It is not unusual to see Karishma Attari queue up to play toy-train with kids or even break into a funny jig just to make her students understand a concept better.
Attari, 34, a freelance journalist and a theatre actor, set up Super Readers Club last year -- a fun way of reading books for pleasure. She started the club after she saw her children waking up to iPhones instead of a storybook.
“They would always spend their time playing games on their phones and computer even when we had a house full of books,” she says. Super Readers Club, thus, became a window to the world that she wanted to create for her kids as well as other children. “Reading is such a great practice. It is like an ethical compass through which you can navigate the world,” she adds.
The club organises reading workshops every three months and limits classes to 10 children in each age group. The cubs section is for kids between two to five years, the juniors between the age group of five to eight years and seniors between 8 to11 years. Only three books are covered every month with at least four sessions dedicated to every book. Attari explains, “I see kids as equals.
Therefore, their inputs matter a lot. We engage students through role-play, crafts, origami, drawing and discussions that make the process much more interactive. It is a step-by-step method that involves reading a book aloud, underlining the difficult words, associating a particular paragraph with general knowledge and finally asking them their views on the books.”
But Attari choses the books cautiously, as it can affect the psyche of a child’s mind. She explains, “I go through 40 books to come up with one that could benefit the child. I want to engross them in the moral of the story and not the characters. I don’t want them to read books where the parent dies or a book that has explicit violence. These are small things but they affect a child in a huge way.”
Though the favourite book among her students still remains The Twits by Roald Dahl, Attari is keen on audio-visual films and slide show presentations that also help in building the imagination of the kids. “I am not averse to technology if it helps explain a concept better.” she says.
So what’s next on her plate? “I am currently looking out for people who can help me with this venture. If that happens, I would love to open branches in south Mumbai and other locations,” she signs off.