Community Development

Community Development

Developing a Sustainable Project and Community

We want to encourage our teachers, the families of our children, and the community at large to develop in all areas – academic, cultural and economic – outside of our classroom walls.
Here are some ways that Village Community Schools is ensuring practical and sustainable opportunities for helping the members of our community to prosper:

We provide a classroom environment that encourages children to develop in all areas including academic, social, emotional and physical. We have classes in art, science, math, language, music and gym. Technology is integrated into the curriculum, and we provide access to resources for teachers and students.

Nutrition Programme
This daily program includes breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch and an end of day protein snack. Many students do not have access to enough nutritious food at home, and the food provided by GPS has resulted in better health among the children.

Health Study
Every year for the past three years a Loran Visiting Scholar has done a summer internship at GPS. Here is a summary of the 2017 Community Health Program results.


1. Typhoid – 36 completed, 7 absent Jul 6

2. MMR – 56 to be done 1st/2nd dose Aug 7-14

3. Hep B – 13 to be done 1st/2nd/3rd dose Aug 7-14


1. 371 students screened by pediatricians from GKNMH Jul 6, 10
Introduced new medical history report system on iPads

2. 48 students referred, 22 critical Waiting on Mrs. Saha
a. Thyroid function tests
b. Cardiology referrals (heart murmurs)
c. Endocrinologist referrals (growth/gland issues)
d. Other specialized care (neuro referral, phimosis, child psychiatrist)

3. The majority of students were recommended ‘diet modifications’, had mild pallor (iron deficiency) or were low height/weight

4. 9 students referred for dental consultation


1. Mother’s Hygiene Powerpoint Presentation Jul 1

a. Covered family and child health
b. Diseases spread by poor hygiene
c. Covered hand washing, nail cutting, brushing, bathing, clothes washing, clean environment, school, attendance and new leftover food program

2. Home Visits Jul 24–

a. Have nearly completed home visits for all 371 students. Iodized salt usage is nearly 100% after last year’s consultation. Few families using rock salts are all new to the settlements.

b. Diets consist primarily of rice and starch products (dosa, idly, other tiffin items), have been advising to increase wheat based product consumption(chappati, poori, wheat dosa)

c. Hand washing/soap usage is 95%+. Students and families have been using soap/liquid soap before eating, after using the toilet and mothers are washing their hands before cooking.

d. A few cases of excessive caffeine consumption in children – a caffeine presentation has been created and is used to counsel students at school.

e. 211 settlement students, 160 village students

f. Future steps – as the school continues to grow the number of home visits will quickly become unfeasible. This year Sunbeam and Ilakkiyan, our visiting Loran scholar, were both able to conduct visits independently. Moving forward, home visits will be focussed on our most critical 250 settlement families.

g. A request will be made to Dr. Kesavino Aram, president of Shanti Ashram,
to hold a keynote for our career guidance program for STD 10
Feb-Mar, 2018

3. Sex Education Talks Jul 28

a. Presentations by two doctors to boys and girls (separately) in STD 6-10
b. 67 boys in attendance
c. 54 girls in attendance

d. Covered puberty, pregnancy and birth, teen pregnancy, STIs and contraception, intimacy, sexual activity and abstinence, relationships and sexual abuse, appropriate behaviour

e. Was carried out in an open discussion-esque format. Students had opportunities to ask anonymous questions, discuss amongst peers through guided prompts. Students were engaged and attentive.

4. Men’s Night Aug 5

a. Guest nutritionist will be discussing nutrition and substance abuse

5. School lunch/snack program modification suggestions
a. Introduction of ground nuts/dates snacks 3x weekly (iron content)
b. Introduction of spinach into chutney 2x weekly (iron content)
c. Eggs 3x weekly, up from 2x weekly (protein content)
d. Ananthi will be taking a nutritional course and liaising with Shanti
Ashram’s new nutritional hub to improve school offerings

6. Child psychiatrist presentation on child/teacher mental health
Dr. Porpavai, a child psychiatrist from Australia gave a talk to all the teachers on effective teaching methods, child/adolescent brain development and constructive student-teacher relationships Jul 25


1. 117 students screened in STD 6 – STD 10 Jul 24-29
a. 50 anemic (Hb < 11.5g/dL, 42.7% of total)
b. Masonic follow up Aug 14-19
c. 34% of the anemic students are from the settlement
d. Masimo Hb Device – 250 scanner uses remaining

2. Blood group testing is currently being carried out Jul 28-Aug 1
a. 232 students screened
b. Needed as part of government EMIS forms


1. Vitamin A Supplements Monthly
a. Provided supplements for 371 students for June/July

2. Zinc supplement Annually
a. 5mL/day for 10 days Jul 27-Aug 4

3. Iron syrup supplement After Masonic follow up

4. Deworming tablets Sept

Improving the Slum Settlement for Children


Children living in the slum settlement have very limited space to enjoy play and sports activities outside of school. With the support of the Panchayat President (Village President), we have facilitated a play area in one of the slum settlements, complete with equipment that has been donated and built by students from The York School in Toronto, Canada.

The park space is the result of a true community effort, as the Panchayat President agreed to support water and electricity access, and the families of the slum settlement help to maintain the area. The park is a wonderful place for children to enjoy, and helps improve the lifestyles of the slum settlement families.

Supporting Families



Many members of the community are involved in the daily operations of the school and the support of its students. Mothers, grandmothers, fathers and other family members are hired by the school to support with lunch and snack times, maintenance, security, and other roles. We understand the importance of supporting the full community and families of our students, and this will continue to be an ongoing mandate of our school.

In March 2017 the school hosted the first GPS Men’s Club evening. Over 30 fathers from our community attended an informative workshop on parenting skills. In July mothers from our settlement communities attended an afternoon session focusing on hygiene. In August 50 fathers attended a nutrition workshop.

GPS is improving not only the lives of our students but their parents as well.