The practice of reading and writing is the cornerstone when it comes to the development of children within education, with this topic being a fundamental part of schooling systems in each country. To better these skills, one requires practice, teaching, and repetition, which is usually conducted by a teacher in school, parents, or tutors. However, these methods of development are not always readily available to children and often are not accessible due to barriers in resources, money, facilities, and opportunities. This is a reality for the children living in and around rural villages in India, with India’s literacy rate ranked 159 worldwide. Actions can be taken to tackle these barriers, such as creating more opportunities for children in these villages to develop their skills.
Understanding the need to create opportunities for the holistic development of rural children, Anantapur Sports Academy, an award-winning Sport For Development NGO has been operating development centers, since 2010, in three villages across Anantapur District, in Bathalalpali, Atmakur, and Dharmavaram. Before and after school, children can attend receive coaching in hockey, cricket, kabaddi, kho-kho, and football from qualified coaches who aim to enhance skills and abilities, up to the age of 16 years, regardless of gender, at no cost. Along with these classes, a qualified computer teacher is also on hand at Atmakur and Bathalapali sports centres to hold computer classes for the students to further computer literacy. One of the aims of the ASA development centres is to use sports to access and develop skills that can be transferred into non-sporting environments, such as team-work, confidence, self-esteem, socialising, etc. These skills are promoted through sports classes, however, also have the potential to be developed in social spaces, such as libraries.
ASA is currently campaigning to raise funds for books to develop libraries at ‘Development Centers’ in these rural villages, offering children the chance to read, write, socialise, and receive life skills workshops in attractive learning environments. Creating these spaces will give children an opportunity outside of school to develop literacy skills at different reading levels with support from ASA staff, as well as gain knowledge on social and personal issues like personal hygiene, gender equality, mental health, and much more. Through the use of libraries at the centres, children can also develop socially and psychologically, learning how to interact with other students in a creative environment. You can give an opportunity for these 400 rural children in Anantapur to grow and develop, furthering their literacy skills by donating books to our library. You can learn more here!