Nandavanam is a CSR venture of Newgen KnowledgeWorks, focused on creating a space for the care and healing of underprivileged kids with disabilities. The Nandavanam Healing Center caters to children with developmental challenges like autism, mental Retardation, cerebral Palsy and multiple Disabilities. The Nandavanam Center for Learning started as an after-school support program catering to first generation school-goers from the local fishermen community, which organically developed into a school for dropouts and children with learning disabilities.
The Nandavanam Center for Learning (NCL) has two main programs: the school and the NCL Learners Club. Through these programs, NCL educates children both in academics as well as through activities such as music, carpentry, handwork, theatre, and art, keeping in mind their socio-emotional development.
Below are a few of their success stories:
Sai Neithiren| Age: 13 years | Joined NCL in Feb 2022
Sai Neitheren is a child with a learning disability who had an academic gap of more than 4 years. At NCL, after a detailed assessment of the child, his strengths and deficit areas were determined. An Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) was created with the goal of addressing his deficits and to use his strengths to improve his academic skills to match his grades. With IEP, the school was successful in remediating his learning gaps. He appeared for an entrance examination for the 8th grade and secured good marks. He has been successfully integrated into a mainstream school, Sri Siva Swamy Kalalaya Senior Secondary School, at a grade appropriate to his age.
Surya Narayanan| Age: 11 years | Joined NCL in Feb 2022
Surya Narayanan, a child with a learning disability and several social and behavioural issues had a learning gap of 3 years. His IEP included physiotherapy and a specific program to address his behavioural issues as well as his educational gap. He progressed quickly and was able to secure admission into a mainstream school, Chennai Corporation Middle School, Thiruvanmiyur, after clearing the entrance exam to 7th grade. He has made progress in managing his behaviour and social responses through physiotherapy and counselling support.
Bhuvisha| Age: 7 years| Joined NCL in Dec 2022
Bhuvisha’s mother identified her difficulties and approached NCL for academic support. As Bhuvisha was just 7 years old, the school was able to provide early intervention to which she responded with success. She has been successfully integrated into a mainstream school, St. Joseph School, Vettuvankani, in the third grade.
Sarathy| Age: 13 years| Joined Learners Club in 2019
Sarathy joined when he was in 6th grade in the Panchayat Union Middle School, Neelankarai. A bright and intelligent student, he needed help in many academic areas of both literacy and numeracy. He would hesitate to talk in class. Today he confidently delivers speeches in public. He has successfully cleared his 9th grade and is the first one to do so in his family. He is extremely interested in science and wishes to obtain a bachelor’s degree in fisheries to help his family with advanced technologies and methods in fishing. During COVID-19, he was supported fully by Nandavanam because of which he is confident of securing good marks in his 10th grade.
Duwarkesh| Age: 13 years| Joined Learners Club in Aug 2022
Duwarkesh, who was studying in the 9th grade at the Government Higher Secondary School, Thiruvanmiyur, had a huge academic gap as he was unable to attend school for 2 years due to the pandemic. At the time of joining, he was failing in all the subjects. He was provided special care specific to his level of understanding. Class 7th and 8th curricula were bridged along with his 9th-grade learning. He has now passed 9th grade and is ready for the next one. Duwarkesh used to play the mridangam, which he had to discontinue before joining the Learners Club. But now he is back at it and he is confident about his academic studies.
Vishwanath| Age: 14 years| Joined Learners Club in 2018
Vishwanath joined NCL when he was studying in 6th grade at the Panchayat Union School. He was shy and lacked the confidence to speak. His schoolwork would be incomplete and he could not recall anything taught in school. He was a regular at the NCL club, where he slowly started to interact with teachers and opened up about his school work. He has now become confident and participates in extracurricular activities like dance, drama, and art. His family had migrated during Covid because of which he lost 2 years of education both at the school and the club. He was automatically promoted to the 9th grade but he failed in all the subjects in the first term. In NCL Club, he took help so he could cope with his studies as well as bridge the 7th and 8th grade curricula. Now he has successfully passed the 9th grade and is the first person in his family to do so. He is ready for the 10 th grade and NCL is confident that he will come out with flying colours. Arthi Srinivasan, NCL’s Educational Therapist, has a deep interest in education. An avid learner, she has qualified herself in many areas of remedial education. She has designed and executed many training programs for teachers and heads of schools towards more effective and child-friendly approaches to education.