number of junior and senior school students participated and won prizes across different categories. Out of 13 students, 10 won – 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 7 Bronze. Hamza Kachwalla was selected for the Athletics National Games to be held in Delhi. Also, Sahil Baride and Kiara Nazareth, stars at the recently concluded SOAP games held in Australia, served as volunteer helpers on the occasion.


Outings

  • 15th January: Skills Enhancement class visited KidZania which is an indoor educational theme park in Ghatkopar spread across 75,000 sq. ft. It emulates the workings of a real city and is built to scale for children. Complete with buildings, paved streets, vehicles and recognizable role‐playing destinations in the form of “establishments”, it offers kids more than 80+ role‐playing options in its 60+ establishments.

    6th February: Students of Visual Arts and Work World skills went to the Kalaghoda Art Festival, an annual event in Mumbai’s social calendar, bringing the city’s art and culture, to the ‘who’s who’, as well as the common man.

    7th February:
    It was the turn of the students of Hospitality & Catering and Office procedures classes to visit the Kalaghoda Art Festival.

Special Assembly – Republic day

  • 23rd January: Debasmita Pani from the Taj Group presided over the function where students from Grade 1‐4 presented skits on the theme of India’s 64th Republic day, cheered on by their peers and staff. She was accompanied by her mother and they reviewed the school’s facilities, followed by high tea.

Competitions

  • 20th February: Rituparna Chakravarty, Shivangi Bhardwaj, Sahil Baride & Sagar Hate from the H&C class participated in the “Budding Chefs–Cooking Contest–2014” for Special Children, organized by AWMH and held at Rizvi College of Hotel Management, Bandra. They came back with the first and second prizes.

Eye Camp

  • 10th‐11th & 20‐21st January: Lotus College of Optometry conducted an Eye Camp at the school, for all students, in general and students with low vision, in particular. It was arranged by one of our teachers, Jayee Gandhi.

Enhanced Learning Centre

  • Yogesh Ramchandani from Skills enhancement class underwent AIT in the month of January.
    Khushi Sengupta continued her Occupational & Sports Therapy.
    Mukund Patel, Ujjwalika Singh, Yash Mupidi and Sagar Hate are undergoing Cerebra Braintech Therapy since November 2013.
    Vaibhav Arvind has been undergoing Ocupational therapy sessions since February to enhance his gross motor skills and is to be placed in Shraddha on its completion.

Volunteers

  • Preety Vatvani from Singapore served in the Pre‐Voc class from 6th Jan to 27th Feb.
  • Pooja Parekh from Sweden was in the Skills Enhancement class from 16th Jan to 13th Feb.
  • 20th February: A few students from Sophia college, Department of Psychology, are volunteering at the school in Grades 1‐4.

Visitors – Outreach

  • 7th January: Mr. Matan Zamir, Deputy Chief of Mission, Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai, came on a visit to the School to see if we canbe resource for their project on education. They met Tamar Apel and discussed her approach to Maths. We found the visit fruitful.
  • 15th January: 25‐30 students from the Holy Cross School, Kurla, visited the pre‐voc class and interacted with our students, as part of their existential catechesis. They were put through exercises to make them understand different types of disabilities.
  • 20th January: Six students from the Sophia college, Life Sciences department were given an orientation about the school and shown a film, The New paradigm. In the words of a few students:
    “It made me very happy to see the children improving so much. SPJ Sadhana School not only teaches the students to
    believe in themselves, but it also teaches the parents to believe in the children. All the children are so loving and innocent,
    all they need is affection and help to grow and the school is being an excellent pillar of support. I really liked the overall
    approach & atmosphere for the school.” ‐ Tanmayee Tendulkar
    “Visiting the school itself was a great opportunity for me. The experience was very good. The movie “New Paradigm”
    showed and taught me a lot of things, which I never gave importance to or cared for in my life. With your help, I now
    have the knowledge, love and care which I would like to share with the kids.” ‐ Namrata Gala
  • 30th January: Mr. Dharmesh Sodah from the Gem & Jewellery Skill Council of India, came on a visit and looked forward to a long association with the school with regard to training and certifying the students in diamond sorting. He was of the opinion that the training provided at the School was of an advanced level and not basic.
  • 31st January: A few senior school students participated in EHSAAS, a cultural programme organized by SPJIMR at Bhavan’s college, Andheri. They presented dances and skits with a bollywood theme.
  • 9th February: Rajashri, sports teacher, accompanied 13 students to the Triumph 2014 Run, held at Eternity Mall, Thane. 13 students received participation certificates and gifts.
  • 13th February: 40 B.Sc. nursing students from Bombay Hospital visited the school.
  • 20th February: 14 B.Ed trainee teachers from the Sir Kikabhai Premchand Minds college of Special Education visited the school to study the workings of a special school, as part of their curriculum.

Conclusion

  • It has been a very packed 2 months with IIPs, where teachers are on duty, 24 hours and the extra ordinary cold weather did not hamper anyone’s enthusiasm.
  • We are marking this as a year to build the Corpus for sustainability and hereby appeal to one and all to help us realize this goal.
  • You can contribute via the India Tax Saving Challenge, on till 13th March 2014.
  • To make a donation, click : http://www.giveindia.org/iGive-SPJSadhanaSchool
  • To know more about this, click : http://www.giveindia.org/t-india-tax-saving-challenge-2014.aspx
  • A host of prizes to be won for your contribution made, like daily cash awards and NGOs that raise over Rs. 50,000 will
    receive 5% of the total!

    Thank you for your tremendous support and looking forward to our continuous association.

November - December 2013
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance one must keep moving” – Albert Einstein


Award

  • 16th November: Sr. Gaitonde and Dr. Radhike Khanna attended the British Council’s International School Awards ceremony in Kolkata, to receive the award on behalf of the school, which was followed by a 1 day conference on ‘Supporting action research and reflective practices in the classroom.’ They returned with a trophy and a framed certificate that stated, ‘SPJ Sadhana School – Outstanding Curriculum with International dimensions’

National Conference

  • 6th November: Dr. Radhike Khanna & Kashmira Vazifdar attended the National Conference on Intellectual Disabilities organized by the Department of Disability Affairs, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Delhi. Dr. Khanna gave a detailed presentation on Our Success in Diamond Sorting for Livelihood Generation and Kashmira Vazifdar on Effects of Drama Therapy on a child diagnosed with Downs Syndrome, exhibiting behavioral challenges – A case study. Both presentations were well received.


Staff Empowerment

  • 11th November : A staff interaction was held a day before the school reopened after the Diwali holidays. The super success of the concert was shared with everyone. Details about the forthcoming annual exhibition were also discussed like topics given to different classes, knowledge wall, etc. In the second half, a capacity building workshop for the teachers, on ‘Dynamic Integration’ was conducted by Dr. Khanna, where the teachers were explained the concept of ‘balance’ in a holistic manner. They walked on thin planks put at different heights. Fears, tears freely expressed, with encouragement everyone succeeded. This was followed by a reflection on how traumatic change is, for our students.
  • 13th November : The Management Review meeting was conducted by MR Kashmira Vazifdar, briefing all present, about internal audits conducted in the last month, discussed the various NC’s issued, correcting them and also about the procedures to be followed during the forthcoming external Renewal audit. The teachers were each given 3 minutes to talk about the breakthroughs achieved during the term.


Sports Events/Camps

  • 19th November: Sahil Baride and Kiara Nazareth attended the Special Olympics Healthy Hearing Camp, held at Dr. Antonio DaSilva High School, Dadar.
  • 1st ‐ 7th December: Sahil Baride and Kiara Nazareth attended the SOAP Games, held at Newcastle, Australia. They made the school and the nation proud, with Sahil winning silver and a bronze and Kiara a silver & 6th place finish, in aquatics.


Outings

  • 18th November: Students from Grade 4 and Pre‐Vocational classes celebrated Navy week. They were taken for a half day excursion to the naval heli‐base INS Shikra by the Navy.

Spreading Awareness

  • 30th November ‐ 1st December: The Indo‐German Chamber of Commerce held the Mumbai Christmas Fest 2013 at the Turf club, race course. The school was given a stall and an appreciative crowd lapped up the wares on display. Pre‐voc. teachers, Simida Correia, Susan Raphael, Anusaya Pradhan and Adora Britto interacted with the visitors. Sr. Gaitonde and Dr. Khanna attended the inauguration of the fest.


Annual School Exhibition

  • 4th ‐ 5th December: The annual exhibition 2013, sponsored by Standard Chartered bank was held at the school over 2 days. An enthusiastic crowdlapped up the wares on offer, including handicrafts, gifts and food items.

    The topic for the knowledge wall this year was, Dynamic Integration – Vision is a learnt Ability, To move is to Learn, Integrating Balance develops Potential. The Learning wall depicts this from the teachers growth perspective. A formal dinner for 50 selected guests, celebrating the Ruby Jubilee of the school was organized by the Hospitality& Catering department, on the 5th Dec; with the students and teachers taking an active part in giving the guests a complete fine dining experience over a 7‐course meal.

    To quote Satya Bansal, CEO, Barclays Bank, “I can’t believe that this has all been done by young‐adults of this school. It’s an experience better than any five star hotel.”

    In the words of Michael Siebert, German Consul General, “So many highlights, but the biryani was top of the top.”

Parent Meetings & Workshops

  • 4th December: Ms. Naini Setalvad, a well‐known Nutritionist and Dietician addressed the parents and gave a detailed presentation on the benefits of a healthy diet, leading to a healthier lifestyle, for their wards. In the words of Shirish Pradhan, “It was very useful & easily adaptable. It would be happy to make use of her expertise for Neha.”

    According to Kanchan Pore, “The workshop was informative & gave general guidance on diet.”

Competitions

  • 13th November: Art Competition held at the School, sponsored by Pankaj Vora, President of Rotary Club of Bombay Peninsula. It was followed by a lunch for the whole school, sponsored by Mr Manoj Pandya.

Celebrations

  • 13th December : X’mas Party: A joint party was organized for all 3 institutions (Sadhana, Om & Shraddha) in the afternoon, at the basketball court. The children danced to an Orchestra organized by Bijal Parekh through our volunteer Vibha Parekh. Rasila aunty’s 85th birthday was also celebrated, followed by light snacks and gifts for all students.

ISO Audit

  • 16th December : The external Renewal audit was conducted for the school ISO re‐certification. Mr. Sunil Verma headed a team of 3 and spent the whole day at the school inspecting the various facilities offered by the school as also the procedures being followed as per the ISO manual. We passed the audit and our certificate renewed. This was preceded by internal audits, which were done by our internal auditors throughout November.

Special Assembly X-mas

  • 20th December: Mr. Alexander Schieffer from TRANS4M Center for Integral Development / Lecturer University of St. Gallen, Switzerland visited the school to experience our culturally holistic approach. The prevocational class organized a special assembly on the theme of Christmas. A visibly pleased Alexander paid tributes to everyone present and wanted to come back with his family. Medals won by the students in different sports categories were given away and X‐mas gifts were distributed amongst the children by the guest.

    In his words, “What a joy, what learning, what a sharing, these 2 intense days at Sadhana School and Om Creations have been for me. I left Mumbai this morning, fulfilled and confident that we will find more purposeful ways of working together. Thank you for the hospitality and kindness.”

Visitors - Outreach

  • 28th November: Educational visit ‐ 16 second year RGNM students and 2 supervisors from Parsee General Hospital visited the school in the morning, as part of their curriculum.
    In the words of a student: “We never thought that these children can do such activities, but due to the visit to your school, we came to know that they are one of us. Through proper training they can do anything like us. We will try our best to change the attitude of the community towards them.”
  • 3 students studying Diploma in Integrated Education and 2 faculty members from Sir Shapurji Billimoria Foundation visited the school in the afternoon.
    In the words of a student: “This is one of the best schools we have ever visited. Thank you for providing us an opportunity”
  • 29th November: 22 employees of Deloitte Haskins & Sells visited the school and spent the whole day interacting with the students and staff, watching movies, sharing lunch and games and an address by the Principal. Following is some of the feedback:
  • Shivina Jagtiani, Senior Associate: “Good work by the staff and organization. Kudos and cheers to all! Please continue the good work. You are making a positive impact on many lives. God bless!!

  • Radhika Vllati, Asst. Manager: “I loved this experience of being around the kids. I would try and meet them once in a week at least. Thanks for having me here.”
  • Yiftah Yehud, an Israeli student of Psychology and inclusion assistant, was on a visit to the school on 9th & 10th December. He enthusiastically volunteered to spend time with the students and teachers, to learn about the teaching methods adapted at the school.

    In his words: “I had an amazing hospitality. Thank you for the family-like welcome! Reflecting back, the general   atmosphere was very pleasant. This reflects, of course, in the very patient attitude and warmth of the teachers and staff.”
  • 12th December: Dr Mona P. Gajre, Professor,Pediatrics; Chief,Learning Disability Clinic, LTM General Hospital and LTM Medical College, visited the school to study its working and adapt it for their 1 year fellowship program in Developmental Pediatrics. In her words, “It was really gracious of you and your team to accommodate me when I visited the SPJ Sadhana school.It was immensely heartening and pleasurable to see the great work that you and the team are doing for the differently abled.”


Conclusion

Please remember us and help build a substantial corpus. May the Joy of Christmas be with you through 2014. Happy New Year!

August - October 2013
“After climbing one hill one finds there are many more hills to climb” – Nelson Mandela


This year we are concerntrating on parents empowerment

  • 26th August: Shilpa Thakkar, Deepika Kakkar, Snehal Shinde & Hetal Lakhani, conducted a workshop on the role of Occupational
    Therapy in ADL skills. Parents were also informed about how Sensory Integration Technique can help them calm their wards
    hyperactivity. 85 parents took advantage of this opportunity.
  • The following is feedback from a parent:
    Mangala mother of Amod Hegde: “I have understood the importance of OT and how to reduce the sensory problems and his
    hyperactivity”
  • 30th August: A Handwriting workshop was conducted by Dr. Khanna assisted by Simidha Correia and Fionika Sanghvi. A total of 21 parents opted for this workshop, where they were introduced to different exercises, formation of letters with the aid of the ‘sleeping 8’, proper grips and grasps techniques for handwriting and demonstrated the brain gym. A power point presentation was prepared by Dr. Khanna for the occasion. All the parents appreciated the details in the kit provided to them and noted that such workshops would be very useful to help their child in the future.

    The following is some of the feedback from a few parents:
  • Gabriele mother of Alexander Siebert, mentioned that the practical approach was very meaningful and understanding the importance of both sides of the brain and its functioning.
  • Tahseen mother of Akram Batatawala: “As Akram is very lazy, when it comes to writing, this workshop gave me good ideas, to find ways to teach him the Alphabets in a more playful and enjoyable way.”
  • Chetana mother of Aarya Jain: “The workshop has made us confident and writing patterns taught from the ‘lazy 8’ will really help us out. Thanks a lot. It was really enjoyable.”
  • Nisha mother of Anoushka Tandon: “The presenters put it up very well. PPT was self explanatory. Details were shared well.”
  • 14th ‐15th Ootober: Open days – Parents met the teachers and got an update about the progress of their wards during the 1st term. Feedback was also shared by the parents about the child’s behavior at home and there was an exchange of ideas.

Staff Empowerment

  • 5th September: The teaching staff was given a brief about the OT workshop conducted earlier for the parents.
  • 30th August: A few teachers were also part of the Handwriting workshop held for the parents.

    The following is some of the feedback from a few teachers:
  • Tejal Kothari, Skills Enhancement: “The presenter was so full of innovation and creativity. It did not at all make us feel inattentive. It was very clear and methodical. The inputs provided were very useful for introducing writing to my class students, as they are at a preliminary stage of writing. I am thankful to Dr. Khanna to let me be a part of the workshop. It will help me grow as a teacher.”
  • Anusaya Pradhan, Pre‐ Voc: “Every part of the workshop was very useful and informative. It changed my view about approaching certain things.”
    Innumerable meetings were held between the Heads of Departments, then with individual teachers, going into details of the disabilities of each student, brainstorming on how to bridge the gaps, writing 17‐20 teaching formats, getting the maximum out of each individual, to put up a fabulous show, the Sadhana Express.
  • Rajashri Ghosalkar attended the ‘Im’ programme workshop organized by the Michael Phelps foundation to develop swimming skills,
    health and wellness of Special Olympics athletes.


Winners: Art

  • 19th August: Secure Giving, in aid of Concern India foundation organized Splash Art competition, wherein in 9 students from Visual Arts, 10 from Pre‐Vocational and 4 junior school students took part.
    Iqra Kapadia, Hamza Kachwalla, Nafisa Rajkotwalla, Nehal Panchal and Neha Pradhan were awarded prizes.


Winners: Sports

  • 25th August: Areez Bhagat represented Mumbai at the SOB Maharashtra State Games – Football.
  • 2nd Preparatory Camp for SOAP Regional Games was held in Hyderabad from 15th to 20th September 2013.
  • Sahil Baride and Kiara Nazareth took part, as they would be going to the games in Australia later this year.
  • 21st September: AWMH Table tennis state level tournament. Shivom Shetty, Hamza Kachwalla, Naaz Khadim, Pooja Vira, Sagar Hate, Sumit Singh, Rituparna Chakravorthy and Areez Bhagat took part in it across different age groups, viz; 12‐15 years, 16‐21 years and 22 years and above. Our children won a total of 4 Silvers, 3 Bronze and 1 Copper.
  • 22nd September: State level TT tournament organized by Phoenix sports club. Sahil Baride, Rituparna Chakravorthy, Naaz Khadim, Sagar Hate, Sumit Singh, Shivam Shetty and Hamza Kachwalla represented the school at the event. Hamza, Shivam and Sumit stood first, Sahil and Rituparna second, Naaz Khadim third and Sagar fourth
  • 23rd ‐24th September: State level Aquatic games held by Special Olympics Bharat at Kolhapur. Rohan Puthli, Yuvraj Yadav, Harshit Maheshwari, Salwa Nawrange, Puja Vira, Puja Patel, Rochelle Dias, Shanon D’souza, Rachita Kedia and Charmy Vora took part in it across different age groups, viz; 12‐15 years, 16‐21 years and 22 years and above. Our children won a total of 4 Golds, 6 Silvers, 5 Bronze and a host of other prizes.
  • 1st ‐ 5th October: Pooja Patel, Pooja Vira, Salwa Navrange and Sahil Baride participated in the Aquatics National Games held at Monda, Karnataka organized by Special Olympics Bharat Maharashtra. Sahil Baride was the star of the event winning 5 Golds, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze. Pooja Patel won 2 Golds, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze. Pooja Vira won 2 Golds and 1 Bronze and Salva 2 Silvers.


Enhanced Learning Centre

  • Sujith Shenoy from Bangalore continued his AIT treatment till 2nd August. Ujjwalika Singh, Pre‐Voc student administered AIT. Nihit Agarwal was administered OT, Art and Sports therapies and Khushi Sen Gupta was administered OT and Sports therapies.
  • 14th & 15th October: Mr. Shailendra Gujarathi from Cerebra braintech gave a presentation to parents on Cerebra braintech’s cuttingedge
    advanced Brain Enhancement Technologies and we have found it to be helpful to 3 of our students..

Volunteers:

  • 3‐4 HR College students have been visiting the School for voluntary work every day between August and September. A total of 60 students were in the group.


Spreading Awareness in the Society

  • 1st October: Dr. Radhike Khanna gave a lecture at S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR) on ‘Managing Risk for the Social Enterprise.’
  • 7th October: The School was invited by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to set up a stall at their office at Worli, as part of the Joy of Giving week. This is a mode of fund raising as well as spreading awareness about our cause.
  • 11th October: The Joy of Giving week continued. This time it was at the office premises of KPMG at Lower Parel, organized with the able support of one of our students’ parents.
  • 25th October: Dr. Radhike Khanna attended a panel discussion on Mutual Fund Business by some eminent personalities on 25th Oct ’13 at Hotel Hyatt Regency, in partnership with Axis Mutual Fund. The theme of the meet was “BEND THE TREND WITH THE EXPERTS”. The School is a beneficiary of the Axis Bank Foundation’s largesse.

Outreach Programmes

  • 1st August: 22 TYBA Psychology students from Wilson College came for a visit to the school to orient themselves as to how Psychology is used in a Special School.
  • 24th September: 25 M.A. Clinical Psychology students and 1 teacher from the Dept of Psychology, SNDT Women’s University visited the school for half a day. The purpose of the visit was to create awareness among the students about the activities of the school and the potential of special children and also to give them an opportunity to interact with the children. The following is some of the feedback from a few students:
    “The visit changed my entire perspective on education & how children should be taught.” ‐ Shagun Kothari
    “The experience was amazing. It’s like entering into a complete different world, a world in which the students’ needs are taken care of.”‐ Shaikh Afroz

Outdoor curriculum

  • 3rd October: Students of Grades 1‐4 were taken for an educational trip to Charni Road station.
  • 4th October: Students of Grade 4 were taken for Magic Carpets, a 4D movie.

Mid - term Exams

  • The above were held from 12‐18th September.

Special Assembly: Independence Day

  • 14th August : The Visual Arts and Work world skills class students and teachers put up a superb show on the occasion of India’s 67th Independence Day. The event was presided by Mrs. Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson (then MD, CFO), State Bank of India. A water filter and Lunch was sponsored by SBI, Peddar road branch.

Events

  • Art Trisomy 21 Edition II: SPJ Sadhana School in association with Shraddha Charitable Trust and OM Creations organized this event at the Gallery Art & Soul, Worli from 27th September to 3rd October 2013. The show was inaugurated by Tarana Khubchandani, the owner of the gallery.
  • Trisomy 21 or Down syndrome is a chromosomal condition that is associated with intellectual disability.
    Artworks of our students, across the spectrum, was displayed at the event and lapped up by an enthusiastic crowd, throughout the
    duration of the event. In the words’ of Rajashree Porecha, “No words to express!!” Charu Miglani, “Speechless!” Indira Aswani, “Fantastic”
    Link to the article by Zeenia Baria in the Times of India, dated 25th September 2013
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life‐style/people/For‐a‐good‐cause/articleshow/23039223.cms
  • School Biennial Concert – ‘Sadhana Express’: This was probably the event of the quarter, with a full house enjoying themselves to the hilt, the marvelous performances put up by our students on 22nd October. Sadhana Express celebrated the Ruby Jubilee of the school while drawing a parallel with 100 years of Indian cinema. Mr. Krishna Kumar, Director Tata Trust presided over the function. The 1 1/2 hour concert ably orchestrated by our god‐mother, Geeta Gopalakrishnan and ace actor Vivaan Bhathena took the audience on a long journey of the history of the school and its many achievements. This would not have been possible without the concerted efforts of Dr. Khanna and the teaching and admin. staff not to mention the support provided by many choreographers, volunteers and last but not the least, the team of Shobiz led by Mr. Sameer Tobaccowala. Kudos to all for putting up a tremendous performance!!

    Breakthroughs were also achieved in the physical, social, emotional and cognitive behavior of the students during the rehearsals for the concert.

    In the words of Goutam Rakshit, MD Advertising Avenues, “Over a 90 minute journey, 'Sadhana Express' demonstrated how a group of loving and dedicated teachers, can help transform the lives of these wonderful children. Their spontaneous exuberance, positivity and joy captivated the hearts of each and every member of the audience. Indeed, by offering us a window to witness their growth and development, you and your teachers showed us that even in today's modern world, miracles do happen, and that the power of love and dedicated effort can make the seemingly impossible, possible”.

Celebrations

  • 28th August: The IA Vedic group from the ISKON temple, Chowpatty organized Janmashtami celebrations in the School with Kirtan, Skit, Abhishek and breaking of Handi. Prasad was also distributed at the end of the programme.
  • 11th September: Teachers Day was celebrated at the Sophia Bhabha Hall, with the theme being, Ruby Jubilee of the School. Sister Rita Pinto was the chief guest and members of the RSCJ community were also present. A skit was performed by the Teachers depicting the early life of Sister Gaitonde. Ursula Hendricks was felicitated for completing 40 years of service to the School. This was followed by a celebratory lunch organized by the PTA at Global Fusion, Bandra.
  • Diwali Party: The School Diwali party, organized by the PTA, was held on 17th October. Usha Venkatraman and Gayatri Subramaniam presented a puppet cum dance performance depicting Hanuman’s Ramayana. The children had a great time, which was followed by evening snacks and lighting ‘fuljaris’, to help them overcome fears of holding them.


Awards

  • The British Council invited us to apply for the International School Award and the School has been given the ISA accreditation for the period 2013‐16. The award would be presented on 16th November in Kolkata.

Visitors

  • Will Skaff, Music Teacher at Atherton High School, California, USA visited the school on 12th August and was visibly impressed. He had this to say, “It was so very nice to meet you, speak with you and tour the school. You guys are doing amazing work there. It is truly incredible. I feel blessed to have been able to visit you. I hope to come back to India, an amazing place!
  • 10th October: Bhakti Arora from Swayamsiddh, an Aurangabad based NGO, working for the mentally challenged was on a visit to the school on the recommendation of the Taj Group. She was particularly impressed with the vocational section of the school.

Feedback

  • 2 of our students were placed as interns in the mainstream. Sahil Baride from H&C trained at the Lalit, Mumbai from 2‐31st May 2013 and Rohit Ghatge is currently placed at Deloitte Haskins & Sells. Following is the feedback from their employers: Mr. Ranjit Pillai, Training Manager, The Lalit, Mumbai: “We found Sahil to be a very committed worker. Needless to say, he was very punctual. His efficiency was remarkable, he did exactly what he was told to. And lastly he was a very good team player; our staff had a wonderful time having him around.”

Conclusion

An exhaustive but energizing time for the students and teachers in these past 3 months. We hope this Diwali festival is truly a time of light and happiness. Happy Diwali to one and all!!
May - July 2013


Summer Camp 2013

  • A summer camp was held at the School from 30th April – 10th May. It was open to all students of the School as well as their siblings and friends. On offer were a few life‐skills lessons, in a fun‐learning manner like, canvas painting, pottery, cookery, gardening, making terrariums, art and craft, speech and drama, flower arrangement, and entertainment like tele‐games, singing, dancing and many more activities. Unfortunately, only 6 students took advantage of this opportunity, assisted by some teachers, Fionika Sanghvi, Susan Raphael, Priya D'Souza, Saloni Sachdev, Kashmira Vazifdar, and volunteers Neha Shah, Dhwani Dhupelia, Priyanka Sachdev.


Admin Breakthrough

  • A new system of fee-collection has been implemented in the school with the support of Bank of Baroda, Bhulabhai Desai road branch, starting with the new academic year 2013-14, wherein the parents can directly deposit the fees in ANY Bank of Baroda branch nearer to them. The first quarter had some teething problems, which were ironed out during the 2nd quarter.
    It has been decided to celebrate all birthdays in a month on 1 day only. June 26th saw a big celebration as the Principal and students cut cakes and had a festive meal

New Admissions

  • Summer was also the time to screen new applicants for admission to the school, wherein 2 teachers, Fionika Sanghvi Smidha D'Souza, Susan Raphael and Harshada Jagushte did a number of assessments, sparing time from their vacation schedules.

Campus Placement

  • Fionika Sanghvi & Kashmira Vazifdar visited the SNDT campus to screen and shortlist prospective new teachers, using for the first time, Skype for interviews with Sister & Dr. Khanna at the School. This was followed up by a personal interview in school and 2 days of orientation to the philosophy and teaching formats used in the school..

Student Outdoor Curriculum

  • 5th July : Grade I students taken to Reliance Supermarket, to understand whether they are able to apply concepts learnt in the class, in the outside world.
  • 22nd July : Pre-Vocational, Grade 4 and the Senior school students and teachers were taken for a movie, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, a biopic on the life of legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh, which everyone obviously enjoyed. The whole hall was booked so that we could edit certain sexually explicit and violent scenes and make it a wholesome educational experience. The teaching of social skills before and after the movie was intense. Breakthrough in sitting tolerance, fear of the dark, standing in a Q, learning to wait, etc; were achieved. The 2 sister organizations, Shraddha Charitable Trust & Om Creations were united too. Thank you for your commitment, Tejal Teacher.

Staff Empowerment

  • 4th-6th June : New teachers recruited for the academic year 2013-14 were Oriented into the teaching methods, ISO procedures and the new Maths system by the Principal, Vice-Principal, Smidha D'Souza and Fionika Sanghvi. This was a follow up to a similar orientation programme that was held on 17th April.
  • 10th June : Staff interaction – Morning session: Happy sharing amongst the staff & management followed by Management review by Kashmira. Later, Fionika, Saloni & Parul gave a brief about the Prayas seminar held at Bangalore and how I pads could be used as a medium of instruction for special children, followed by a Yoga session conducted by Suketu Das & Manisha from Vipasana.
  • 11th June : Radiant Teacher, a capacity building workshop was conducted by Dr. Khanna. The first exercise involved strategy building, followed by another exercise on creativity and thinking out-of-the-box. Both the exercises involved working individually as well as in a group. It broadened the perception of the teachers regarding Special Education, keeping balance and movement in their teaching styles. To conclude the session, a silent break was given for staff to reflect and dwell upon the events of the day.
  • 17th June : Maths meet organized by Kalpana Kapadia to discuss the performance of the students in the Pratham Maths exams held in April 2013.
  • 08th July : Ruchi Kumar from Drishtant gave a presentation to the admin staff of the school as well as Shraddha and Om Creations about 'donorcare', software dealing with various intricacies of fund raising.
  • Renu Jhaveri from Work World Skills conducted a workshop on 'Writing effective self-assessments' for the teachers, who took an enthusiastic part during Lunch hours. It was held for once a week for a month, starting 18th July Shireen Palia, Counsellor, conducted a Group Discussion with the teachers to create awareness about various concepts related to IQ and to establish a link between the child's IQ score and his/her performance in the class.

    Dr. Vahbiz from Art of Living conducted a class of Art Excel with Grade 4. To begin with she did Kriya with the students for 3 consecutive days. After this, she has been visiting the school every Tuesday


Parent Meetings

  • Manisha Suru, Clinical Audiologist, conducted an orientation programme for the parents on 19 & 20th June briefing them about their wards Speech needs. As a follow up, she would be having a one‐on‐one with the Parents so as to enable them to better communicate with their children at home. We are trying out a new method in which the Speech Therapist, Ms. Suru visits twice a week, meets the parents with their wards and gives a programme to be followed at home. The parents need to take this seriously and keep to appointments.

Enhanced Learning Centre

  • AIT was administered to Atul Sridhar from Chennai, Saira Jagtiani from Mumbai and Sridhar Ramakrishnan from Dubai.
    Srinivas Ramakrishna from the School took advantage of it as well..

Sports/Camps

  • Sahil Baride & Kiara Nazareth participated in the preparatory camp held at Chennai from 13‐18th July 2013 for the SOAP Games to be held in Australia, in December..

Volunteers: Students from USA & Sophia College

    Name Class Country
    Jamie Badenoch Grade 4 London, UK
    Federico Paschetto Grade 3A London, UK
    Maya Hendricks Visual Arts Atlanta, US
    Shayaan Hendricks OPC Atlanta, US
    Armaan Hendricks Sports Atlanta, US
    Sarah Drummond Skills Enhancement Atlanta, US
    Reza Daftarian H&C Atlanta, US
    Karan Chatlani Maths Lab & WWS Lagos, Nigeria
  • Local Volunteers : Jehan Vakharia, Simin Patrawala, Jahan Oberoi, Sneha Shah, Karan Rao, Deepti Kumari, Shreya Jain, Karan Chatlani, Aditi Kacheria, Renu Chaudhary, Shruti Parekh, Jagruti Doshi, Kimaya Mehra, Nikara Prathap.
    There has to be special mention of Saumya Mody, who was of tremendous support, helped Dr. Khanna, a great deal, in creating a blog for the school
    15 SYBA (Psychology) students of Sophia College volunteered at the School, for 2 weeks, to gain experience in their field. Thank you very much all of you for your support!!

Outreach Programmes

  • 18th June : A group of 20‐25 students doing MA in Social work and the faculty from TISS visited the school for an
    orientation as part of their academic curriculum.
  • 9th July : 16 SYBA (Psychology) students from Sophia College were orientated with the working of the school and will be
    volunteering for20 hours each as part of their academic curriculum.
    They have been assigned to various classes, as well as given lunch duty.
  • 15th July : Two students of TISS, Marie Provenchere and Shikha Rana, placed in the school, for fieldwork for the current
    academic year, as part of their annual placement.

International Conference on Special Education

  • 7th‐11th July : Sr. Gaitonde, Dr Khanna & Fionika Sanghvi attended the 13th Biennial Conference of IASE, in Vancouver,
    British Columbia, Canada.
    Sr Gaitonde and Dr Khanna were on a panel for volunteering in India and Bangladesh.
    Sr Gaitonde and Dr Khanna also presented "Teaching Teenagers the Intricacies of Diamond Sorting for inclusion in the Industry"…it was presented as a super skill.
    Dr Khanna assisted by Fionika Sanghvi made a presentation on "Bring in Balance in the Classroom", a yoga workshop and Dr Khanna helped by Tamar Apel made another presentation, viz; "Educating Students with ASD in the Use of Money Independently In Real Situation".
    After the conference, Sr. Gaitonde attended International network of Sacred Heart Schools at Atherton, California on the forum of Spirituality of Janet Erskine Stuart that infuses Sacred Heart philosophy in our Schools across the globe.

Spreading Awareness in Foreign Lands

  • Paintings by Students were displayed at the Children's Hospital, Los Angeles, California through the concerted efforts of our voluntary Art Teacher,
    Tejal Mehta and Bransdall Arts. Click here to view http://www.spjsadhana.org/paintings_exhibited.php

Visitors

  • 21st June : Binoxi Arora alongwith Dnyanada Karnad from the Axis Bank Foundation visited the School and had a one‐toone with the Principal.
  • 24th June : Mr. B.B. Shah, Bank of Baroda ‐ DGM along with Mr. Rao visited the School and distributed gifts amongst the students.

Conclusion

    The unusually heavy rains this season hasn't washed out the enthusiasm of the Staff and students. Only on 24th July was there a thin attendance of students, but the staff valiantly braved it all…while most of the campus institutions were
    closed – we worked!
    We count on you to help us sustain this educational space, towards which any amount would be gratefully received.
    God bless you!!



March - April 2013
"A happy life consists not in the absence but in the mastery of Hardships" – Helen Keller

End of term exams, reports, staff empowerment days and beginning of the New academic year saw a very hectic period for staff and a welcome break for students.

Visitors

  • 14th March : Officials from the South African Dept of Basic Education and one delegate from the British Council visited the school from 11.30am - 1pm. After observing students in classrooms, they saw a documentary, "Breaking Barriers" followed by a talk and discussion on "India's approach to Special needs & Policies" by Sister Gaitonde & Dr Khanna. Juice and snacks were provided at the end of the session.

Some of the comments by the delegates:
  • "Reach them to Teach them". I have found the perfect learning space -- where learners have been reached, and teachers know the value of "teach". A purposeful, practical, empowering learning programme in a very enabling environment. I leave here filled with a feeling of possibility - every learner can learn; every learner achieves at his / her own level. Thank you. - Jenny Kinnear, Director: Curriculum Implementation and Quality Improvement (GET) Department of Basic Education, Republic of South Africa.
  • "I was really impressed with the commitment, dedication and skills of the staff. Your curriculum is geared towards the needs of the learners and gives hope and a future for them. I learnt a lot from you and congratulate you on an excellent school." - Caroline Grant, English Language Advisor, British Council, South Africa.
  • "This an excellent example of what every school in the world should be like, namely it is holistic, individual and group – paced and based. All the necessary requirements for dealing with inclusive learning have been taken into consideration. The school to work arrangement is outstanding. Keep up the excellent work! We would like to interact with you." - Haroon Mahomed, Department of Basic Education, Republic of South Africa.
  • 2nd April : As it was World Autism Day, students from IIT Powai visited the school with R.Sandesh, the Assistant Professor.


Volunteers

Neha Shah from Detroit has spent 6 months volunteering in our School.
Beatrice Teuil, a French Physiotherapist gave 6 weeks of service in our school.
We will miss their valuable help in June.


Intensive Integration Programme

  • 8th March : IIP - Grade III went for their Intensive Integration Programme outing to Karjat for 2 nights. Even though this was the first time that the children spent 2 nights away from their parents and home, they adjusted extremely well to their new surroundings. They all participated enthusiastically in the outdoor and indoor activities and one student surprised everyone by swimming like a fish!


Student Outdoor Curriculum

  • 8th March : 9 Pre Voc class students visited the local Bank of Baroda branch to learn about withdrawal of cash from ATMs. It was a hands on experience and enhanced cognitive understanding. Students who don't normally respond in the classroom were very excited and showed interest.


Competitions

Visual Arts class students participated in an Art Competition at the Nehru Centre from 9.30am to 3.30pm. Our students won 7 out of the 9 awards under separate categories: 2nd & consolation prize in the mild category, 1st & 2nd prizes in Moderate category and 1st, 2nd & 3rd prizes in the severe category.


Awards

  • 15th March : Dr Khanna won certificate of merit on behalf of Om Creations under the category of "Charitable Association" awarded at the 25th Jamnalal Bajaj Uchit Vyavahar Puraskar, Council for Fair Business Practices held at Indian Merchants' Chamber, Churchgate. Constituted in 1996 the organization recognizes and commemorates businessmen and industrialists who uphold the highest ethical practices in business. Deepak Parekh, Chairman of HDFC Bank was Chief Guest.

  • 10th April : The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2013, Charity Awards Gala Night was held on 10th April 2013 at the Trident. A total of Rs 18.61 CR was raised by 215 NGOs during this Marathon Season. The School was one amongst 7 NGOs chosen for a special award on the occasion, although we had one of the least amounts collected! We appeal to Corporates to do the Corporate Challenge to support us in Marathon 2014.


43rd Babjee Art Competition held in 2012 our students won 7 Gold, 7 Silver, 6 Copper, 7 State awards, 12 Highly Commended certificates and 11 Commended certificates.

Outreach Programmes

  • 12th March : Presentation of the pilot study conducted by the TISS students on students and teachers and parents of Om Creations and Shraddha Charitable Trust. Aim of the study was to check the effectiveness of vocational training provided by SPJ Sadhana School. It was an enlightening study that needs to be extended to ex-students of the school in open placement.

  • 13th March : Dr Khanna did a presentation on Autism at IIT, Powai.


Medical Camps

  • 14th April : A special medical camp was conducted by Dr. Nishit Shah, ENT specialist, to assess the hearing ability of our students as we had done EYES last year, we now went for an ENT check up.


Pratham Exams

  • 2nd - 9th April : Some of our students appeared for the Pratham exams. Our school was a centre for the exams. Many students from other special schools also came to our centre.


Staff Empowerment

  • 12th - 15th March: One teacher participated in the Special Olympics "Get into it & Project Unify Training Workshop" held in Delhi.

  • 4th & 5th, 8th & 9th April: Staff interaction. On the 4th there was a talk by Ms. Manisha Suru - Clinical Audiologist. On the 4th & 5th internal audits were conducted. On the 8th Dr Khanna continued capacity building exercises. The 9th saw skits performed by the teachers.


Parent Meetings

  • 26th March: Parents meeting with Bank of Baroda regarding payment of fees. In 3 batches – 10am – Vocational classes, 10.30am – Grades I-IV, Skills & Pre Voc, 11am – concessional fees.

  • 2nd & 3rd April: Open Days for parents to meet the teachers about their child's progress.


Enhanced Learning Centre

AIT was administered to our own student and an outside student.
A lot of assessments were done pre-admission on Saturdays and holidays.

Special Assembly

  • 18th March: Special Assembly on "Holi" performed by the students of the Skills Enhancement, Hospitality & Catering Dept and Office Procedures classes. The Chief Guest for the occasion was, Ms Kulsum Jamal, of the newly opened Shangri-La Hotel, Lower Parel, Mumbai.


Outside Functions Attended

  • 23rd April: Sr Gaitonde and Dr Khanna attended the 65th Anniversary of Israel's Independence as guests of the Consul General, Mrs Orna Sagiv. They met many old friends and made new ones. Lenny Ravich entertained all with his humour and his 10 points on how to "Dance Life.. Don't Drag it." His bestselling book "A Funny Thing Happened on the way to Enlightenment" was sold out in 10 minutes!


Celebrations

  • 26th March: Last day for students for the academic year 2012-13. Students celebrated Holi in the basketball court, getting into the spirit of the festival one day in advance!

  • 26th April: Last day before Summer holidays, saw a "party" atmosphere in School. There was lunch followed by movies and dancing. We celebrated the birthdays of Dr Radhike Khanna, Ranjana Mahadevia and Nisha Jhaveri. The Babjee medals/certificates and Sports medals were given to thunderous applause. The students left with gifts to enjoy the holidays.



January - February 2013
"Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution" – William A. Foster

2nd Jan: School reopens after Xmas break

Staff Empowerment

  • 3rd & 10th Jan : Staff meeting with Om Creations regarding duties, logistics for the upcoming Sports Day
  • 12th Feb : Workshop on Proposal Writing for Fund Raising conducted by Shalini Rattan from 2.30pm – 4.45pm was very helpful for Admin Staff of SPJS, Om Creations & Shraddha.
  • 8th & 9th Feb : MYAAS Community Coaches Training Workshop conducted by Rajashri Ghosalkar Part III training for teachers in kabbadi, cricket, volley ball. Divided in 2 parts – theory and practical. It was much appreciated.
  • 15th Feb : Two teachers attended a seminar hosted by Samvedna – 2013, presented by Pratham council of Vulnerable children (PCVC), partner in Nirmala Niketan college held at St. Pius College, Goregaon East from 9.30am to 6pm.
    Topics discussed
    • Inclusive education - panel discussions
    • Vocational education - panel discussions and educational stalls


Meetings – Parents

  • 12th Feb : Sr Gaitonde and 3 teachers brainstormed with a few key parents on how to make the school sustainable. A huge Corpus is needed, just to sustain the school at this level of excellence.

Special Assembly

  • 30th Jan: Special Assembly on "Martyr's Day" done by students of the Pre Vocational class. Chief guest Sr Theresa from Shewi and 2 honoured guests, Maureen Chen & Sonal Shah from "Future of Power" organization. It was a difficult theme but the students portrayed it well.

Sports/Camps

  • 11th - 12th Jan : Heats & Bi‐Annual Sports Day finals. The event was a huge success and was sponsored by Bank of Baroda. Their General Manager, Mr J.D. Parmar of the Greater Mumbai Zone was the Chief Guest. This year we honoured the Champions by distributing 8 trophies, one each for the girls and the boys under the following categories: Sportmanship Spirit – Juniors, Junior Sports Championship, Senior Sports Championship and Master Sports Championship. Our outstanding athletes who won awards at National and International games were also felicitated. A parent had this to say, "The Bi‐annual Sports event held over the weekend was just what we were looking for ‐ a wonderful atmosphere, participative spirit and camaraderie amongst all. It was fantastic to see all the young kids sweating‐out to prove themselves before the parents and the volunteers supporting their endeavour to win a position on the podium."


Student Outdoor Curriculum

  • 18th Jan: Grade II outing to restaurant H2O at Chowpatty. One student had a "breakthrough" whilst getting into the boat - he overcame his fear of unsteady surfaces. All had a great time.
  • 22nd Jan: Grades I & II outing to Funky Monkey at Lower Parel where students showed progress in their self-direction abilities. This was also an orientation to the 8th Feb outing.
  • 23nd Jan: Visual Arts students went to Om Creations from 12.15pm to 3pm for a pre-wedding reception to Rishab Khanna and his fiancée, Tatania.
  • 24nd Jan: WWS class attended a student's birthday party at a Thai Restaurant from 12.15pm to 3.30pm.
  • 25nd Jan: 20 students and 3 teachers/volunteers attended a Republic Day function at CCI Club as part of their CSR activity they hosted a special entertainment evening along with Mumbai First, for the Specially Abled Children of the city at 4.30 pm. The programme was attended by various dignitaries, Chairman of Mumbai First, Roger Pereira was also present. The children participated in all the activities like magic show, spinning the ball with a clown. One student sang the National Anthem.
  • 26nd Jan: 25 students and 3 staff attended a Rotary Club Republic Day programme at KC College from 9.45am-12noon. A yoga display was staged by our students. Some of our students received partial scholarships.
  • 3rd Feb: Students attended a Fun n Frolic evening organized ZYNG, the youth wing of the Parsi Panchayat for differently abled children of Mumbai from 5pm-8pm. The children enjoyed a magic show, dancing and the free candy floss and pop corn. Sadhana School also put up a stall.
  • 8th Feb: Junior school full day outing to Phoenix Market City, Kurla where students enjoyed a train ride, Snow World and a 5D movie. Students were terrified of the images on the screen but a few managed to sit quietly through the entire movie.
  • 8th Feb: Polytechnic classes outing to Kala Ghoda Festival from 11am to 3pm. The Office Procedure students had taken their cameras and took some very meaningful photographs. The Visual Arts students also attended a student's birthday lunch at Copper Chimney whilst there.
  • 18th Feb: WWS class picnic to Tikuji-ni-Vadi (Dinosaur amusement park) hosted by the parents of 2 students for a birthday party. Students who were apprehensive of water and heights, overcame their fear and joined in the fun with others and went on the rides.the teachers had to match the multiple disability of the student to which rides were safe.
  • 22nd Feb: Grade II went boating at Mafatlals Club at Chowpatty. They all overcame fears.
  • 25th -28th Feb: Skills Enhancement & Grade IV Intensive Integration Programme to Mahableshwar. Some very autistic kids had very challenging behaviours which the teachers managed without letting them spoil the fun.
  • 27th Feb: Grade III had an overnight stay at the school in preparation for their IIP to Karjat In March.


Exhibitions

  • 22 - 24th Feb: We participated at an Exhibition-cum-Sale, "A Not so Casual Kitchen" at Raghuvanshi Mills. It was organized by The Fuschia Tree, which is a young ecosystem for artists, designers, writers and curators to showcase exceptional new talent in India. The design show was tightly curated with a strong thematic of Kitchen Accessories and showcased designers who work with different mediums and styles, Kitchen Accessories show aspired to bring together some of the best new designers to a discerning audience. We were happy to have the exposure on this level and many visitors came to know about us for the first time. One of the organizers, Chanda Barrai commented, "It was an absolute pleasure to have SPJ Sadhana participate at A Not So Casual Kitchen. I am very touched with the work and training you impart to your students and also the work the volunteers do at the school."

Visitors

  • 8th Jan: Dnyananda Karnad from Axis Bank visited the school on an update visit.
  • 9th Jan: Maria de Vecchio, from Kincoppal, Rose Bay, Australia visited the school with her husband and 4 children. 2 of the children, twins, Anthony and Annalee volunteered at the school for 2 weeks.
  • 16th Jan: We hosted NRTT's Health Portfolio's Quarterly Review Meeting from 9.50am to 12.45pm followed by lunch. We were happy they visited as we are grateful to them for our school extension.
  • 17th Jan: Photoshoot for new school brochure and visit by the Social Welfare Dept inspectors.
  • 23rd Jan: 22 students and 1 staff member from SNDT University, Masters in Clinical Psychology Dept visitedthe school from 9.30am – 12.30pm in the form of an educational institutional visit. They saw a couple of documentaries on the School, based on Sadhana's growth through the years, observed students in the classroom and then had snacks. They were amAzed at the high level of education in Sadhana, in terms of both facilities and teacher competence. Some of their comments are as follows:
    "SPJ Sadhana is a school with dedicated staff and superior infrastructure. The children are blessed to be here." – Dr Anita Sanu (Professor, Dept of Psychology, SNDT University)
    "Our heads were lowered looking at the work and dedication of the teachers, which even students like us can't do. They love unconditionally. I am now confident that these students can survive in this world" – Vaidehi Lotlikar – student, SNDT University.
    "This school proves that if you have a problem you can overcome it" – Shaikh Farha, student, SNDT University.
  • 5th Feb: We hosted a lunch for 8 Provincials of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Asian Region. They also then visited and interacted with the students. They were impressed by the excellent and effective education imparted.
  • 18th Feb: 4 teachers and 2 students from Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton, California visited the school.


International Volunteers

  • 10th - 23rd Jan: Anthony and Annalee del Vecchio from Australia volunteered for 2 weeks. One was in Grade IV and one in Pre Voc. They hope to return as they had a very positive experience.
  • 13th Feb - 23rd Mar: Beatrice, a physiotherapist from France was in the school working hands on with the students for 6 weeks.


Enhanced Learning Centre

  • 28th Jan: AIT for Rhea Nadkarni from Vile Parle.
  • 4th Feb: Vernon Dias, Fenil Bafna & Srinivas Ramakrishnan, students of the School started AIT.

November - December 2012
The most important question to ask on the job is not "what am I getting" but "what am I becoming" - Jim Rohn November began with the Internal Audit findings and preparation for the Exhibition at a General Staff meeting.

Staff Empowerment

  • 30th Nov - 4th Dec: Sr Gaitonde, Dr Khanna & Ranjana Mahadevia attended Workshop by Dr. Hazel Wardha, an Australian. It was based on the Research of three Russian doctors and went by the name Dr Arcady Petrov "Tree of Life." A film was shown of Indigo children, Autistic kids in Japan, whose perceptions are so different from the so called normal.
  • 30th Nov: Tamar, our mathematician from Israel visited the school. First workshop for new teachers .
  • 1st , 2nd, 14th Dec: Balance & Let's Talk Math workshop by Tamar Apel, the Israeli expert, for all teachers.


Workshops for Parents

    Staff Staff Workshop with Rishabh Khanna
  • 12th Dec / 13th Dec: Math Workshop for parents. Comment by parent, Anita Menon," I would like to convey my thanks to Ms. Tamar Apel for giving her valuable time to us. My sincere thanks to the Principal and Vice Principal for giving us an opportunity to attend such a programme. It was our first opportunity and I learnt so much from this wonderful programme. Ms. Apel gave us easy techniques to teach our children many concepts. The main problem faced by us was in the handling of money matters by our children. But Ms Apel made this problem look easy by showing us ways to teach our children the concept of money. We hope that the school keeps such programmes in future also. Thanks once again."

Special Assembly and Christmas Celebrations

  • 21st Dec: Special Assembly on Christmas by the Formative Years classes. Chief Guests were Mr & Mrs Pranav Shah. The children showed how Christmas is celebrated around the world. The carols were sung in the languages of the various countries, this was part of our Global education programme. Before the Assembly the students decorated their classes, wrote on red hearts their Christmas message, which was then put on the Christmas tree. After the Assembly, there was Priyanshi's birthday party, a movie and then a Xmas lunch and a fun‐filled visit from Santa.

Sports/Camps

  • 1st - 7th Nov: One student from our school was selected for the Softball team to represent Special Olympics Bharat Maharashtra at the Softball National Games 2012, held in Alwar, Rajasthan. Ms. Rajashri Ghosalkar was selected as an Escort for the team. Rituparna Charkravarthy won a Gold at the National Chamionships in Nov and also a Gold at the State level in Dec. Sagar Hate won a Silver at the State level.

    All through the Christmas holidays the students have been at Amarsons Park for Sports practice. We are grateful that they have allowed us to use the Park free after closing hours.


Student Outdoor Curriculum

  • 20th Nov: students of H&C dept and WWS class invited for Navy Week celebrations at INS Shikra, a Navy base in Mumbai for a demonstration and display of Naval helicopters. They were picked at 7.45am by a Navy bus and returned in the afternoon.
  • 14th Dec: 10 students from H & C dept attended the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show at World Trade Centre from 1pm ‐ 3.30pm.


Competitions

  • 14th Dec: 34 students participated in Splash Art Competition organized by Concern India Foundation at R.N. Podar School, Santacruz West. We won two Awards - these students received a certificate of Honour, the rest certificates of Participation.


Celebrations

  • 2nd Nov: Baby shower for Simida. An afternoon of fun, games and entertainment. We were happy to have her family join us. She delivered a baby boy on 21st December.


ISO Audits

  • 11th Dec: ISO External Audit. We were recertified for ISO 9001:2008.


Inauguration

  • 12th Dec: Inauguration of Math Lab at 12.40pm by Mrs Khandelwal (Sr) and Tamar's booklet was released. We are the only school with a Math Lab.


CREATING AWARENESS IN SOCIETY

A. Through Visitors
  • 22nd Nov: DCP Suhas Warkhe visited the school.
  • 23rd Nov: 30 employees from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt. Limited spent their "Impact Day" at our school from 9.30am - 3.30pm. They were assigned to different classes in small groups to observe how our students were taught. They were awed by the experience - they hadn't expected such a holistic education.
  • 26th Nov: Mr Salim Laher, Music Therapist, Trustee OKMT, from U.K. visited the School. He said we were unique in the world to have so many interdisciplinary approaches to educate the child.
  • 7th Dec: 75 FYBA students of St.Andrews College, Bandra visited the Exhibition as part of their studies.
  • 13th Dec: 46 B.Sc nursing students from Bombay Hospital visited the school.
  • 20th Dec: 14th - 2nd year RGNM students & 2 supervisors from Parsi General Hospital visited the school.

B. Through Exhibitions
  • 20th & 21st Nov: We participated in the NGO Asia Expo & CSR Live Week at World Trade Centre showcasing and selling products made by our children. It was a 2 day event and more than 150 Corporations, Foundations and NGOs participated.

    7th & 8th Dec: School Annual Exhibition inaugurated by Chief Guest, Karuna Bhatia, Head of Sustainability - India & South Asia , Standard Chartered Bank. The Learning Wall on "Balance" attracted many people. The venue was bright and colourful taking the visitors by surprise. The Hospitality and Catering class were kept busy as their much appreciated menu drew the crowds. The work on display in the various sections was much appreciated and admired. Visitors couldn't ....

    19th & 20th Dec: We participated at an exhibition hosted by Deloitte.


WE WISH YOU A PEACE FILLED 2013

SOS – We hope you will help us build a Corpus that will keep this exciting educational space going……
September - October 2012
The months of September-October till the first week of November had a lot of mixture of planned excitement, celebrations and hard work of examinations, Reports, Open Days – read on……

Staff Empowerment

    Staff Staff Workshop with Rishabh Khanna
  • 3rd Sept: Representatives of Monsher Fire Control visited the school to give a demonstration on how to use the fire extinguishers to all levels of staff.
  • 11th Sept: Art of Living – Kriya Meditation for teachers who had already done the Basic Course at School from 3.30pm to 4.15pm. This is conducted on every Wednesday in school.
  • 23rd Oct: Balance Workshop.
  • 23rd Oct: Workshop conducted by Rishabh Khanna, Organization Development Consultant.
  • 23rd & 25th Oct: Sports Workshop by Rajashri Community Coaches Camp.
  • 25th Oct: Mr Shankar Sharma from Celebra, BrainTech gave a demo on Cerebra Turbo Brain to all staff at 12pm.
  • Staff Outgoing to Alibag
  • 31st Oct: Staff interaction to Alibaug on "Balance." Staff encouraged to do water sports and fade out fears of water





Sports/Camps

Congratulations to Sports Coach Rajashri and all the winners!
    Sahil Baride - Winner – Special Olympics
  • 10th-17th Sept: Special Olympics Global Swimming Event at San Juan, Puerto Rico attended by one student, Sahil Baride, who participated in 3 events. He won a Silver medal for 25m butterfly. Silver in the 50m Breast stroke and came in 4th in the 100m freestyle.
  • 11, 12, 13, 25, 26, 27 Sept: Softball Coaches training programme from 11.30am-4pm at Andheri Sports Complex attended by Rajashri and 7 students.
  • 15th Sept: AWMH Maharashtra level Table Tennis competition. Our students won 4 medals: 2 Gold, 1 Silver & 1 Bronze.
  • 24th Sept: EKS Day-Sports Festival. Unified Sports for Volley Ball and Hand Ball at Andheri Sports Complex from 10am to 5pm. Unified Game is where special athletes & normal athletes of the same ability form one team.
  • 25, 26, 27 Sept: Softball Coaches training programme from 11.30am-4pm at Andheri Sports Complex attended by Rajashri and 7 students.
  • Table Tennis winners
  • 30th Sept: 2 students attended Mumbai District Softball team selection.
  • 12-30th Oct: State & National Coaching Camp for Softball at Andheri Sports Complex. 6 students and 2 staff.
  • 31st Oct-7th Nov: National Event for Softball in Alwar, Rajasthan. Maharashtra team won the Gold and so did our student, Rituparna Chakravarty.



Intensive Integration Programme

  • 2nd-5th Oct: Pre Voc class excursion to Goa was a great success with many "breakthroughs".

Student Outdoor Curriculum

There is a goal for each child in these outings, to improve social skills and learn more about the world beyond school and home
  • 18th Sept: Grade III Sanjana birthday outing.
  • 21st Sept: Grades I & II visit a student's housing colony to pay respects to Ganpati.
  • 5th & 12th: Grades I & II integrate with students of Kinderland School in Tardeo from 10am- 12.30pm.
  • 11th Oct: Students of Grade III attend Anoushka's birthday party at her home.
  • 15th Oct: 7 Students & 3 Staff of H&C visited Bisleri Factory in Vile Parle to understand the process of making bottled water/drinks.
  • 16th Oct: WWS students celebrate Aakash's birthday, attend movie and lunch.
  • 19th Oct: Visual Arts class outing – birthday party of 3 students at Cuffe Parade.
  • 22nd Oct: Grades I & II visit Kidville at Phoenix Mills from 9.30pm-12.30pm to encourage balance, dissolve fears and enjoy the rides. Balance theme continued on 1st & 2nd November.


Celebrations

  • 5th Sept: Lunch organized by PTA for all staff at Vivanta Taj President from 1pm-4pm
  • Celebrations
  • 13th Oct: Silver Jubilee Celebration party for Dr Khanna's 25 years of generous service to SPJ Sadhana School was held at ITC Grand Maratha, Parel. The staff sang songs composed specially on Radhike and everyone had a wonderful time. The "wonderful spirit in Sadhana" was talked about by visitors in awe.
  • 30th Oct: Rocking Divali party for students and staff, arranged by the PTA. There were games, and music, moonwalker and of course the eats! Children had a ball!


  • Diwali Party









Joy of Giving Week

  • 8th Oct: Sophia Polytech students share biscuits and sweets with our students for "Joy of Giving" week.
  • 8th Oct: Students from Sophia College gave a dance performance and played games with the Formative Years students from 1.30pm-3.30pm.


ISO Audits

  • 8th Oct: Commencement of internal audits. All NCs closed by 25th Oct. There was a General Management Reps summing up of the audit to all staff on 1st Nov 2012.


Inauguration

  • 4th Sept: Sr Gaitonde & Dr Khanna and students of Work World Skills class attend inauguration of the elevator at Shraddha Charitable Trust. Chief Guest Shri Jayant Patil, Minister of Rural Development.


Outside Functions Attended

  • 3rd Oct: Sr Gaitonde and Ranjana Mahadevia attend Day of German Unity celebration at Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai. Cocktails and dinner was preceded by a concert performed by violinists, The Twiolins and sitarist, Asad Khan.


Examinations

  • 24th Sept-5th Oct: Exams were held and staff had to balance corrections with ongoing school work and then write reports


Visitors

  • 27th Sept: Life Science MSc students from Main College visit the school to understand disability and so study neurobiology.
  • 8th Oct: Visitors from Lions Club Main presented the School with a LaserJet printer on their visit to school.
  • 9th Oct: Mr Bimal & Mrs Nipa Desai, from C.H.Shah & Co invited as guests to assess the H & C students for their F & B service exam.
  • 30th Oct: Mr Ranjith Pillai, Training Manager from The Lalit Hotel, Andheri visited the school.


Open Days

  • 29th & 30th Oct: It is a joy always to meet the parents and help them see the growth in their child and where they need to complement school teachings in the home.

WE WISH EACH AND ALL A WONDERFILLED DIWALI AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!

HELP: WE NEED YOU TO HELP US RUN THE SCHOOL. DONATE TO THE CORPUS
July - August 2012
Take a deep breath, for we have been at a breathless pace, as usual?!
The month of July saw us meet parents of every class separately for an Orientation. They all viewed a presentation on the class outdoor curriculum. The feedback from parents has been very positive and this close interaction appreciated. The Principal made an appeal to all parents to help build a Corpus to maintain the quality of education being imparted.

"We could see the efforts put in by the teacher team, mainly through the PPT in the orientation programme. Anoushka refused to come home with me when I came to pick her after the Malad trip. She wanted to stay back." – Nisha Tandon, mother of Anoushka Tandon, Grade III.

"Siddharth as such, is very fond of outings. But yes, after this trip he as well as us are more confident about his ability to travel alone" – Mrs Singh, mother of Siddhart Singh, Visual Arts Dept.

The PTA Committee met in early August to plan the programmes of the year. They also represented a few points of the parents for improvement in some school services.


Inauguration Ceremonies on

    Hydrotherapy Room
  • The Inauguration functions on 27th July were simple yet dignified. The Kakubhai Tanna Foundation AV Room was inaugurated by Mrs Tanna (Sr) and Dipak Tanna. Jyoti Sheth also made it a point to attend.
  • The Mahadevia Suite, Mock Room was inaugurated by Aditya and Ranjana Mahadevia.

  • They also gave students certificates for the best holiday homework project done.
  • This was followed by the inauguration of the Work World Skills department, by Mrs Padmini Somani accompanied by Ms Leni Chaudhuri from Narottam Seksaria Foundation.
  • All the Chief Guests were highly appreciative of the work done in the school and the sumptuous snacks served by the Hospitality & Catering department.

Staff Empowerment

  • 31st July: Staff interaction. Getting to know each other – meeting and interacting with the new staff Popularisation and Training Programme of 'PUNARJJANI', a special soft ware for Special Schools located in Mumbai and Thane at Media Lab Asia, Mumbai on 30th and 31st August, 2012. 2 staff attended on each day.
  • 31st Aug: Staff meeting in the afternoon. An inspiring movie on " Temple Grandin" was shown to all staff to help them go beyond seemingly bizarre behavior of a high functioning Autistic, and to understand the different perception of Autistic students. "Autism gave Temple a vision, she gave it a voice."



Sports/Camps

  • The Sports/Physical training is on in full swing for all the classes in the new Gym.
  • 20th July: Rajashri attended the softball coaching training programme.
  • 25/26/27th Aug: Softball training from 12-4pm attended by Rajashri and 5 students.

Parent Orientation/Meetings

  • 5th July: Parent Orientation for the parents of new students.
  • 9th, 10th & 12th July: Parent meetings.
  • 31st July: No school for students. Open Day for Junior School parents.


Our Enhanced Learning Centre is open to normal and special students and adults.

  • AIT for one of our students.
    SSS testing for 2 adults from Bangalore conducted by Dr Khanna.


Visit Abroad

  • 17th July – 26th July: Dr Khanna attended conference in Caux, Switzerland on "Global Initiatives for Change." Om Creations was presented as a "new model" to be replicated globally. The presentation on Om Creations was an eye opener for the International audience.


Student Outdoor Curriculum

  • 5th July: Grades III & IV went for lunch to McDonalds.
  • 6th July: The Visual Arts class went to Phoenix Mills for lunch – birthday celebrations of teacher Sheetal Arenja. They tried shopping in Big Bazaar before the meal.
  • 27th July: Work World Skills class go to a student's birthday outing.
    Birthday parties in public spaces help us to train in eating & social skills in the larger world.
  • 1st Aug: Office Procedures Class students go for training to Union Bank. The Office Procedures Class students have begun on internships in different offices.
  • 31st Aug: Entire school attend a special screening of Farah Khan's newly released movie, "Joker" at Globus Cinema, Bandra West. Transport, free tickets, snacks for all courtesy Farah Khan for 200 students/staff/careworkers.


Festival Celebrated

    Festival Celebrated
  • 10th Aug: Gokulashtami students made the pyramid and broke the "matka" with a lot of dancing and much joy.







Special Assembly

    Special Assembly Special Assembly
  • 14th Aug: Special Assembly for Independence Day done by Visual Arts Dept. Chief Guest: Mr & Mrs Siebert, German Consul General elect, Mumbai.






Outreach Programmes

  • 16th July: 2 - 1st year students of MA in Social Work from TISS students start their training till March 2013 at our school.
  • 27th July: Participated in SCESA Bazar on the Sophia Campus to create awareness of skills of our students.
  • 16th Aug: 32 trainees and 2 staff from NIMH- studying Diploma in Vocational Rehabilitation visited the school.
  • 23rd Aug: 25 students of B.Ed Special Education and 2 staff from NIMH visit the school from 1.30-3.30pm Sophia College students from the Psychology Dept placed here for hands on knowledge of the special child.


Other Visitors

  • 16th July: Mr Verma from State Bank of India visited the school. He offered to help us short list an IT project for the school.
  • 30th July: Mr. George Arakal -Director, Admin & Head, Corp HRD Government of India, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing Ministry of Comm. & Info Technology & Media Lab Asia visited the school.
  • Special Assembly Special Assembly 29th Aug: Farah Khan visited the school with 2 "aliens" to promote her new film, "Joker." It was a hilarious afternoon, students wearing the "Joker" t-shirt, danced away their disabilities with the Aliens, Kadu & Karela and Farah Khan. The programme was organized by UTV.
  • 30th Aug: College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan brought 3 students from Hes-so High School, Switzerland who were on an exchange programme, visiting different organizations working on various issues like children, women, etc for the day.

    Nicolussi Anais: "Sadhana School is very complete. I am so impressed about all the skills that the child can develop and the high level of the different workshops!"

    Rossier Camille: "Sadhana School provides to the children so much more than just education. This school has so many different specializations, I've never seen that before!"

    Pignat Loise: "I'm impressed about the different therapies you have: music, meditation, art, hydro…. Never seen hydrotherapy before!"


Student Exhibition

  • 21st July: Candle exhibition by OPC student, Rohan Hirani beginning his new business, "Allign"- With your feelings. This is a mother and son "project".


    We count on your support as always…and are grateful and can't do without it!

May - June 2012
May begins the Summer Vacation but we were busy on many fronts. The whole school building was painted and picture galleries arranged on landings. The Admin section relocated to the renovated 2nd floor.

The school was made more handicap friendly. The stairs have been fitted with reflective, coloured strips to make going up and down the staircase more visible for our low vision students. The lift has been made more handicapped friendly....music when in motion, announcement of each floor. The 4th & 5th floors have braille names outside each room.

On 2nd May Sr Gaitonde and Dr Radhike Khanna attended Israel's Independence Day Celebrations.
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Sports/Camps:

  • A Yoga Camp with Mr Amit for some students took place 30th April to 12th May.

    The Consul General of S.Africa sent mangoes at this time which was much appreciated.

Enhanced Learning Centre

  • Auditory Integration Training for students from normal schools and those from outside. Mumbai is usually in holiday time. Three students, one from Mumbai, one from Pune and one from Chennai were given treatment through the Enhanced Learning Centre.



Visit Abroad

  • From May 11th to 24th Dr Radhike Khanna on a family holiday to Israel, was invited to David Yellin College of Education, Jerusalem. She spoke on "Pedagogics - approach and practices in SPJ Sadhana School." This was very well received.

Staff Empowerment

  • 1st-4th June: Workshop conducted by Simida and Fionika on "Teaching Formats" for the 6 new teachers to introduce them to the school's methods of teaching Brain Gym.

  • 7th & 8th June: Beginning of term staff interaction meetings. Brain Gym/FACE programme was taught to all staff, for old staff a revision. Some comments from the teachers:

    " The brain gym session was very informative and very motivating frankly speaking, I realised the importance of brain gym with the two workshops of 7th and 8th! I was doing it because it was in the routine without really understanding the value of it! Thank you Sister and Dr Khanna for taking trouble and constantly reminding us to be enthusiatic and fruitful! " - Anju Daswani, WWS

    " The Brain Gym workshop done by Dr. Khanna gave an insight on the practical and dynamic application of the programme. It enabled me to understand the application of the PACE exercises bringing about Positive- Active- Clear- Energetic learning readiness by preparing the mind and the body to accept new information ." - Fionika Sanghvi, Grade IV

    " I was pleasantly surprised to find a change from the monotony of having to sit through a presentation to getting up and actually doing exercises that were fun. The song was catchy and when the exercises were done it was amazing that I could actually feel my body responding to them. Having experienced brain gym first-hand, I am now a true believer. " Ulka Patnaik, Pre Voc

    " As a new teacher it was a mind opening session, it was taught so well that it made me realize the importance of doing it in the class with the students."
    - Parul Mody, OPC



Inauguration of the new extension

  • 15th June: Inauguration of the 4th & 5th floors. Chief guest Deepa Misra Harris Senior Vice President - Sales & Marketing, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. Also present from the Taj Group were Ms Renu Basu, Chef Oberoi and Birgit Zorniger. Ms Parvathy Omanakuttan, Miss India-World 2008 also attended. Mr Dordi of Tobaccowalla Foundation, the architects, contractors and others were falicitated.


Student Outdoor Curriculum

  • 19th June: OPC class visited a bank at Walkeshwar Rd as training.
  • 22nd June: Pre Voc class went for a movie, celebrating the birthday of Fenil Bafna.
  • 22nd June: Grade IV visited Saher Agiary.
  • 25th June: Grade IV & Skills Enhancement students went to the movie, "Ferrari ka Sawari" at Metro cinema. The purpose was to teach students about relationships and sports.


Outreach Programmes

  • 19th June: 22 students from TISS, part of the M.A. in Social Work and M.A. in Social work with Disability Studies and Action programme visited the school.


Visitors from Abroad

  • June 28th: Margaret Ferguson from Kinkoppal Rose Bay School, Sydney, Australia visited Sr Gaitonde with some souvenirs of 130 year celebration of their school.
    Hydrotherapy Room


Other Visitors

  • 19th June : Dnyananda Karnad from Axis Bank Foundation spent the day in school.


The School celebrates....

  • June 29th and balloons, flowers, cards erupted everywhere. Sr Gaitonde's birthday was joyously celebrated. A Volunteer and 2 students, Hydrotherapy RoomZaver of Om Creations celebrated their birthdays by joining Sister in the cake cutting. A song composed by the Teachers was sung, followed by a magic show and a juggler show. The surprise was a 10 minute surprise appearance of "Shahrukh" who sang and danced from his movies and the students joined in.

    The lunch that followed was part sponsored by Ashokbhai Vyas, our contractor and part on the house specially monitored by the H & C staff.

    Face book of SPJ Sadhana carries photos of the Great Celebrations.


    INVEST IN A HANDICAP FRIENDLY SCHOOL!
    HELP BUILD A CORPUS TO KEEP IT ALIVE!!
    God Bless you.

March - April 2012
As usual a breathless pace of activities – Examinations, Reports, Open Days, ISO Audit, a new Term beginning mid-April, a flood of visitors, admission enquiries, settling in on the renovated 2nd floor, handing over the building for an internal paint job at the end of the Term – with all it means of putting things away, covering the class...and yet in this mess...assessing new admission applicants in a quiet spot!!
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Highlights of Intensive Integration Programme of 2 classes (IIP)

28th Feb - 5th Mar : OPC class to Delhi/Agra
  • Office Procedure Class visited New Delhi and studied 100 years old city. Visited the monuments, Qutub Minar and saw the "chor rastas" in old Lal Killa. The students were taught how to use the Metro. It made them very self-confident and independent in Travel. A day in Agra at Fatehpur Sikhri taught them the World Heritage Wonder monuments, we have in our country. They also had a wonderful time at the Kingdom of Dreams.

29th Feb - 2nd Mar : Grade III to Marve Beach JJ Holiday Home

  • The students really enjoyed their stay inspite of being away from their parents for the fisrt time. Especially our new student, who had started crying 2 weeks prior to the trip out of separation anxiety, was the one student who did not want to leave!

Student Outdoor Curriculum

    Four birthdays were celebrated in the homes of students --
  • 12th Mar: Visual Arts class and OPC students participated in a One day on the Spot art contest at Nehru Centre
  • 16th April: OPC students visited Shivam Shetty's shop at Shivaji Park
  • 20th Apr: WWS class took a bus to visit Shraddha & Om Creations
  • 23rd April: OPC students visited Rohan Hirani's Candle workshop at Vile Parle



Student Workshop : Caring for the Environment

  • 28th Mar: Tetra pack recycling workshop for Grade-IV, Skills Enhancement and Polytech students from 10.30am -11.30am conducted by Mrs Azam from RUR (reducing, reusing, recycling). It was well received. The school is in a big way on the Tetra pack recycling project.


Sports

  • 7th Mar: 17 students participated at a one day State level Special Olympics sports event at Kohli Stadium, Navy Nagar, Mumbai
  • 16th Mar: Inter school competition at Parsee Gymkhana, Mumbai organized by Get Fit, Mumbai
  • From 12th of April, the Formative years have been "Crawling" for 30 minutes daily as a part of Neuro-education Project.

Staff Empowerment

  • 28th Mar, 3rd & 4th April: Staff attend workshop on Functional Neuro education by Daya Bhagwandas Daya had a Parents/Staff Workshop for 2 days.
  • 30th Mar: There was a whole day workshop by Dr Khanna on Autism and the kind of challenges that were faced by our teachers
  • 30th Mar: Sr Gaitonde & Dr Khanna attended the Marico Innovation Foundation, "Innovation for India Awards" programme at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA, Mumbai
  • 4th April: Staff meeting. - Sharing of the Intensive Integration Programme by all teachers in the afternoon and workshop by Daya Bhagwandas on "Crawling"in the morning
  • 9th April: Staff meeting followed Stress management workshop conducted by Ms Mehta
  • 26th & 27th April: End of term staff meetings
    Math presentation by Kalpana Kapadia, followed by 2 other workshops, one for teachers on Teaching Formats and the other one for therapists with the school counselor, Kashmira Vazifdar.

    Autism taught with Understanding of the Students on the Spectrum by Dr Khanna was much appreciated. Some comments and feedback :
    "Dr Khanna was tremendous! Awesome ! I learnt so much more about autism and can now direct this learning towards making my role as a teacher of the autistic student a lot easier"
    - Ranjana Mahadevia.

    "Dr Khanna did not use any words to tell us what she was going to teach us. The mimes made us think and strive to figure out for ourselves and realize where she was headed. She imitated typical behaviours of students we knew, this created a connection and getting us involved in the learning process. We were helped to explore our own strategies."
    - Priyanjali Cotta.


Outside Functions Attended

  • 28th April: Sr Gaitonde & Dr Khanna attended the South African 18th Freedom Day & the Centenary of ANC Celebrations at Sofitel Hotel, BKC, Mumbai.


Outreach Programmes

  • 17th & 18th April: Lotus Eye Hospital had an Eye camp at our school for all students. Total number of Students screened at School were 104, of which 50 were normal, 15 were told to keep the same glasses, 7 were diagnosed with convergence Insufficiency, 3 diagnosed with Blepheritis and 29 are referred to the Hospital for further investigations.
  • Students were screened for further investigations for Vision with Snellen Tumbling E, Lotus Symbol PGP Chart and Lea Paddles. Objective Refraction, Subject Refraction, Cover Test, Pupil Examination, Occular Motibility, Near Point of Convergence and Near Point of Accommodation.


Enhanced Learning Centre

  • Sajida from Tanzania had a farewell and the mother left very encouraged with her progress. Remo re-located from Bangalore for our Services for the month of March 2012
  • 12th to 23rd March : Tim George from Dubai visited our school for AIT and Occupational Therapy sessions.
    Hydrotherapy Room


Visitors From Abroad

  • 19th March - 5th April : Daya Bhagwandas & Kim from Australia from Neuro-Education Network spent time in
    school observing, learning and understanding our systems and processes. Parents had a meeting with Daya on 2nd and 3rd of April.
  • 25th April : Nick Mitchell & Joanne Pearson from Leads Metropolitan University, U.K. visited the School to discuss some concrete ways to have mutually beneficial relations with us.


Other Visitors

  • 29th Mar: Visitors from Lions Club of Bombay Harbour spent time in our School
  • 12th April: German Consul General elect, Mumbai visited school to meet Sr Gaitonde & Dr Khanna
  • 16th April : Mr Shankar Sharma from Turbo Brain visited the school to meet Sr. Gaitonde & Dr Khanna with regard to explaining a new therapy "Turbo Brain"
  • 20th April: Mr Pranav Shah & Mr Vipul Shah visit the school
  • 23rd April: 12 housewives and 2 team members from Adhar Skills Development visit the school and have lunch at H & C. We will be creating modules to help them with newer skills.
  • 24th April: Ms Dynanada Karnad of Axis Bank Foundation and Dr Vidita Rakshit - Directress Sophia Polytechnic were invited to have lunch at H&C Dept and to assess the students on their service skills.
  • 25th April : Last day of school for students. Celebrated with an end of Term party. Some Students of Polytechnic Courses will be on internship during the holidays.


An Appeal From The Heart

    Hoping you will talk to your relatives and friends to help us build a large corpus to maintain quality innovative education for the mentally challenged multiply disabled.

    Every drop counts ... and we could do with a flood at this moment!!
    HAPPY FRUITFUL HOLIDAY to you
    God Bless you.

January - February 2012
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Student Outdoor Curriculum

Come January and February the school is geared to the Intensive Integration Programme outdoors. Grades I & II have multiple one day outings in January. Every student grows in and through these experiences.
  • 4th Jan: OPC students visited Union Bank on Nepean Sea Road, part of their regular training.
  • 18 Jan: Grade II visited Village at World Trade Centreth.
  • 20th Jan: Grade I visited Shantivan Garden.
  • 27th Jan: Grades I & II visited Hamleys Toy Store at Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel.
  • 1st Feb: Grades I & II: visited Traffic Park at Cooperage.
  • 6th Feb: Students of WWS saw a movie in the theatre at Atria Mall.
  • 7th - 12th Feb: Visual Arts class outdoor excursion to Trivandrum.
  • 8th Feb: Pre Voc for local outing to temples and mosques.
  • 8th - 10th Feb: Grade IV excursion to Matheran.
  • 20th - 23rd Feb: WWS & Skills Enhancement excursion to Ahmedabad.
  • 24th Feb - 28th Feb: H&C class to Goa.
  • 26th Feb - 2nd March: Pre Voc class to Mt Abu.

Highlights from the trips

  • Grade IV's trip to Matheran was a huge success, not only because the students had to overcome their fear of horse back riding, which they were able to do but they were totally fearless when it came to the large population of monkeys!
  • Pre Voc class visited Trevor's Tank which is a wildlife sanctuary where they read a forest prayer and learnt the importance to conserve natural resources and at the Tara Mandal Observatory they saw Planet Venus through their telescopic lens and connected it to the Solar System lesson done in class. The students also had to visit a temple on a mountain and to reach it had to use a ropeway. They also visited a Shawl factory and were shown how shawls were made from rabbit's fur. The rabbits were of a enormous size!
  • H&C had an educational visit to Ranjit Kelekar's house where they saw his plants, spices and demonstrations in Goan cuisine and feni making by him and the locals. The other highlight for them in Goa was the visit to Vivanta Taj to meet the famous Chef Rego, who demonstrated Goan cuisine and a visit to a room by the Housekeeping staff. For weeks no dolphins were sighted but our students attracted them and the dolphins "showed off."
  • The high point of the Visual Arts class was the visit to the Sri Chitra Art Gallery. The students of the Art department got the opportunity to see the painting of the famous artist Raja Ravi Verma. They were exposed to the different artistic forms and introduced to the art of various world famous artists. They painted on the shores of Kovalam Beach. At Udaigiri Fort, some of the students participated in rope sliding. 4 students traveled by air for the first time. On the return journey the children met Hari Haran, the famous singer at the airport. He was pleased to meet the students and gave away the prizes that they had won on the trip.
  • WWS class visited Kid's City which is a miniature City where children can role play various occupations. Our students visited the fire station, dentist's office and operating theatre where they got hands on experience. A class full of very challenged students learnt independent train and air travel.

Staff Empowerment

  • 6th, 10th & 11th Jan: 8 new teachers were introduced to the Teaching Format sessions by Dr Khanna from 11.30am-12.30pm. Each teacher went through 8 workshops to be trained in the IEP.
  • 3rd-4th, 9th-11th Jan: IIP (Intensive Integration Programme) from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.
  • 13th Jan: 1 staff member attended half day workshop on bookkeeping and accounts. It was interactive training from the point of view of not-for-profits where the brass tacks of Accounting and Bookkeeping were discussed.
  • 23rd Jan: Careworkers workshop on Teamwork conducted by TISS interns through Kashmira Vazifdar, our Counsellor.
  • Jan 25th: Our 2 accountants attended a capacity building workshop organized by HSBC in partnership with the Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy (CAP), for a half day that covered 'Laws and Legislation affecting charitable / voluntary organisations in India' and 'Governance of not-for-profits'. The session was conducted by Noshir H. Dadrawala, Chief Executive of the 'Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy". It was held at the HSBC Umang (Training facility), Conference Room no. 3, Ground floor, Plot CTS No 1406-A/28, Mindspace, Malad (West).
  • Jan 31st: Brainstorming session with staff regarding safe keeping of all equipment and teaching aids, putting a system in place for Inventory follow-ups.
  • 2nd Feb: Dr Khanna & Sr Gaitonde attend 'Innovative Skills Development and Assessment' Seminar held at Vivanta by Taj-Blue Diamond, Pune Maharashtra. The seminar was organised by TVET UK and Assessment Tomorrow in alliance with UK Trade & Investment. It was an "invitation only" event for key decision makers/policy makers belonging to Education, Industry and the Govt.
  • 13th Feb: Workshop from Sightsavers from 10.30am-1pm followed by lunch conducted by Mr. Shrinivas Sawant & Ms. Sachu Ramalingam on sensitization on the difficulties of the visually impaired and Low vision people, issues faced by them and how to work with that group. The staff really profited from it, as we have 22 low vision students.
  • 13th Feb: Dance Therapy workshop for staff from 2.15pm - 4.15pm conducted by Sarita Ganesh of TISS.
  • 17th-24th Feb: Rajashri, our Sports coach attended MYAS National Sports Event in Chennai in capacity of a National Coach.
  • 22nd Feb: Tamar Apel, from Israel, visited school for three and half days to enhance Maths teaching skills of our teachers. This is what she had to say, "If I have to fund a good cause, I cannot find a better place than Sadhana. The place is coherent in functioning. It welcomes you. You feel alive. You want to work. It has structure but it has flexibility. It is not number obe but THE ONE!"

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Republic Day Celebrations

  • Jan 25th: Republic Day Special Assembly by Grade III. Chief Guest, Abha Singh - Director Postal Services, Maharashtra & Goa and Col Sobti & Mrs Sobti, Mrs Kamal Khanna, Dr Anita Daswani also graced the occasion. The Times of India covered this.
  • Jan 25th: A satsang was organized in School by Shweta Vyas of Art of Living in the Gym. The students really enjoyed singing the simple and fun songs.

Outreach Programmes

  • 4th Jan: student from Nepal had AIT. Previously visited school for therapies.
  • 5th Jan: 4 HR College students visited the school for their project work.
  • 19th Jan: 15 Nurses from Parsee General Hospital visited the School.
  • 27th Jan: Visit by Raven Woods and students from Kranti. Kranti is a women's rights NGO that provides a healing home, comprehensive education and personalized opportunities to India's socially disadvantaged young women. The organization currently houses six girls who are children of sex workers. They are trying to teach the girls a wide spectrum of social justice issues and make them aware of different ways people live in society. This month theyHydrotherapy Room
    were focusing on mental heath and special needs and wanted their students to interact with our students. Their 10 students held sports, art & dance workshops from 1.30 - 3pm


Ex-student makes news

  • 15th Jan: Ex student Yazad Mobedji ran the Standard Chartered Half Marathon.


Visitors from Abroad

  • 15th Feb: Marg Csapo & Mary Gale, founders of IASE spent the afternoon in our school and asked Dr Khanna to be on the PR cHydrotherapy Roomommittee for the 2013 IASE Conference. This is what they had to say, "Wow! It was so impressive to see the transformation of Sadhana-it is fantastic! I know your students just love it!"
  • • 29th February 2012 - Claudia and Trish Burns, ex-Head of AMASC and Principals of Sacred Heart Schools internationally were very appreciative of the quality of education being given in our School.


Other Visitors

  • Mr Darshan, a student of Architecture from Deenabandhu Chhotu Ram University, Murthal, Haryana visited our school to do a case study of our building for his thesis. He studied our school's new structure as a model school for the handicapped.



November – December 2011
Hydrotherapy Room It has been a hectic beginning of the second term. Is it the SPJ Sadhana DNA to have multiple events at the same time? We seem to live 3 years in one!

Early November saw the Inauguration of the Hydro therapy room. In our efforts to improve facilities, we have become the only school with a Hydro therapy room. It has been adapted to Indian insights, the nozzles/water spouts are placed to stimulate the chakras on the spine. This enhances our holistic methods.



Sports:

8th -14th Nov: National Coaching Camp Handball & Advanced Coaches Training Program-
3 female athletes and Rajashri Ghosalkar attended ACTP for Handball at Andheri Sports Complex, Andheri, Mumbai

18th Nov: Young Athletes Family Day Inter-School Program in our school from 1 to 3 pm. From Jai Vakeel Special School, Sevri Mumbai
Athletes - 20 Parents - 20 Coaches - 4 --- Total 44
From CJM Special School, Byculla
Athletes - 12 Parents - 12 Coaches - 2 --- Total 26
Special Olympics Bharat organized Advanced Coaches Training Program & National Coaching Camp in Athletics & Aquatics at the following venue.
Gachibowli International Stadium ,Hitech city, Hyderabad., Andhra Pradesh
3 Staff and 4 students attended (1 female + 3 male) for athletics, 7 students (5 female + 2 male) for aquatics.

Outside Visitors:

29th Nov: Prof Julian Vomsattel, Chief of Special education for little children, Visp, Switzerland & Prof Hanspeter Utz, Principal of the German speaking sector of the Bachelor degree course in Social Work, Switzerland visited the school. This is what they had to say, "That the students of SPJ Sadhana School are managing the transfer from home to school and back in public traffic is one part of this - allow us to say - true fairy-tale, the other is the high successfully inclusion of the students in the world of labour. Congratulation for your social, therapeutic, networking, communication and all other manifold skills you use."
19th Dec: Ms Dnyanada Karnad and her colleague, Ms.Shubhanjali, from Axis Bank Foundation, visited the school on an official visit.

Staff Empowerment:

    With Mark Inglis at Times Lit Fest
  • The new term began with an interactive workshop for our Teachers, by Radhike Khanna. It made them experience "possibilities" so that they were empowered for the stress of the next months.
  • 14th – 16th Nov: One teacher attended a 3 day workshop on "Curriculum development and teaching strategies for children with mental retardation" in Mumbai, as part of CRE programme.
  • 16th Nov: One day workshop conducted on "Leadership and the person: Co-creating the future of an Integral organization" by GlobeOne Consulting from 9.30am-4.30pm. The workshop began with the introduction of the participants followed by an interactive session on: Vision to start the organization. A comparative study from 1971-2011 was done with regards to the activities/happenings/progress in School and the outside world (politically, environmentally). It was a fruitful day of insights.
  • 2nd Dec: Sr Gaitonde, Dr Khanna, 3 teachers from the Teacher training and 4 staff attended the Times of India Literary Carnival at Mehboob Studio, Bandra. Attended talk, "Disability is a State of Mind" by Mark Inglis, the first double amputee to climb Mt Everest and author of several motivational books and Mumbai's inspirational paraplegic, Ketna Mehta. State of the art prosthetic limbs were presented to a young 24 yr old boy who had lost his leg in a train accident.
  • 16th Dec: Art therapy teacher attended a one day workshop at TISS, Chembur on "Disability & Art"

Teacher Training 3 week Course:

Graduation Ceremony of Teachers Teacher Training The Third International Teacher Training coincided with the preparation for the Exhibition. The 6 trainees – one from Tanzania, 2 from Assam, 3 from Mumbai, went through a rigourous training on the Pre-vocational stage. They were certified on 9th December 2011. The Chairperson of our Trust, Sr Pratibha Pinto and Mr Vishal Mahadevia, the Chief Guest, gave out the certificates.



The Exhibition:

The Learning Wall – Annual Exhibition The Exhibition on 8th & 9th December 2011 was a grand success! D.Karmali & Co did a wonderful job of transforming the premises into an attractive venue. Karuna Bhatia was the Chief Guest, as Standard Chartered Bank has for 3 decades sponsored the Exhibition. On display was the giftedness of the mentally challenged brought out by teams of committed teachers. Sadhana Times was released and we had a Drill display by Grades III, IV & Pre-vocational class.
On the 9th we had the 2nd day of the Exhibition at which 6 teacher trainees were certified, at the end of their 3 week course. The students did a modified Tibetan Rites yoga display. Sr Pratibha gave out certificates for the holiday homework to the students.
70 students from St Andrews and 30 from National College visited to get an understanding of the mentally challenged. Our normal customers kept "their date" with the School!
The attraction on both days was the "Learning Wall". This year the theme was Movement – to move is to learn. Each class put up 10 charts on how they teach, integrating movement with the 5 senses. The Wall was very well received.

Relocation:

The 2nd floor was relocated in a massive shift to every nook and corner – Grades I – IV, the Exhibition Shop, the Reception, the Admin & Principal's Office and Staff Room. Renovation began on the 2nd floor.

ISO External Audit:

Hardly was the move completed when a team of three, headed by Mr Verma, spent a day in the School. They went through all the processes, made some observations – there were no NCs, so we are now recertified with ISO 9001-2008.

Christmas Celebrations:

Christmas Special Assembly Christmas Celebrations began early with a Puppet Show by Israeli "Red Band" courtesy the Israeli Consulate.
On the 21st we had a Special Assembly on "The Spirit and Meaning of Christmas" presented charmingly by Grades I & II. Mr Sherwin Nazareth was Chief Guest and Mrs Nazareth, the Guest of Honour. This was followed by a meal sponsored by Ranjana Mahadevia, to celebrate her daughter's marriage at the end of the month. The PTA took over with DJ and games, Santa & gifts. They gave the students personalized name caps and the staff tablemats. All went home to a hard earned Christmas break....with the Admin staff and most careworkers holding the fort.

We appeal to you, our friends, to please support the renovation of the 2nd floor. Any amount will be gratefully received. We want to create an airy, beautiful educative space for our Junior School. Won't you give them a brighter future?

We wish you the Joy and Peace of Christmas, through the New Year.

August - October 2011
    These months have been hectic, exams, corrections, reports. ISO internal audits and concert practice coincided, putting extreme pressure on all staff.

SPECIAL ASSEMBLY, 15TH AUGUST:

AshrayaIndependence Day Special Assembly by OPC. Chief Guests Mr & Mrs Jay Toshniwal & Mr Anil Jain from Rotary Club of Bombay Peninsula were very appreciative of the efforts made to depict this national event.






OUTDOOR CURRICULUM:

  • Grades I & II go for Ganpati darshan
  • Grade IV Ganpati darshan to Babul Lodhi’s house
  • Pre Voc class outing to Vardhman Fantasy Park, Mira Rd


STAFF EMPOWERMENT:

  • Sr Gaitonde & Dr Radhike Khanna attend “Change Management in your Organization” for NGOs conducted by Toolbox, India at Dadar.
  • Sr Gaitonde, Dr Khanna, Malaika Fonseca & Fionika Sanghvi attend InspirED Conference at the American School of Bombay, Bandra.
  • 1 teacher, Avadhut Magar attended a one day workshop “FOSS Adoption in Education” held at CDAC, Navi Mumbai.
  • 2 teachers, Malaika Fonseca & Priya D’Souza attended 1 day workshop “Dyspraxia”- disability of movement and development of the intellect at SNDT, Juhu, Mumbai.
  • Wyomia Goveya, Music therapist attended Goethe Institute workshop for music teachers held in Goa.
  • 1 teacher completed CAT and now studying for Special Ed.
  • 4 yoga sessions for staff 2.45pm-5pm - conducted by Charu from Art of Living.
  • 18th Oct: Staff meeting.


TEACHER’S DAY LUNCH:

  • 24th Aug: PTA organize Teacher’s Day lunch at US Club, Navy Nagar


OUTREACH PROGRAMMES:

 

  • 1 student from Kathmandu, Nepal came to our school for audiogram treatment & assessment.
  • 1 student visiting school for Speech & Occupational therapy from Bangalore.
  • 1 student from Tanzania for various therapies for 3 months.


VISITORS

  • Shalini Rattan & Uma Srivastava from iGate Patni visited the school
  • 5 Swiss students visit the school through Nirmala Niketan. These students have come from Hes-so High School in Switzerland to the College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan as part of the College's International Exchange Programme. They will be here for a month and will have exposure visits to different Organisations working on various issues like children, women, the disabled etc. They wanted to stay on as Volunteers, but we encouraged them to go through the programmes they had come to India for.
  • 24 NIMH students & 1 Staff visited school
  • Aneka Paul & Ria Chakraborthy of Navajbhai Ratan Tata Trust visited school

PARENT MEETINGS

  • 24th Aug: PTA meeting in our School Hall
  • 17th Oct: Open Day


OUTSIDE FUNCTIONS ATTENDED:

  • South African Council invited Dr Khanna & Sr Gaitonde for Women’s Day 2011
  • Sr Gaitonde & Dr Khanna invited by Consul General of Israel, Orna Sagiv, to attend get together with the Minister of Tourism & Industry organized by FICCI
  • Standard Chartered invited Dr Khanna and Sr Gaitonde and the Heads of 3 other NGOs to meet Gavin Laws, Group Head of Corporate Affairs


MID TERM EXAMS

  • From 2nd Sept all classes started exams


SPORTS

  • Workshop for Parents & Grade I teachers conducted by Sports Teacher, Rajashri.
  • 5 students with 2 sports teachers attend National Training Camp organized by Special Olympics Bharat in Bangalore for Table Tennis and Badminton.
  • 2 students and 1 teacher attend Athlete Leadership Training in New Delhi.


ISO:

  • 19th Sept internal audits started and all non-conformities closed by end of term..


ANNUAL CONCERT:

  • Annual Concert, “Mumbai Masala” ...... a concert with a difference. More speech, street drama and less Bollywood!! The audience was most appreciative of the hard work of the staff and choreographers.
Oshwal Primary Academy Jaffery Academy


STAFF & STUDENTS AWARDED::

  • Dr Khanna receives “INDIAN ACHIEVER AWARD FOR BEST SOCIAL WORKER” by “All India Business Development Association” in Delhi
  • Results of Babjee Art Competition 2011: Best School Award: SPJ Sadhana School

      PAINTING DOLL MAKING TOY MAKING

    1 Gold medal 4 Gold medals
    7 Gold medals

    1 Silver medal 6 Silver medals
    6 Silver medals

    2 Copper medal 6 Copper medals
    2 Copper medals
      2 State awards 2 State awards  

    4 Highly commended certificates    
      4 Commended certificates    


 
     

Happy Holidays to you all !!!!

God bless.

June - July 2011
Ashraya In the beginning of June, while assessments and interviews for new students and new Staff continued, we had an Orientation for new staff on “Teaching Format” and the philosophy of our school. They viewed a movie on the school. Staff mentoring is our strength. Our energies were also on “pushing” the workers to complete the 4th floor extension for use.

The School re-opened on 9th June, with 2 days of Staff meetings. There was a short enactment in groups, from Teachers of the same story, which brought out their creativity and teamwork. Planning the calendar of events for the term, especially the concert themes, introduction of / to new Staff & admin. Staff, getting the classes ready to welcome the students. Every class had new students.

On the 13th School re-opened for all.
Ashraya
There was Orientation for every child in the school with Pre-Vocational Class, Work World Skills, Maths department and Skills Enhancement in their new beautiful classes. Workshop for new Staff, teaching our Methods of writing a successful Teaching Format. They were also given a short workshop, “Let’s Talk Maths” programme by Kalpana Kapadia, our Maths Head.

Parents Orientation Classwise : Parents of each class had separate meetings from Thursday 16th June to Monday 27th June, ’11.

They had a Special Orientation of the School. They viewed the film “Breaking Barriers” and were introduced to the philosophy of the school and the rules and regulations in the new A.V. room. Questions/clarifications were answered and the meeting ended with a 5 min. video on the school song - “Born to be a Winner”. Then they walked around the newly made 4th floor.

Sr. E. Gaitonde and Dr. Radhike Khanna attended the IASE 12th Biennial Conference in Windhoek, Namibia - South Africa. Dr. Khanna made 2 presentations. She presented the school on an International panel on Volunteering in India: Grassroots stories and did another hour long presentation on “Teaching Social Skills to students on the ASD spectrum through an out-door curriculum”. The lecture room was full, our “expertise” in training ASD students being recognized internationally, as a pioneering institution.

Sr. Gaitonde and Dr. Khanna jointly did a workshop on “Indian insights for Special Teachers.” This too was very well received, it was experiential.

The United Nations had asked that Mandela Day be celebrated across the world and so the South African Consul General and Consul in Mumbai requested that they celebrate with SPJ Sadhana School. The 3 weeks prior to the function, Nelson Mandela was introduced from Grade-I onwards. The Office Procedures students did a very good
PowerPoint presentation on Mandela and apartheid, a new word in their growing vocabulary. The Hospitality and Catering concentrated on the snacks to be served after the function to the South African Consulate members and friends. Even the Grade-I had painted black and white cut outs, joining in equality for peace and progress. Peace was the theme and celebration was the mood.

The Pre-Vocational students presented a skit and a dance joining hand for Peace. Happy Birthday 93 years old Nelson Mandela, the vibes of our celebration will keep him going for 100+ years!!

The Consul General Mr. Pule Malefane, his wife and the friends of South Africa with Consulate members planned the celebration with Seema as the Co-ordinator and MC. They had painted our general purpose room, the week before, got T-Shirts printed which all of them, our staff and students wore, gave Rs. 10,000/- to the Art department for brushes etc. Drum Café….a trio band was the high light energizing the students and all had a great time, clapping, dancing and just being themselves, the Consul General and others of the Consulate joined the dance to add to the joy of all. A large canvas was created by all dipping their hands in paint and leaving the impression on the canvas.

Sr. Gaitonde, the Consul General Mr. Pule Malefane spoke on Nelson Mandela, Radhike Khanna made a power point presentation on the flora / fauna of South Africa and showed the statues of 4 Nobel Peace Prize Winners in Cape Town.

As it was a birthday, a lovely chocolate cake donated by Patchi was cut to the birthday song, each student was given a small box of Patchi chocolates as return gift.

We thank all of you our friends receiving this update, for your support and add a wish list to it for your active consideration.

God bless you.


WISH LIST - S.P.J. SADHANA SCHOOL AUGUST 2011

  • Cleaning Service employed : “MR Clean” cost Rs.11 lakhs per annum
  • We plan to re-design the Junior School on the 2nd floor to make it a happy learning space for Grades I to IV. Any amount will be gratefully received
  • Contact friends and relatives to build teacher’s salary fund and maintenance fund to keep the school running. Any amount will be gratefully received
  • We have put the PA system on the four floors - cost of Rs.72,000
  • The CCTV for the 2 new floors need Rs. 1 lakh
  • Sponsor a child :
    • Grades-I to III : Rs. 4,950/per month
    • Grade-IV : Pre-vocational & Skills Enhancement : Rs. 7,150/per month
    • Polytechnic Classes : Rs. 9,350/per month
  • Sponsor the bi-annual concert-October 2011 - Rs.3 lakhs
  • Sponsor the 6 Smart Boards needed at Rs. 2.5 lakhs each

    MAY GOD BLESS YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY
April - May 2011
Ashraya It was supposed to be holiday, winding down months….but as you will see it was “business as usual.”

The Government Pratham exams were held in our School, this was the third time we were a centre - 19 students from other schools and 12 from ours.

The first week was “serious”, all classes in examination mood. The ISO internal audits were also on.

We had a Special Assembly for Easter presented by Grade I, II & Skills Enhancement. Chief guests from Axis Bank Foundation, Mr Babu Joseph and Dnyanada Karnad. They also distributed medals and certificates to students and staff for the educational trips and winners of the Babjee Art competition. This was followed by a Party for the students.

On the 13th - celebrating Baisakhi we had a puja to inaugurate the 4th floor, in our extension, this was followed by “prasad” to all class IV workers in all 4 institutions on our Campus and lunch for all our staff and students.

The Trustees, Mr Dordi and Mr Jagtiani of The Tobaccowala Foundation visited our school. The foundation was studying our real needs and have given us hope.

15th & 18th April were Open Days when parents of every student were given time by each teacher to discuss their child’s progress and the difficulties faced in the home.

On 19th & 20th April we had stimulating staff meetings…on the preparation, joys and stresses of the educational trip and what the teachers learnt from it. Very well done powerpoint presentations were given by teachers. We invited the teachers of Shraddha Charitable Trust to learn what goes into the preparation of outings, they realized where they are lacking on their trips.

From 23rd to 30th April, Dr Radhike Khanna and Fionika Sanghvi went to Shishu Sarothi, a centre for Rehabilitation & Training for Multiple Disability, Guwahati, Assam to help the staff there. This training was sponsored by our faithful supporter Axis Bank Foundation.

The month of May saw assessments of new children, interviews with both parents and admissions. On 7th May, 7 new teachers were given an orientation.

Crossword Bookstore had invited Mr Tony Buzan, the world’s most creative person. Sr Gaitonde, Jasmine Pandya and Kalpana Kapadia attended the session. He autographed his books for us and asked for us to be interviewed on our experience with mind-mapping.

The school extension was to have been finished by 31st May, latest…..the end near and yet so far…… we hope not too distant. With 2 additional floors all the overheads more than doubles. We appeal to you our friends and well-wishers to contribute to a sustainable fund….There must be life after!




January - March 2011


SPORTS DAY

    The focus was on our first Sports Day held at Priyadarshini Park. It was sponsored by Bank of Baroda. The hard work during the Christmas holidays of staff generously giving up holidays to train the students at Priyadarshini Park & Sports Complex and our small playground, bore fruit on 6th Jan for the heats and 7th Jan ’11 Finals.

    It was a terrific performance of all the students of SPJ Sadhana School and special employees of Om Creations Trust and Shraddha Charitable Trust. The chief guests, Mrs Rashmi Bakshi accompanying her, Mrs Nalini Srinath, Mrs Padma Ramani and Mrs Namrata Tiwari. Mr Arun Tiwari very kindly attended the opening and showed much concern and interest. Through the day, Bank of Baroda sent a relay of its personnel to show their support inspite of it being a working day. Mrs Sandra Vaz, Director Special Olympics, Maharashtra, was the chief guest in the afternoon. Credit goes to Sports teacher, Rajashri Ghosalkar and all the teachers who rose to the challenge.The show was well telecasted by Marathi Zee.


January saw Shazneen Limjerwala start trying to understand the methodologies used in the school. She interviewed the staff, sat in on teaching in classrooms and after a lot of reflection decided that the “teaching format” was the fulcrum that made for growth in both teachers and students. Hours spent daily on picking Dr Radhike Khanna’s brain and with “model” training etc for 3 months resulted in a “Manual” on the Teaching Format for teachers. This manual will be available to those who get updated by us.


VISITORS TO THE SCHOOL

    On the 4th of January, 30 Religions of the Sacred Heart from Asia visited the School. Sr Gaitonde also presented SPJ Sadhana School to them that evening in the Sophia B.K. Somani Polytechnic AV room.

    Other visitors to the school were:
    • 19 nurses from Parsi General Hospital.
    • 20 students from Wilson College.
    • 2 teachers from Sol’Arc, Goregaon.
    • 50 psychology students from St Andrews College.


OUTDOOR CURRICULA

    January and February are the cooler months in which we plan all our educational trips. The staff had had a grueling time from November, so they all went on a welcome break - a staff day picnic to Alibaug, thanks to the generosity of Kersi Kapadia, who put his property at our service. The Catamaran ride, the games, food and staff interactions formal / non formal were much appreciated. This is was sponsored by the School.
  • Grades I, II and III made a very informative visit to Worli Dairy on 9th Feb ’11. The manager was very kind offering the students flavoured milk.
  • Grades III and the Skills Enhancement class visited the Funfair of the Rotary Club at the Centre for Child Development at Hajiali on Feb 18, 2011.
  • On Feb 21st Grade IV went to Velvet Hills, Khandala for 2 days one night educational trip.
  • The Skills Enhancement class and the Pre Vocational went on an ecological excursion to Hide Out Eco Farm, Jhadpoli Village for 2 nights. For Mumbai people it was an eye opener to experience village life. Bullock cart rides, barter system of bazaar, health food,no plastic anywhere, animals that they have never seen before and milking cows were all very educative experiences.
  • The students and some staff of Hospitality & Catering, the Office Procedures, the Visual Arts & Crafts and Work World Skills classes, went for a week to Udaipur, Ranakpur and Jaisamand. The students had been prepared for months with the History of Mewar, the Rajasthani food, art & architecture. It was a week of exposure that made for great learning of the students and the staff got to know the students as most students were on their first long school trip.

In all these educational trips a lot of monitoring / teaching ADL and Social skills takes place…..the growth in all students after the excursions is seen by family and school. Worth the 24/7 duty of staff!
  • On 12th / 13th March Grade III students / teachers / careworkers had an overnight stay in the school. The students had a great time at the Catholic Gymkhana and the Sensory Park at Breach Candy. For all it was a first time away from parents and so the teachers had a lot of reassuring and putting to sleep at night. The next morning was hectic for the teachers as they monitored every ADL skill.
  • On March 25th Grades I & II went to the Prince of Wales Museum followed by lunch at McDonalds.


TEACHER EMPOWERMENT

  • The Advanced Coaches Training Programme by Special Olympics Bharat held in Gwalior from 17th to 22nd Jan was attended by our sports teacher‚ Rajashri Ghosalkar.
  • “E-learning”‚ a one day workshop at Victoria Memorial School‚ Mumbai was attended by one staff member on 27th Jan.
  • On 10th Feb a workshop for coaches was held in Bandra for District level Special Olympics. 2 staff members attended.
  • On 11th Feb‚ Dr Radhike Khanna & Fionika Sanghvi conducted an I.E. workshop at school for all teachers.
  • On 12th Feb one staff member attended the First Convention of the National Convention of Special Educators workshop at Saifee Hospital.
  • From March 16th to 21st, I.E. Basic I workshop was conducted for 20 staff by Prof Louis Falik from ICELP, Jerusalem. The staff gained a lot from it.We are grateful to him.


INTER-SCHOOL COMPETITIONS

  • Our students won several medals and certificates in painting, doll making, toy making in the Babjee’s 45th All India child Art Contest.

    Painting :
    1 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 State award, 3 commended certificates

    Doll Making:
    2 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Copper, 1 State award, 4 commended certificates

    Toy Making:
    1 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Copper, 1 State award, 1 commended certificate
  • 75 of our students participated in the District level Special Olympics on 11th & 12th Feb. They won 12 Gold medals, 14 Silver medals and 13 Bronze medals.
  • On 28th Feb, Prerna, the Annual Inter-School Athletic Meet for intellectually & physically impaired students, of the Rotaract Club of HR College held its meet at Priyadarshini Park. 40 of our students participated.
  • 10 students took part on March 8th,9th & 10th in the Special Olympics State level Games (badminton, bocce & athletics) at the School Sports Association Grounds at Dhobi Talao.



OUTREACH PROGRAMMES

We have been in correspondence for a visit and guidance / training from Assam and Manila, Philippines. Neither place can afford our airfare and so we are appealing for donations to help establish the Sadhana Model far & wide. Please support our “outreach” projects.
  • On Feb 7th our homeopath, Dr Anita Daswani and 2 therapists attended the ADAPT orientation programme for participation in “Shiksha Sankalp”.
  • The TISS interns completed their training period with us this month. They had hoped to end with a Siblings Workshop, for ages 14 to 18, but for lack of siblings response it regretfully did not take place.



ON THE IMPROVEMENT CURVE

The external audit for recertification of ISO 9000:2008 took place in January. We are happy to be recertified – our ISO requirements keep us on a continual improvement curve.


THE BUILDING

This has taken a lot of energy. We are looking for donors for the A.V. Room and for some equipment. We need to build a corpus to meet the maintenance of the building, so that we can continue to give quality education to this most marginalized section of society.
Please read here, dear friends, a heart felt appeal for any amount small or large. Counting on a positive response……



God bless you.

October - December 2010
    It has been a very busy time, when is it not?.

CREATING AWARENESS

    ...Of the Giftedness of the mentally challenged through appropriate training is one of our aims.
  • Dr Radhike Khanna gave a presentation on our FACE programme to the Rotary Club North on Oct 7th 2010
  • On 14th Oct four teachers from Holy Cross Special School visited to see how we train for employment
  • The Annual Exhibition on 2nd & 3rd Dec ’10 showcased the first year work of the students of the 5 year Polytechnic Course. The level of work was very creditable. The formative wall was on the training of the senses and the “mini Snoozelen” area was a great draw. The “Sadhana Times” was released by the Chief Guest. The Exhibition was sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank.
  • On 27th & 28th Oct ’10 Dr Radhike Khanna & Rajashri visited Ropar District to assess special educator needs in the Narottam Seksaria Foundation Special School. A report has been submitted. It has very committed staff.
  • Axis Bank did a photoshoot on 22nd Dec. They hope to have a film on all NGOs they support so that awareness can be created. We are grateful to Axis Bank for their vital support to some teachers’ salary.

TRAINING PROGRAMMES

    From Nov 14th - 20th we had a training programme for 3 teachers from Manthan Apang Kanya Seva Sankul, Ahmedabad. It was a new experience as we had to train in Gujarati / Hindi. It was a challenge that was worthwhile as the teachers in their feedback seemed to have gained a lot.

    From 29th Nov to 8th Dec we had a child from Ghana to assess and both his parents to train in teaching him, as he was a hyperactive and autistic boy.






STAFF EMPOWERMENT DAYS

  • On 22nd Oct the staff shared their achievements, frustrations and plans. In the afternoon Dr Kersi Chavda spoke on “Behaviour Modification” techniques.
  • On 8th & 9th Nov staff had sessions by Dr Khanna on the different ways a child can “perceive”. Perception exercises led to enlightening findings. On the second day, staff armed with cameras boarded the hired open-air BEST buses and happily clicked their unusual pictures of Mumbai from Gateway to Bandra via Sea Link and back. Their pictures were on a panel on Staff Perception for the Exhibition.
  • On 9th & 10th Dec two staff attended the “Applied Behaviour Analysis Seminar / Workshop in Bangalore.
  • On 15th & 16th Dec our mathemagician from Israel returned to fill the gaps in teacher’s understanding of the “Let’s Talk Maths” programme.

    There was a rash of birthday parties resulting in outdoor social skills curriculum.
  • 13th Oct: PreVocational at Relish – Churchgate
  • 14th Oct: Grades I & II for Dandiya at a Volunteers house
  • 14th Oct: Grade IV for Durga Darshan at Tejpal Hall
  • 15th Oct: Visual Arts at Phoenix Mills with a visit to Big Bazaar for a shopping experience with limited budget!
  • 18th Oct: Grades II & III had a tour of Taj President Hotel Kitchen and a grand birthday party
  • 18th Oct: Pre Vocational class went to a movie “Ramayana”. The students were able to relate to it as they had done the Special Divali Assembly on the subject, last year.
  • 22nd Oct: Rocking Divali sponsored Party. Food, gifts and a magician closing the term on a happy note!!
  • 12th Nov: Unfortunately a beautifully planned football party at Hindu Gymkhana was washed out by floods due to unseasonal rains. Grades I to IV disappointed!
  • 19th Nov: The PTA postponed party was a great hit with generous prizes of chocolates for games won at the Willingdon Club.
  • 25th Nov: Grade IV & Office Procedure class visited INS Vikrant. The highlight of the excursion being interaction with the officers and visiting the museum.
  • 7th Dec: 70 staff / students attended the “Ability Unlimited” by wheel chair and crutches artists from other special institutions.
  • On Dec 14th the Special Assembly on Christmas was beautifully choreographed, conceptualized by the teachers of Grade IV. There was a lot of “dialogue” spoken by the students. This was followed by an Israeli Band by Nir Brand and then the PTA took over for the Christmas Party lunch, a magician and a juggler complete with Santa and gifts.



PARENT MEETINGS

  • On 14th Oct the parents of those students who are under Minoo Kapadia met for the morning, being oriented in his methods.
  • 18th – 21st Oct parents received the term report from class teachers / therapists.
  • 2nd – 3rd Dec parents of Hospitality & Catering helped at the Exhibition counters with their children and Mrs Shroff did Herculean work with coupons without a break. We are grateful to our parents for this support.





VISITORS FROM ROME

    The Mother General Sr. Kathleen Conan and Sr. Catherine Llyod, assistant, visited all the classes, interacted with teachers and students. Over special tea there was interaction with a number of staff. They were duly impressed, as they have visited special schools around the world.








STAFF & STUDENTS AWARDED

  • The Mother General awarded certificates to Jasmine Pandya and Ranjana Mahadevia for service beyond the call of duty.
  • The Mother General also gave a certificate to the students of the best holiday project in each class. A special award to Neha Pradhan – a scholarship for six months for her seriousness of purpose and being a model Sadhanite!
  • The Chief Guest at the Exhibition awarded Kashmira for service beyond the call of duty.



SPORTS

    From 10th Dec through Christmas holidays there is Sports practice at Priyadarshini Park. We begin the New Year with Sports Day…


Wishing each of you every Christmas Blessing through 2011.

God bless you.

August - September 2010

    The rain Gods continued to batter Mumbai through August delaying our building extension work and causing great inconvenience with floods and water seepage in many places. Staff and students valiantly accepted the inconveniences. September saw sunny days, but the building work could only resume after 8th September as the College festival, Kaleidoscope took precedence.

    A new curriculum in Dance Therapy was started on Saturday mornings. 14 students from the Polytechnic Courses registered.


OUTREACH

    Sr Gaitonde & Dr Khanna went to Chennai on August 18th to attend some meetings with personnel of Alpha and Omega and on to Pudachery to observe the educational system of the Aurobindo Society.

    Dr Radhike Khanna and Jasmine Pandya visited Muni Seva Ashram, 30 kms out of Vadodara at the invitation of the Trustees. An excellent Cancer Hospital and a “normal school” for the Tribals together with a residential centre for the mentally challenged girl. There are about 100 inmates. It was to improve activities of the mentally challenged part of the Trust, that we were invited. A report has been sent on the first visit and we will follow up according to the schedule given by us.

    The students of our school again “sacrificed” snacks for the Joy of Giving Week and we couriered Muni Seva Ashram 110 pencil pouches for the girls of the Ashram.


OUTDOOR CURRICULUM

    To orient the students with the upcoming Ganesh Chaturti festival, the students of Grades I & II visited a Ganpati at one of their colleague’s home.

    Grade III had several outings. They, along with Grade IV students saw a 3D movie at the Nehru Science Centre. On another outing they also visited Gateway of India, where they ate corn on the cob. The highlight of the excursions was the experience of sitting in a first class compartment of the Rajdhani train in a Railway workshop. There they were given snacks and soft drinks and were given a tour of the different compartments of the train including the pantry car.

    Grade IV visited Mani Bhavan after learning about Mahatma Gandhi. One of their outings was to the Iskon Temple to learn about Lord Krishna. There they also ate a meal at the temple’s restaurant, Govinda’s. A very enjoyable outing for them was to Hobby Ideas, a birthday treat from one of the students. Here they spent a very creative afternoon making greeting cards and painting on bags.

    The Pre Vocational class walked to a nearby supermarket, Nature’s Basket, to acquaint the students with a supermarket and the products that are available there. They then continued from there to Mahalaxmi to see a Ganpati pandal so that they could be oriented for their Ganpati Special Assembly. They also went to see a 3D movie at Inox as a first time experience.



SPECIAL ASSEMBLIES

    On August 13th we celebrated Independence Day with a Special Assembly done by Visual Arts Dept and Grade II I. The Chief guest for the occasion was Anurag Basu and his wife. Besides, the historical fact, students modeled today’s Heroes/Heroines.

    On September 1st we celebrated Janmashtami with the students trying their hand at “Handiphod”.

    The Pre Vocational put up a wonderful show for a Special Assembly for Ganesh Chaturthi on September 21st. We had Mr Chetan Mehrotra, from Cheree Pvt Ltd as the Chief Guest. The story of Parvati and Shiva was very interestingly depicted.



TEACHER'S DAY CELEBRATIONS

    The PTA Committee came around and gave roses and chocolates to all staff. They had earlier made a collage of parents contributions of gratitude to their child’s teachers. These creative contributions were very touching.

    The CEOs of 3 LIC Departments visited school to honour our teachers. They gave a small gift and a rose to each teacher present. They explained their choice of our school as they wished to honour “special teachers” more than normal school teachers, because of commitment in challenging situations.





OTHER CELEBRATIONS

    On August 17th the staff and volunteers of SPJ Sadhana School, Om Creations and Shraddha Charitable Trust celebrated a belated 70th birthday party at Joss for Sr Gaitonde. It was lively and entertaining and everybody had a wonderful time.

    On August 23rd students learnt about Rakhsha Bandhan and tied rakhis on each other.

    On September 23rd, the staff and students gathered in the Hall to celebrate the birthdays of 3 Admin staff.




VISITS FROM OTHER INSTITUTIONS

    In order to create awareness of the training and giftedness of the mentally challenged, we allow students of other institutions to visit our School.

    From 2nd August two students from TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences) started their internship for the year.

    On Friendship Day, August 3rd, students from Sophia Polytechnic came to tie friendship bands on our students.

    On August 26th, twenty five B.Ed. students from NIMH visited the school followed by B.Sc/M.Sc Nursing students from Bombay Hospital in September.





SOUTH ASIAN FUND RAISING GROUP (SAFRG)

    (SAFRG) conducted a workshop in Agra. The Axis Bank Foundation that gives us vital help by sponsoring some salaries of staff, very kindly sponsored Dr Radhike Khanna for this meet. It is their way of empowering us with new ways of fund raising to meet expenses on just staff salaries.

    Exams, Assessments of the 1st term have begun. The internal Audit was conducted through the end of September / beginning October.

    We are happy to announce that 2 of our most recent Graduates have been employed by the Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai. We wish them a bright and prosperous future in their new jobs.




We wish you a Very Happy Divali !!!!

June - July 2010
We began the new academic year, empowering staff for 2 days on “Change in your belief system.” The staff development programme was much appreciated by both new and old staff.

School reopened on Monday, 14th June 2010. It was very stressful with 46 new students, 56 old students also new in their classes, with water leaking everywhere and a construction environment.

Inspite of great inconveniences we courageously went through the month of June. Some 4 classes visited the Jehangir Art Gallery - East African and Indian safari photographs of wildlife.

On 21st June - Akshay Sarin and his team from MTV spent the morning on dance and drama with our tudents. It was mutual education for all. From 24th June to 1st July, orientation for parents classwise was conducted. They were much appreciated as there
are so many new parents.

With the monsoon in full vigour and due to the construction work, keeping safety in mind, we closed the school for 3 days in the first week, taking in the National Bandh too. Teachers came in overtime, changing lessons they had planned so that the student’s holistic progress would be at the expected pace. We had staff meetings assessing the situation, orienting staff to safety measures needed to be put in place so that the students were supervised every moment out of the class. The curriculum for the month was modified to have at least 2 outdoor trips per week to ease congestion in school. This led to additional expenditure for the school on hiring the bus.
    Various outings undertaken:
  • Grades I & II - Hanging Gardens,
  • Grade IV - Breach Candy fruit market
  • Grades I - IV - Railway workshop in Bombay Central

    Pre-Vocational Dept visited:
  1. Parle biscuit factory
  2. Nirmal Lifestyle and Twin Spice
  3. Worli Sealink
  4. Indian Express Press

    Vocational Dept visited:
  1. Big Bazaar
  2. Nehru Planetarium
  3. Birthday party at Sun Restaurant
  4. Birthday party at student’s residence in Lokhandwalla

    Visual Arts Dept visited:
  1. Big Bazaar
  2. Nehru Planetarium
  3. Wildlife photography exhibition
  4. Newspaper press
  5. Birthday party at Phoenix Mills
Office Procedures & Hospitality & Catering visited Big Bazaar on Friday 16th July.
Big Bazaar
L-R : Railway Workshop, Breach Candy - Fruit Market, Wildlife Photography Exhibition.
Ashraya

On 8th July ’10, some of our students were part of the entertainment for a fund raiser for Ashraya at Taj Mahal and Palaces. Their performance was much appreciated by the donor guests.

On the 15th of July, a young college student entertained 2 classes with a superb magic show. A number of students want to be magicians!

On Saturday, 17th July, we had a full day training workshop on ISO conducted by Mr Sunil Verma and Mrs Subhadra Verma at the school This added 9 new auditors making a total of 14 internal auditors.

We had an outreach Medical camp, courtesy Ranbaxy, Dr Anita Daswani (our homeopath), Om Creations Trust and Om Medicare. Blood sugar fasting and lipid profile were done for staff and students of our school, staff of the The Sophia B.K. Somani Polytechnic, the Sophia Nursery and SHEWI trust office on 13th & 14th July ’10.

NIMH-BED students visited the school and were very inspired by the commitment of our teachers. The TYBA (Psychology) students of RD National College, Bandra also visited the school.

We have 2 new students of TISS placed here for their internship.

The Special Assembly for Guru PurnimaThe Special Assembly for Guru Purnima was presented by the Office Procedures and Hospitality & Catering classes. Neelu Kapoor was the appreciative Chief Guest. We had some students do a skit on Guru-shishya relationships.







Parents OrientationOn Friday, 30th July, we had a much needed and very appreciated Parents Orientation in the Sophia Bhabha Hall. Sr Gaitonde situated the school in a global network of Sacred Heart Institutions and delineated its spirit and philosophy. Dr Radhike Khanna went into curriculum, introduced every teacher/therapist and led the audience in a meditation on the positive effects of “sankalp”. Nishit andVahishta Major, ex-students, spoke on their experiences and Mr Naresh Alreja and Mrs Shobha Godbole, both ex-parents, spoke on the SPJ Training for their sons. There was interaction with teachers over a cup of tea in the hall foyer.

We had made an appeal to you to sponsor 44 students. I want to thank six of you who have each sponsored a Polytechnic Course student and two of you who have sponsored the Junior class students. One of you has given a quarter fee. To each of you a big thank you…..slowly we will cover all the students needing support.

This update is to thank all of you for collaborating in this challenging work - you can take pride in all that has been, because of your support.
January - April 2010
    For three months energies were given to preparation for the Graduation. The team working on the Coffee Table book “See Beyond” headed by Geeta Gopalakrishnan, was in and out of the school, on photo shoots and on capturing the spirit of the school. They did a great job and Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, released it at the Graduation Ceremony. The book is being sold to augment the Staff Salary fund. The FACE programme, in its four phases, was also released by Dr. Abdul Kalam. The brochure of Graduating students was compiled simultaneously. Details of the Graduation Ceremony will be sent separately.


INTERNATIONAL OUTREACH

    Sr. E. Gaitonde and Dr. Radhike Khanna visited Kenya and Tanzania after the Graduation Ceremony – from 13th to 27th March 2010. The visit was mainly to assess needs at the invitation of the following challenged schools – Oshwal Academy, special needs department, Nairobi & Jaffery Academy (Primary special needs Section) Arusha, Tanzania. They also visited the Chekalini Sophie Home for the Multiply handicapped.

    East Africa has a great need of vocational education. We will help these schools as we did in Nigeria three years ago. SPJ Sadhana is committing itself to Capacity Building of teachers in India and abroad.


OUTDOOR CURRICULUM

    A great many breakthroughs occur on the educational tours.

  • The Vocational and Skills Enhancement classes went on a successful trip to - from 2nd to 6th February, 2010.
  • On 14th February, 2010 a private screening of “My name is Khan” at Inox for our students, Om Creations & Shraddha Charitable Trust was organized by Shaina N.C. Karan Johar addressed the students with dignity and self respect.
  • Grade IV went on an overnight trip to Panvel in the first week of February, 2010.
  • Grades I -III went for a day trip to the Mahim Nature Park and on the open Bus trip to South Mumbai.
  • The Pre Vocational class went to  Panhala, near Kolhapur from February 22nd  - February 26th , 2010. They had many firsts to their credit on this trip.
  • The Skills Enhancement class visited the Fun Fair organized by Centre for Child Development, Haji Ali, Mumbai  on February 26th ,  2010.

INTER-SCHOOL COMPETITIONS

  • 28 students from various classes participated in the Talent Festival organized by the Rotaract Club of Churchgate on Feb 4th at Our Ladies Home, Dadar. Our students won 4 gold (1-Dance, 1-Painting, 1-Clay modeling, 1-Paper folding) and 1 silver (dance).
  • Prerna Annual Athlete Meet at Priyadarshini Park on 16th February, 2010 our students won 2 gold medals: 200m Run & 4X100m relay
  • 8 Students of Grade IV attended the “On the Spot Art Contest” conducted by Nehru Centre on February 24, 2010.


TEACHER EMPOWERMENT

  • One therapist attended a two day IACP workshop in Mumbai on  2nd & 3rd January, 2010.
  • Sr Gaitonde & Dr Khanna attended Sam Pitroda’s lecture on “India in a Globalized World” on 15th January, 2010 at Nehru Centre.
  • Tamar’s Workshop in Mathematics was conducted at the school on Saturday 16th January, 2010 and from Monday to Wednesday - 18th-20th  , January, 2010.
  • Presentation for teachers by TISS interns, Victor & Akrutee on “Home Visits”  January 18th  , 2010.
  • Four teachers and one volunteer attended the “Brain Gym & other Sensory Motor Strategies” 2 day workshop  Jan 27 & 28 by Shoshana Shamberg from the U.S. of A.
  • “Mathematics with a Humanistic Approach” workshop conducted by Kalpana Kapadia for new teachers on 16th February, 2010.
  • Tamar Apel - Mathemagician, conducted a workshop for all teachers on Friday - March 12 and Saturday March 13, 2010.
  • Capacity Building Day - Since the academic year 2010 was coming to a close, Staff Interaction Day was held on 13th  & 15th April 2010. Baisakhi was the mood of the day and all staff ware requested to come to match the celebration of Baisakhi Day.

    Day one - April 13, 2010, saw staff share their learning’s and breakthroughs… it made for awe and bonding as challenges were faced.

    Day two
    - April 15, 2010, they were shown the film Dil Bole Hadippa! And as they watched were to make a matrix of rainbow learning using the concepts. It was wonderful to see how staff have grown in alternative methods of learning and creativity.


ACTIVITIES

 

  • Special Assembly was held on January 25, 2010 to celebrate Republic Day. Grades I - III performed skits on the theme of National Integration. Babul amazed all with his power point presentation on Republic Day. Sr. Ambuja and Sr. Geradette Philips from Indonesia were the Chief Guests.
  • External Auditor, Mr. Subhas Biswas, spent a fruitful day on the ISO systems & processes on January 25, 2010.


VISITORS

    We had a number of visitors to our school and had to stop visitors as a number of times we were too busy to meet them.

  • In January, 2010, 60 nursing students from Bombay hospital visited our school and 14 nursing students from Parsee Gen Hospital visited our school.

  • We have closed school early as we have requisitioned the place for building the school extension. April 2010 will see parents of all classes come for reports, staff meetings and ISO internal audits…. Before the staff get a well earned holiday in May 2010.

    Saturday - 24th April, 2010…. A number of staff bid farewell at the funeral of our first student,  Vasudha Jain RIP.

    On Monday - 26th April, 2010, a large number of staff, students and ex-students attended the Bhajans in Sophia Bhabha Hall in memory of Vasudha. Even in death she is giving us a “call” to start new cognitive programme for the ageing Downs in Om Creations and Shraddha Charitable Trust, so that their cognitive decline and early Alzheimer’s can be delayed.




Happy Holidays to you all !!!!

Oshwal Primary Academy Jaffery Academy
Visit to Oshwal Primary Academy, Nairobi Visit  to Jaffery Academy, Arusha, Nairobi
Excursion to Panhala Capacity Building Staff
Students Excursion to Panhala, Kolhapur Capacity Building Staff Meeting
November - December 2009
  • We re-opened after the Diwali Break on 3rd November, 2009, with an introductory Landmark Forum meeting by Piloo Vidyarthi, Aruna Raje and Team.

    - The Hill Spring International School had been twinning with us and so the products made with them were exhibited and sold together with some of our own creations. It was in celebration of Children’s Day, to promote Hindi on 14th November, 209 at their school grounds.

    - Every 5 years the Visual Arts and Crafts has an exhibition. This time it showcased the serious works of our art students, Nihar Godbole on the ASD Spectrum was mainstreamed in the ART world. Vasant, a paraplegic worked on the line of Monet paintings which was very well received. The exhibition had 57 paintings which included the work of all the students of the department. This was possible only with the amazing support of Tarana Khubchandani, who took upon herself, the printing of invites, brochures, publicity and the exhibition of our work at her Art Gallery Art & Soul, Worli, on November 26th & 27th , 2009. Jasmine Sajnani and her team coordinated devotedly with Tarana. Anaida was the MC and the who’s who of Mumbai attended. The Exhibition was a sell out. A number of celebrities attended, so the Media covered them at the show.

    - The Annual Exhibition on 3rd and 4th December, 2009 was inaugurated by Mr. Sreeram Iyer, Regional Chief Operating Officer, India & South Asia of Standard Chartered Bank. We had our students do a yoga display of Tibetan Rites, Aerobic and other drill formations by the Junior School, Pre-Voc and Skills Enhancement. All classes put up a display as to how the Hand functions are developed in the School programmes. The Polytechnic courses displayed how and where the students are placed for internships. We are now looking for permanent Jobs for our students, “please Help”. On 4th December, 2009 it was inaugurated by Mrs. Indira Gulbani & Dr.(Sr.) Anila Verghese, Principal, Sophia College.

    - On display were Hemant Trevedi’s garments, executed by the students for the fashion event “Because…. I am” together with dresser sets, wooden trays, hand painted napkins & towels, coasters, tablemats, gifting articles, gift bags, bookmarks, folders, candles…..the food court was a great attraction with unique street food, mini meals, desserts.
  • On 27th November Grade IV and the new students of the Pre-Vocational class went on a visit to IMS Vikrant as part of the Navy Week Celebration.
  • Leonie Ulmer and Sonja Honle, two young volunteers from Germany spent two mutually beneficial weeks with us.
  • The Foundation Art students of Sophia BK Somani Polytechnic had their “Christmas Outreach” with our students teaching them art skills on Thursday, 17th December, 2009
  • The HR College students, visited our school and interacted with our students on Monday 21st December, 2009.

STAFF EMPOWERMENT

  • During the Diwali Break - 26th - 30th October, 2009, two staff attended the Workshop at NIMH, Hyderabad on “Statistical Data Analysis and Computer Applications in Social Science Research”
  • Four Staff attended “Holistic Enhancement of Learning Potential” in Chennai 18th - 20th November, 2009.
  • Three teachers went for the BASIC Instrumental Enrichment programme by Prof. Falik from Israel from 12th to 16th November, 2009.
  • We hosted an Art of Living Basic Course for the staff of our School, Shraddha Charitable Trust and Om Creations Trust. Sunil Munshi and Leena Gupta were the teachers. It was much appreciated by all.

AWARDS

  • Dr. Radhike Khanna, received her Doctorate in Management studies (DMS) in the A Grade
  • Dr. Radhike Khanna received the “Sophia B.K. Somani Polytechnic Achievers Award 2009” as an outstanding ex-student of the Institute
  • The 44th All India Art Competition, was held in Hyderabad. We won the Child Star Award in Painting, 2 children won Gold Medals in painting and making dolls, 2 silver medals for Dolls, 3 copper medals for dolls and toys and 5 Highly Commended and Commended Certificates for all three categories - Painting, Dolls & Toys.
  • The Hospitality & Catering Department sent up a team of 4 students to the AWMH Competition at Rizvi College. We got the 1st prize for our cake in the Bakery Section and 2nd prize for pasta in the cooking section.

CHRISTMAS

  • The Special Assembly on 21st December, 2009 performed by Grade IV and Skills Enhancement, with Dr. (Mrs.) Vidita Rakshit as Chief Guest, gave a message of Sharing, Caring and Helping in the Season of Peace and Joy.
  • On 22nd December, 2009, the Christmas Party began by a High Tea, sponsored by Mr. Deepak Bassi, Managing Director & CEO of KHPL. The Consul General of Israel, kindly offered us an Israeli Band “TARARAM” to liven up the Party. The four member band was innovative and excellent, using stools, spoons, dekchi’s and their bodies, creating music and keeping all entranced… The Consul General, Mrs. Orna Sagiv, the Consul Ortal Elbaz, and members of the Consulate Staff, Shalom Club members, Om Creations special employees and staff, Shraddha Charitable Trust special employees and staff, all joined in the celebration. The Council and staff gave out red bags with goodies. Santa, of course came and rewarded all with gifts. It was a great party and a wonderful end to 2009 for the students.



We wish you every Christmas Blessing through 2010.
Thank you for your support to our challenging mission.

Painting by Sushmita Ghadia Students with Tararam Band at Xmas Party
Painting by Sushmita Ghadia that won the “Child Star
Award” - Babjee Art Competition
Students with Tararam Band at Xmas Party
Consul General, Orna Sagiv, distributing Xmas gifts Chief guest, Mr Iyer, at Food Court, Annual Exhibition Art & Soul
Consul General, Orna Sagiv, distributing Xmas gifts Chief guest, Mr Iyer, at Food Court, Annual Exhibition Art & Soul
Ritesh Deshmukh with students at Gallery  
Ritesh Deshmukh with students at Gallery  
August - October 2009
  • August saw Mumbai in Swine Flu fears and so we accepted the Government’s order to close school for a week. Students stayed at home, but the staff attended and worked hard on ISO documentation and lesson plans. Unfortunately our Independence Day Special Assembly had to be cancelled, a great disappointment to Grade IV students, who had practiced a lot.
  • Internal Audits were conducted from mid August and several meaningful changes have taken place.
  • Aruna Raje and her team had a punishing schedule from August 26th onwards, from 6.30 am to 7.30pm, shooting for our new graduation movie: “Every Cloud has a Silver Lining”. The shooting in school ended on September 3rd, 2009.Hill Spring students at SPJ Sadhana
  • Our twinning programme with Hill Spring School continued, the students of standard VII and VIII were coming in twice a week.
  • Arune Raje intends to make another film on the school. Filming is to start mid-August. She held extensive interactions with the staff in July to develop a story line and script.
  • Abhilasha Ganeriwala, Director of Pulse Dance Studio donated, Rs. 15,000/-, a part of their Dance Show Proceeds at their function held in Bandra on August 22, 2009.



  • Visit to Harish Mahindra Children’s ParkGrades I, II and III went to a home Ganpati Celebration. They also visited the new park, Harish Mahindra Children’s Park, at Breach Candy and all the teachers felt this should be a regular exercise.

  • On September 4th 2009, Deutsche Bank hosted a teacher’s day function for NGO’s they work with. Dr. Radhike Khanna, Ms. Ranjana Mahadevia, Ms. Jasmine Pandya, Ms. Fionika Sanghvi and Ms. Gloria Rebello, were invited and honoured.


  • The P.T.A. postponed the Teachers Day Celebration to September 30th, 2009. Teachers were treated to a sumptuous Lunch at Flamboyante. After a wonderful meal each staff was presented with a potted plant with a caption “You Nurtured HOPE, They saw a DREAM”.
  •           Ramleela Special AssemblyThe Dassera Special Assembly by the Pre-Vocational class was much appreciated by the chief guest - Devita Saraf, Director, Vu Technologies. She said that this was by far the simplest and best Ramleela she had seen. The Zee TV covered this presentation of the Ram Leela.






  • Vatsalya students at SPJ SadhanaThe Joy of Giving week, saw our students sacrifice their snacks for 3 days, to provide hot snacks to Vatsalya children and staff. Some of the staff and students of Vatsalya visited us on September 29, 2009 and had a good interaction with our students and enjoyed some goodies from our Dassera Celebration that afternoon.

  • The months of September/October saw many meetings regarding the Building Project. A meeting with the interior decorator, Vandana Ranjitsinh, began the work on interiors of the top two floors.
  • Two of our Teachers, Simida Correia and Charusheel Dhotre, attended a much appreciated Workshop “Get to Write” on October 10th and 11th, 2009 at the Don Bosco School.
  • On October 12, 2009, we had our students finish cards to their parents encouraging them to Vote for their children’s future! In the afternoon was the Diwali Party organized by the PTA.
  • We had successful open days where parents much appreciated the efforts of the staff. A student, Akanksha’s, father was very grateful and has pledged Rs. 1 lakh, every year, to improve the services of the school.
  • We secured jobs for our students, Aliasgar and Neeraj. Are awaiting for more confirmations for our students to get their jobs.
  • It makes us proud to announce that two of our students on internship, Shreya and Shruti got their first pay cheques and the parents wrote a sincere note of appreciation to the principal.
  • The Hospitality and Catering department completed a successful in-house training at the Taj President under Chef Anand Solomon. We are looking for them to be absorbed by the industry. We are also looking for jobs for our students in the  Office Procedures Course. If you or your contacts can get placements, please get in touch with us.

  • The staff  had a much appreciated, very informative, relaxing, healing 1 & ½ days session - 12th October ½ day and 14th October full day meetings.
  • Please mark your Diary for the upcoming Exhibitions:
    1. 27th November, 2009 at Gallery Art & Soul, an exhibition of our students paintings on canvas - “ Impressions & Expressions”.
    2.  Annual Exhibition on  3rd and 4th December 2009, at SPJ Sadhana School.

May - July 2009
  • The school summer vacation for students started in mid April. However, the teachers worked on till the end of April, preparing teaching plans for the next academic term and getting the ISO 9001:2000 non-conformities closed.
  • During the May holidays, the Principal, Vice Principal, Admin staff and special educators/therapists were busy carrying out assessments of students who were on the waiting list. 12 new students were admitted in June into different classes. 5 new teachers were also hired and we were happy to welcome a teacher after she took a break for her marriage. The students were busy on a joint project with parents on transport in Mumbai.
  • Term reopened with Staff meetings on 8th and 9th June. Staff were welcomed to the new term in a unique manner. Music and dance was the opening to the new term. An atmosphere of complete relaxation was manifested and all anxieties were set to rest with meditation to music.
  • At one of the meetings Ms Shilpi Kapoor from Breaking Barrier Technology conducted a session on using Computer Technology successfully in the classroom. This will be a new thrust for the year in all classes.
    1. The salient features of the Technology were:
    2. Use of a Touch Screen or speak to the computer.
    3. Use of a Joy Stick, for Physically Challenged users.
    4. Magnifier for Visually Challenged.
    5. Properties of the ‘ Easy Tutor’ Programmer.
    6. Audio files for students who do not read.
    7. Typing Tutor-Properties.
    8. Set up of Macro - to create identical data.
    9. Format painter - use and properties.
    10. Use of Plastic/ thermal paper as teaching aids [tactile] for various programmes.
  • Arune Raje intends to make another film on the school. Filming is to start mid-August. She held extensive interactions with the staff in July to develop a story line and script.
  • Our first drama therapy session was held on Saturday, 11th July ’09 conducted by Theatre Professionals. These sessions will be held every Saturday at school for 2 hours.
  • In July Sr Gaitonde and Dr Khanna attended the 11th Biennnial IASE Conference in Alicante, Spain on“Broadening the Horizon: Recognizing, Accepting and Embracing Differences to Make a Better World for Individuals with Special Needs.” Sr.Gaitonde presented “Fortitude in the Face of Autism….Meeting the Needs of Students with Challenging Behaviour” and Dr Khanna spoke on “Creating Horizons for Intellectually Challenged in Art & Fashion.” Dr Khanna was also on an international panel on Volunteerism.

    pic

  • OUTREACH PROGRAMMES
    1. We have started an outreach programme with NSS Hill Spring School. Initially all their staff visited SPJ Sadhana to familiarize themselves with our school functioning. Subsequently their CAS group, which is a parent body of their school, also visited our school to coordinate the interaction that will take place in the ensuing months between the children of Hill Spring and SPJ Sadhana. The objective is integration and the joint Annual Art & Craft exhibition to be held in November.
    2. CNBC Awaaz aired an interview with Dr Khanna on “Smart Business Women.” This has resulted in a number of queries on Downs Syndrome & Om Creations.
    3. The Manager-Programming of Zee TV’s serial “Aap ki Antara” has been discussing issues on Autism with us. We have received, as a result, innumerable queries from all parts of India. Parents who are desperate as they have no help at all in their areas. We are busy advising them and answering queries.
    4. Dr Khanna made a presentation on 8th May 2009 at the Trident for the Rotary Club of Bombay Central about the school.

March - April 2009
We had no time to recover from the Fashion Event, “Because….. I am” on 6th March ’09. On Monday, 9th March ’09, the Israeli Mathemagician arrived, that afternoon we had the Consul General of Israel, Orna Segive, give away the certificates to teachers who had completed stage III of the “Let’s talk Maths” course.

The next day was Eid-e-milad, but we had a workshop in Maths by mathemagician Tamar Apel.

The staff then got 3 days to type and Xerox examination papers, as examinations began on 16th March ’09. At the same time as the examination of the students, teachers and departments were going through the internal audit for ISO 9001:2000.

On 31st March ’09, three students, Vincent, Vineet & Vasant were awarded The Urmila Vaid Charitable Trust Scholarships by Priyadarshini Academy Awards.

picLay a brick…..build a dream” was launched by Farhan Akhtar at the Taj Land’s End, Bandra on Saturday, 18th April ’09. Our godmother, Geeta Gopalkrishnan, got Tatas to print posters / boxes / brochures. ULKAFCB helped make the audiovisual “Brick by Brick” with a song composed by Geeta Gopalkrishnan. Show Biz gave free services for stage, background Rock on Sadhana, sound and light. The Taj Land’s End Hotel offered space and refreshments gratis. The media did a good coverage of the event. Most TV channels ran the “Rock On Sadhana Event”. We need 4 crores in all for the 2 floors extension. The donation of a brick being Rs 5,000/- We need all our friends to galvanize all their friends if we are to get to our target.

TCS has worked gratis on a microsite “www.donateabrick.com” and ICICI Bank has offered a gateway also free. You can donate any number of bricks.

We had TERI speak to our students and staff on care of the earth. The students and staff were able to build new knowledge on their existing knowledge of separating garbage and saving water/electricity. The audiovisual talk was much appreciated.

We had 2 weeks of Staff working overtime to complete all documentation for the new academic year, and for their own growth. We had 2 days staff empowerment in Communication skills. Nirmala Mehendale of “Mind Movers” took 3 hours of interactive sessions, a parent of a normal school going student spoke on parents view of disciplining methods in school. Kashmira presented staff-parents interactions to empower teachers.

On other days each teacher / therapist spoke on breakthroughs, challenges etc.

It was a very fruitful week of getting the macro picture of the school. The next week was spent on ISO evaluations of non-conformities, Management Review, Departmental profiles, lesson plans for 3 months and inventories. We had 2 very fruitful Open Days. Parents were very appreciative of the progress of their child.

picWe proudly announce that Dr Radhike Khanna, our Vice Principal, was awarded the IMC Ladies Wing: “Woman of the Year 2008 Award” by Deepak Parekh, before the who’s who of the corporate world, in a dignified ceremony. Our Om Creations Trust was caterer for the refreshments.

We bid farewell to three staff: Shobha Bhavkar of the Snackbar, and Leelaben Waghela careworker, both of whom retired and Manisha Gudi who resigned.

The school has closed for the summer vacation but is spearheading the building fundraising drive - which is attached. We are sure you will put up a banner from the microsite on your home page and send all your email contacts the microsite with a personal note, encouraging them to build our dream.
With so much good will to our school, we count on you to be a brick!
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