In 2013, ASHRAYA focused all its efforts in its main initiative Project Terra Firma in which it is a prime executor and not a funding agency. We have built deep relationships in this area at all levels (Taluk Block Education Officer, School Headmasters, School Teachers, Librarians, Project Coordinators and Retired Teachers). We intend to leverage these relationships and the proven scalable model we have built in the years 2008-2013 to expand the scope of the activities significantly in the next 2 years.

Project Terra Firma’s activities are centered on 3 components:

  1. Setting up and running libraries
  2. Setting up and running science (and nature) clubs
  3. Fun educational projects and competition day

We successfully piloted the above activities at Kannur School in Hanur Taluk from 2009 to 2011; and established a replicable and repeatable model to be applied at other schools. In 2012, we worked with the BEO (Block Education Officer) of Hanur Taluk to extend this working model to 5 additional schools. The BEO also helped drive these a
activities to success through high level visibility, leadership and sponsorship.

In 2013, we focused primarily on the libraries and stabilized the operations of the libraries (and postponed the implementation of science clubs and fun projects to 2014). We proved that we could scale the operations of activity based libraries to a large number of schools without eroding quality and impact.

Here are the main accomplishments of 2013:

  1. Nominated Vivek Ethiraj as Main India Representative. Vivek is based in Bangalore and works as a Delivery Manager in MatrixStream Inc. He visits the project area every month.
  2. Created a library training manual and trained all 6 librarians on activity based learning.
  3. Initiated project status calls every Sunday between the Vasuki, Vivek and Savukar Raj.
  4. Successfully executed all activities in our activity based learning program through 2 rounds (11 activities)
    1. Activities Based Learning (Tied to MLLs) around Story Books.
    2. Arts and Craft
    3. Board Games
    4. Book of the Month Club
    5. Break Time Quiz
    6. Treasure Hunt with Clues hidden in Pages of Different Books
    7. Dressing-Up Competition around Books and Characters
    8. Competition to Create Posters and Bookmarks
    9. Class Research Projects using Book Material
    10. Speed Reading Competition
    11. “Change the Story” Competition
  5. Started a full-fledged art program run by a dedicated art teacher at all the 6 schools. 20 artistically inclined students in each school participate in this program
  6. Started Book of the Month Club activities
  7. Prepared to launch the Library Research project program in which teachers and librarians coordinate to link the curriculum to library book based research projects
  8. Conducted 3 rounds of GROWBY tests for 3000 children in schools to track progress of reading abilities
  9. Started creating monitor dashboards on a monthly basis which we present to head masters, teachers and the Hanur Taluk BEO
  10. Started the process to incorporate Ashraya in India so that we can staff and hire full time employees in India to run our projects.

We plan to end the year with a grand Library Day across all 6 schools (3000 students) in which the best exhibits from the various activity based programs will be displayed and prizes distributed for the best exhibits.
You can visit the “Past Projects” section of the website to go through the project reports of Project Terra Firma (Phases I, II and II) over the years 2008 to 2012.

In the year 2014, we would like to continue and leverage our success to expand our activities further

  1. Establish libraries in 6 more model schools that we will select in collaboration with the BEO
  2. Continue to operate the 6 currently operational libraries at the same operational level
  3. Continue the art program in the 6 currently operational libraries
  4. Establish and operate science clubs in the 6 schools we currently operate in
  5. Implement the fun project program in the 6 schools we currently operate in (postponed form 2013)

Please see below the funding requirements overview for 2014 by project. You could chose to fund a Single Project Unit per Project, or all Project Units within a Single Project. Please see further the itemized expenditure details by project.

No. Project Name Funding Per Project Unit No. of Project Units (Schools) Funding for all Project Units
Rs $ Rs $
1. Establish New Libraries & Operate Them for One Year 75,267 1,254 6 451,600 7,527
2. Operate Currently Operational Libraries Per Year 40,267 671 6 241,600 4,027
3. Operate Currently Operational Art Programs (In Libraries) Per Year 23,000 383 6 138,000 2,300
4. Establish Science Clubs and Operate Them for One Year (In Currently Operational Schools) 42,333 706 6 254,000 4,233
5. Implement and Run Fun Projects for One Year (In Currently Operational Schools) 16,000 267 6 96,000 1,600
Total Funding Sought Across All Projects 1,181,200 19,687