Once upon a time...

Spreading smiles

Once upon a time...

Storytelling has always been an effective medium to communicate a message.

Keeping this in mind, Aparna Athreya, a professional storyteller, started the Kid and Parent Foundation, a start-up, to help children and adults grow by using mediums like storytelling, music, movement, art, theatre and creative language.

She believes storytelling is the way to educate people and attain good results.

The venture promotes development through creative, scientific and innovative learning media, aimed to empower people to discover themselves.

It functions in three sectors — education, welfare and corporate — where a team of six give talks, classes and help the child and parent grow emotionally and intellectually.

The education sector deals with building the skills to understand and manage emotions, set goals, be responsible, show empathy towards others, establish and maintain positive relationships and solve problems through critical thinking.

“The child grasps information easily when it is presented in the form of a story. In the past, a school was an interactive place.

But today, a teacher just chalks down the points, gives the lessons and leaves. The interaction between teacher and child is missing.

We wanted to bring that back and give the children a real experience of learning.

We let children explore the characters giving a metamorphic level and don’t tell them the moral of the story, as we leave that for them to interpret,” says Aparna.

It caters to the children from pre-school to primary school and each of the sessions goes on for about 40 minutes to an hour.

They have something for the parents too as Aparna says, “We play activities like mirroring another person. This helps us understand the other person’s point of view and allows us to put ourselves in their shoes,” she says. 

“Parents need to take the responsibility of the child and not the ownership of the child. When you take the responsibility of a child, you allow them the freedom and the ability to explore and make mistakes and learn from that. But when you take the ownership of the child, you will restrict the child’s movement’s which will hinder his or her development,” she adds.

Sowmya Srinivasan, creative consultant of the foundation, says, “The organisation helps the children enhance their intellectual, creative, emotional and social skills. I have been a part of this foundation for the past two years and it has an been amazing journey. I have evolved as a person.” 

Workshops  are designed to help teachers improve their classroom techniques with young children.

Emphasis is given on the importance of storytelling, various practices of storytelling and most importantly integrating storytelling in the classroom level.

Aparna is also looking at sports education and health sector in the near future.

“Sports education is a huge thing. A sportsperson should not only be physically fit but also mental and emotionally strong. In the sports sector, we are looking at three factors — ethics, nationalism and behaviour — of the sportsperson, where we will foster and develop these areas.”

In the health sector, Aparna wants to use storytelling to heal those who are suffering from illnesses as storytelling can be a great medium to forget the worries.

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