Community Learning Centers are set up in a slum community to cater to the children who live here. These centers primarily offer a quiet place to study, read books and finish homework; an environment otherwise not available to these children. These centers also offer computer classes, science experiment labs, a reading room and study classes to guide children in their studies. A library service is also available at these centers, where the children can come to the center and select books of their own choice and take them home to read. A ‘child to child’ library is also offered, where an older child from the community is given a bag of books to carry home and lend them to children from neighboring homes. Children now have easy access to books to read at home, without having to come to the Door Step School center.
Where the schools are within walking distance, Door Step School staff assists these children to walk to school and also bring them back to the centers. Communities such as this, benefit a great deal by the services of Community Leaning centers .Without these services, these children otherwise would have dropped out of school within one or two years of enrollment.
Volunteering activities are quite regular in these centers, since the children are more stable here being from neighboring communities as compared to children at construction sites. Volunteers offer a great role model to these children. Children look up to them and aspire to become like them when they grow up.
Currently we have three study centers –
- CLC at Dattawadi, Sinhgad Road;
- CLC at Shivaji Housing Society, Off Senapati Bapat Road;
- CLC at Vaiduwadi, Hadapsar.
- Community Library: Membership of these libraries is offered to all the children in the community who wish to practice their reading. Our library has storybooks and picture books to engage and stimulate small children who do not have access to such materials at home.
- Reference Library: Our Reference Libraries (Sandarbha Vachnalaya) are for children from Stds. V through X who need a place where they can sit undisturbed and focus on their studies. Atlases, dictionaries and other useful material, not found in most of the children’s homes, are available at the centers; as is the required space and quietness. No regular teaching takes place here but a teacher is always available to help the students.
- Computer Classes: We have 12 computers in our study center which we use to train individuals in basic Office software. Access is also provided to young adults for office training. We see this as a great way to get kids excited about learning and a powerful tool to implement flexible learning programs catered to children at every skill level.