Who are we?
We are former Teach For India Fellows. After teaching full time for two years in under resourced schools in North Chennai, we have made a commitment to stay with our students at least for another seven years till they complete their schooling and go to college. We want to change their life paths. We formed Vasippu as a non profit trust (Regn. no 1589/IV/2015) in August 2015 to accomplish that.
What do we do?
Vasippu runs an equalizer program for first generation learners. We are present in three schools - CHS New Market Farm, New Washermenpet, ECI Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Tondiarpet and CHS CB Road, Korukkupet. We impact 156 8th standard students and 64 sixth standard students in six classrooms.
Our students are first generation learners from low income communities. For competing with their peers from more affluent backgrounds they need massive amount of resources - time, money, adult role models, in-school and out-of-school additional tutoring and exposure opportunities. We help the teachers of our students by providing technical and logistical assistance inside and outside the classroom. We aim to be the equalizing factor that levels the playing field for our children.
How do we do it?
We work with the teachers as teaching assistants, provide them with material help, learning aids, design and implement e-classroom curriculum. We also arrange and volunteer for field trips, conduct workshops and competitions. We provide good quality free uniforms, subsidized stationery, supplementary curricular material and sometimes direct financial aid to our students. We also help our schools in maintaining and upgrading school infrastructure where normal sources of funding don’t pan out.
We provide space and time for after school and weekend instruction as well. We have a community center at New Washermenpet. In communities where academic work outside school is not the norm, the center provides a space for them to indulge in curricular and extracurricular activities after school and during weekends. We run e-classrooms using android tablets and free educational apps to supplement traditional classroom instruction. We have hired a part-time tutor for after school instruction. We are also planning to conduct robotics & programming workshops. We have started inter school quiz and chess clubs. We aim to participate regularly in competitions like the Young World Quiz and the Tamil Nadu Government Maths talent test.