Friday, February 15, 2013

Dr. Beck at UWO

Dr. Beck was invited by the English Department at London's University of Western Ontario to deliver four separate presentations. Three of these were given to classes, and a fourth was a general lecture open to faculty and students.

A number of people in attendance expressed considerable interest in the Ponnivala project. Several even picked up the complete series right on the spot!

Since returning from London, Dr. Beck has received a number of emails from her hosts detailing some of the positive feedback and response to the lectures, and several students have since written with additional questions and requests for supplemental materials.


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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Ponnivala Education Project Kicks Off in Scarborough

Dr. Beck and the Sophia Hilton Foundation experienced an excellent kick-off reception this morning for our new, semester-long program for grade six students at the Sathya Sai School in Scarborough, Ontario.

The Sathya Sai School is a private, non-denominational, co-educational day school of 160 students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6 that balances both academic excellence and character development. The teacher of the sixth grade class there, Mr. Parthi Kandavel, has taken up The Legend of Ponnivala as a full term class project. His 19 students will be watching one video episode a day for roughly seven weeks, with each Friday allocated to discussions, assignments related to the story including various supplemental research/exploration/creative-arts activities.

The kids were really responsive this morning as Dr. Beck ntroduced the project personally. They are to be our first "test group." The reception from the whole school was very warm and welcoming. The kids were mature, and they asked good, perceptive questions. We am really excited about this initiative and it will help us think about how to expand our effort to share various aspects of Indian culture and at the same time educate kids in a multi-disciplinary fashion by drawing them into this exceptionally deep, broad and engaging story.