Bond with the best

Updated: Jul 16, 2020, 10:32 IST | Sukanya Datta | Mumbai

A learning platform is hosting a short story marathon for kids, centred on Ruskin Bond

Ruskin Bond
Ruskin Bond

Be it the adventures of Rusty and his friends in the hidden streams of Dehradun, or the tales of the snowy leopard in the Himalayan foothills, author Ruskin Bond's writings have always brought alive a side of India that's real and yet tucked away from the human eye. "I grew up identifying with Ruskin Bond's stories because they were so real," says Manali Navalakha Rathi, a Pune-based curriculum designer and storyteller. To spread her love for the octogenarian writer's works with young readers, her learning platform Unplggd is hosting a short story marathon, starting today.

Titled Bond with Ruskin Bond, the programme is open to children above the age of five. It will be conducted in the form of 30-minute reading sessions till July 31. "I feel that Bond's stories stay with children for a long time. For instance, I read Panther's Moon as a child, and still go back to it," shares Navalakha Rathi, adding that they will read tales from The Room of Many Colours: A Treasury of Stories for Children by Bond. "Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, we will get together, and the instructor will read stories from the book. The most impactful parts will be highlighted on the screen along with visuals so that kids can read along."

Unplggd conducts various programmes to sharpen the social, cognitive, physical and emotional skills of children
Unplggd conducts various programmes to sharpen the social, cognitive, physical and emotional skills of children

The marathon, which will be held over video calls, is part of a series of programmes that Unplggd has introduced to boost physical, social, cognitive and emotional skills of children. Apart from mapping Bond's life through the stories, the marathon is aimed at vocabulary-building. "Children often get blown away by words while reading and don't finish stories. We will draw up a list of words from the stories that we think the kids may have trouble understanding, and discuss them while reading. They, too, can ask meanings. In the end, we'll do fun activities around the words so that they remember them," she elaborates. There will also be other games to boost their imagination, such as 'What would you do if you were the author?' and creating jingles based on animals in the stories.

While they have capped the number of participants at 50, Unplggd will host a similar session in the first week of August. Sign up for this marathon if you'd like your little one to discover the world of Bond.

Manali Navalakha Rathi
Manali Navalakha Rathi

Till July 31
Message @unplggd.connect on Instagram
Cost Rs 600

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