The school conducts frequent training activities for the staff, which includes training sessions, lectures and exposure visits to other special schools. The school houses a small library of books focused on child development and developmental disabilities to enable the staff to stay updated. In addition staff members conduct workshops, seminar, orientation programmes for faculty teaching in the mainstream schools and students training to become mainstream teachers, to increase their awareness of children with special needs.
The school also acts as a resource for students studying in the special eduction programmes from different institutions. Chaithanya centre offers practical training, study and research facilities for post graduate students in Social Work (MSW) from Amritha Vidya peetom, Ettimadai and to B Ed students from Vyasa Vidya Peetom, Kallekkad, Palakkad.
Chaithanya recognises the vital role of the parents, especially mothers, in the development of the Special Child outside the school. Hence the School conducts training programmes for parents and provides ongoing one-on-one counselling to them on an as-needed basis. Frequent counseling is provided by trained social workers to parents and other family members. Special efforts are made to support former students and their parents through regular phone calls, meetings and other support as required.
Recreational excursion, picnics and outings are organised annually with the participation of staff, students, parents and siblings that enhance a Special Child’s experiential learning and development of social skills.
VOCATIONAL TRAINING FOR MOTHERS
Many of the children are accompanied by their mothers who spend the entire day at the school. Chaithanya employs qualified mothers as teachers or support staff. In addition, the School encourages other mothers to learn vocational skills that will enable them to be self-employed or employable. Teams of mothers now produce garments, food spice mixes, soaps and disinfectants and paper items, all of which are sold to general public in the area generating income for the families.
To increase the society’s awareness of the needs of the Special Children in the community, the staff and parents set up stalls during local festivals (such as famous Kalpathy car festival) and in the fairs conducted by local groups and by State and local governments. In addition, regular screening camps are conducted at the school and in the rural areas to screen and identify children with special needs. Some start attending Chaithanya and others are counseled by the staff.
Chaithanya centre offers practical training, study and research facilities for post-graduate students in Social Work (MSW) . students from Amrita VidyaPeetom, Ettimada and B.ed students from VyasaVidyaPeetom, Kallekkad, Palakkad, visit Chaithanya for their practical training.
Most students of Chaithanya participated in sports events on the World Disabled Day conducted by Social Welfare Department at Muncipal Town Hall, Palakkad. Recently Chaithanya students bagged four gold medals and silver medals in district level Olympics conducted by Association of Special Schools, Kerala.
Music and Drama are recognised at Chaithanya as valuable therapeutic aids for the development of the Special Child. Chaithanya joined hands with the School of Drama Therapy of Palakkad and conducted a Drama Therapy Camp at the School site was inaugurated by Sri.Ravithaikad, Chairman School of Drama Therapy of Palakkad. Recently several noted Drama Therapists assessed the students and selected 20 students for Drama therapy camp. The students performed a drama “ManthrikaKannadi” (Magic mirror) at M.D.Ramanathan Hall, Palakkad during Drama Fest.
To day we thank our donors for coming this far with us. However, the mission continues! With the large number of special children in the area and the limited educational resources, Chaithanya’s student strength is increasing day by day. In response the school has added a first floor in the existing one level building. The school also needs a vehicle as school bus for transportation of children from rural areas, who will be greatly benefitted. To further the cause of the Special Children in the Palakkad District and surrounds, Chaithanya plans to start Special Education Training Centre in the near future.
With the care and support we have received from our donors in the past, we are confident that you will be with us in this endeavour. We appeal to each and everyone of you to join us or continue to be a part of this noble venture.