Press Release, 2nd Jan 2022: They say, the best gift you can give a child is the gift of reading. To allow children to immerse themselves entirely in books and stories, Jasudben ML School, a premier ICSE school in Khar, held their much-awaited Annual Literature Festival recently. The idea behind this literature festival is to expose students to the wonderful world of books, stories, and learning and to promote creativity and intellectual development among students. The event saw a fabulous line-up of special guests like renowned authors, storytellers, and illustrators from the children’s literature world.
The Annual Literature Festival was flooded with interesting and engaging activities for children like reading-aloud sessions, story-telling, an illustration workshop and other interactive workshops, quiz sessions, etc. Every year the school organizes this Literature festival for students of certain classes. And, this year the main focus was the secondary section of the school from 5th to 10th standard.
In this Literature festival, students were offered an opportunity to meet popular and award winning authors like Jerry Pinto, Nandita DaCunha, Vaishali Shroff, Lubaina Bandukwala, Divya Anand, Joanna Rebello Fernandes, and Imtiaz Anees and they read out their loved pieces for the students.
Author Nandita DaCunha is well-known for her book ‘Pedru and the Big Boom’, which revolves around adventure, courage and above all a call to take care of our planet. This story was read out to the students as an introduction to her work. Author Vaishali Dhar also conducted an interesting reading session of her book, ‘Batata Pao and All Things Portuguese’ which traces the fascinating trail of Portuguese history in India across the West coast of India.
The journalist-turned-author, Lubaina loves spinning stories for children and for the reading-aloud session, held for students of grades 7 and 8, she chose one of her recently published books ‘Chowpatty Cooking Club’. Speaking of the story, it is set in Bombay in 1942 during the Quit India movement and revolves around three curious children who are trying to be a part of the Indian freedom struggle while their moms are just running a cooking club of all things. Author Divya Anand picked ‘Misfit Madhu’ for the reading session. ‘Misfit Madhu’ is a riveting story of a shy, middle-grade developer who is faced with a dilemma when the app that she created goes viral and how the app ultimately gets used to selling leaked test papers.
For the 9th to 11th grade students, author Joanna Rebello Fernandes did a reading from her recently published book ‘Journey to the Edge of the Earth: True Adventure of Naval Officer Abhilash Tomy’ which is a gritty, glorious and true adventure of Commander Abhilash Tomy, a former officer of the Indian Navy, who in 2012 set off on the journey of a lifetime. The author of ‘Riding free: My Olympic Journey’, Imtiaz Anees also did a reading of his book which is based on the story of a young boy with an impossible dream – competing at the Olympics (it is his own story).
Apart from that, the school had also organized various interactive workshops to encourage students to connect with leaders from various walks of life, who help them to open up their minds and look at things from other perspectives. The school conducted a workshop ‘Creating Stories As Comic Book Panels’ for the students of 5th and 6th standards. The theme for this workshop was ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ and children were taught how to combine words and pictures in comic book panels to craft a compelling story. Besides that, the workshop also helped the students get an insight into the process of making a graphic novel.
The students also participated in a fun workshop, ‘Creating Picture Books with Folk Art’, set up by the popular writer and illustrator, Lavanya Karthik. Lavanya was seen interacting with students about the choices that illustrators make in illustration styles while creating the books and how they visualize and ultimately create an illustration book. There was also another workshop with Mallika Ravikumar on ‘The Art of Writing Historical Fiction’ which was organized to help students see Indian history in a new light and allow them to connect more meaningfully with the past, thus making the subject more interesting.
Finally, the Literature festival came to a close with an interesting Quiz session based on literature topics. It was a day full of wonderful words, creative ideas, fascinating stories and so much more, making it an unforgettable literary event for the students.
While expressing views on the Annual Literature Festival, the principal of the JML school, Mrs. Damayanti Bhattacharya, said, “Books are man’s best friend and we have organized the festival to inculcate a habit of reading among students and promoting intellectual enlightenment and talent among the children. This Literature festival also provided a unique opportunity for the children to meet such renowned authors and listen to their literary work and learn about them. At the core of the event lies the belief that children need to have the capability to think creatively, communicate clearly and collaborate with others. Doing this will not just set them up for success in their careers, but will also empower them to lead happier and healthier lives. All-in-all, it is a celebration of literature, a coming together of creative minds, and a step towards building a bridge across cultures.”
The festival dedicated to children’s literature brought to the students not just the books, but a complete culture of reading, learning, listening and giving wings to the imagination.