The SIFF Scholars program is a Scholarship cum Mentorship program that aims at addressing the achievement gap that persists for children from low income homes in Bangalore. The program encompasses a financial support plan while mentoring motivated students to grow into confident, sensitive and responsible adults. Started in the year 2016, we added 19 incredibly talented children into our first batch of SIFF Scholars. Most of the scholars will be first generation college goers. This, we believe could have the potential to not only transform the lives of these children but create a ripple effect to positively impact their families and the larger community.
Our program is run in a specialised learning centre housed in a low income school in Varthur, Bangalore. We operate a comprehensive in-school and after-school program covering all aspect of curriculum, sports, arts, music and personal leadership skills.
Since then we have been adding a new batch of scholars every year.
We employ teaching strategies that combine teaching and learning for the best outcomes. Our trained teachers use an amalgamation of research-based teaching and learning techniques from around the world. Be it audio-visual learning, group activities like Jigsaw, individual exercises or discussions with people from different professions, every day is engaging and stimulating for each child.
We use block scheduling method for lessons to maximize understanding of a given topic. Further, each class is broken into 20-minute segments to maximize the primetime to downtime ratio to increase retention. While we explore different subjects like Math, English, Science, & Social studies we also focus on developing critical thinking, reasoning, curiosity, and articulate thoughts through effective communication. We don’t believe in cramming facts to educate children. There is a significant effort that goes into helping students understand ‘how to learn’.
We have a team of full-time, part-time and visiting faculty from diverse backgrounds like education, entrepreneurship, environment, management & technology. The common thread is a passion for working with children. Every interaction opens new vistas for the children. The teachers have the liberty of planning their activities, teachings and creating a learning environment for children while working towards the same goals.
We believe sports induce healthy physical, social, & emotional development in children while encouraging teamwork and problem-solving skills. Sports is known to provide children with the perfect outlet to keep them fit while teaching them valuable life skills. At SIFF, we provide every child with an opportunity to pick sports that they truly enjoy and wish to pursue. Our children are currently being trained in Football, Ultimate and Taekwondo. Just For Kicks, a football league in which the children are enrolled not only brings out the hidden potential amongst students but also trains them to be dedicated, active and focused.
Today, art & music are a distinctive part of any education. Learning gets better and expands through creativity. The experience of making decisions and choices in the course of creating art and music carries over into other parts of life. At SIFF, we integrate this into the mainstream subjects to make learning fun and allow creativity to blossom. We believe children express best through music and arts. They develop a sense of innovation that augments their thinking and reasoning abilities. Our students at SIFF enjoy Bharatanatyam, Singing, Storytelling, & Craft.
We have a team of well-trained child counselors with expertise in social-emotional learning. They work with children both individually and in groups to bring about self-awareness, sense of expression, and confidence to deal with challenges they might face both at home and school. Our counselors and mentors work with children to understand the overall environment of the child. It involves meeting with the parents at their home and the various interventions that we provide to ensure our students have the best of learning in a conducive environment.
Our students have the opportunity to participate in a multitude of events and competitions. In 2017, the children took part in The Neev Children’s Literature Festival and amplified their storytelling skills. They learnt comic making and idea generation from distinguished writers at the event. Our student Nishchay’s short-story was chosen for a children’s story compilation that was curated at the festival.
Our scholars are encouraged to develop their scientific temperament, follow their curiosities, experiment with materials, troubleshoot real-time problems and explore creative solutions. SIFF has its very own tinkering space which allows our students the freedom to work hands on and experience the joy of creating innovative to whatever issues they come up with.