St. Mark's Helping Focus
SAM(self assessment and management workshop)

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..... is an all youth driven, series of workshops, which equip Youth with knowledge and skills to help them become balanced, confident, competent, healthy - in whole contributing citizens.
SAM is a milestone for youth ,who are looking to step into the world to make a difference
SAM HELD ON 24 OCTOBER 2010
It had all the ingredients of a cultural festival - music, dance, and even a rock band; what set it apart was the fact that the event has been conceived and executed entirely by visually impaired people.Aimed at sensitising people about those who are unable to see, visually-challenged anchors, dancers and rock-band artists came together to put up a show at Pragati Maidan here on Sunday evening to mark World Sight Day."India houses the world's largest population of blind people. Of the 37 million blind people across the globe, over 15 million are from India," said Suman, a software engineer and one of the visually-challenged presenters at the function.The event was organised by Antardrishti, an initiative for reformation and rehabilitation of visually and physically challenged people."Despite all the literary progress, visually impaired people are treated as dependent and in certain cases even as beggars. On the one hand their family disowns them or treats them as a liability and on the other various mafias use them for beggary. This section still craves for acceptance by the society," says Pratichhaya, a visually-impaired student of the Lady Shri Ram College who participated in the event.She also said that ensuring employment is an important tool of empowerment for the visually-challenged."We have set up factories exclusively for the people from the visually and physically challenged population, where they are employed on wages to produce candles and herbal soaps.They are also engaged in terracotta (diya) painting and garment stitching. The products, hence made, are put on sale at shoppers' hub like Gandhi Mela and Delhi Haat. The earnings go to their welfare fund," points out Deepa Kaushik, Co-ordinator Antardrishti Project.Apart from this, the employees are also entitled to the Provident Fund and ESI facilities, like any other central or state government employee, she adds A band of visually-impaired artistes performed popular numbers like "Allah ke Bande," "Maula Mere" as well as self-composed songs during the event to mark the World Sight Day.Pop singer Jasbir Jassi who was present on the occasion said, "India is a land of invincible talent. All they need is recognition. It feels proud to see visually impaired people perform with such zeal that I could hardly make out that these people cannot really see their instruments.
Please check out the link below to view the event
Reported by Sarojini ( A member of SAM)
Student of
St Mark’s Sr Secondary Public School
Meera Bagh
New Delhi
India
REPORT ON PRERNA NIKETAN
Prerna Niketan is a voluntary organization working for the society especially the physically challenged children.
Ms Mrinal Kanta Saxena (Ms Meenu Saxena) is the founder and the president of this organization.
Prerna Niketan was established on 23rd November 1998 with only 5 children .At present, there are 51 children (only boys) from 8 yrs to 19 yrs of age. Due to shortage of space girls are not included.
AIM OF THIS ORGANIZATION
Actually ,Ms Meenu wanted to do something for the society as she thinks God has given us this human body to do constructive things. So she came up with the idea of establishing such an organization.
Prerna Niketan helps the youngsters get over their insecurities and imparts in them the life skills needed to contribute to society on equal terms and also encourages parents to provide their children suffering from some diseases like polio, with medical treatment.
Children here are also given vocational training like candle making, diya making, flower pots, craft items, etc
CONTRIBUTION OF OUR SCHOOL
Our school organizes the Diwali Mela every year where organizations like Prerna Niketan and many more come and display their products .School teachers and students buy these products and provide a helping hand to such children and organizations.
reported by Danish and Sarojini
MUSKAAN – A CREATIVE SMILE
Muskaan is a vocational training centre where intellectually challenged and differently abled children are trained. The children are split in various units which are under rotation. Some units are bakery unit, candles and diya unit, gifts and stationary unit, etc. Here children are taught how to make these beautiful things. The items and products produced by MUSKAAN are put for sale in different schools. The money earned is utilized for the children’s education, betterment and their upbringing. They become independent.
MUSKAAN AND ST. MARK’S
The students of our school, ST. MARK’S SR. SEC. PUBLIC SCHOOL, eagerly wait for the MUSKAAN CAMP, which is put up just before the auspicious festival, DEEPAWALI. Our school and MUSKAAN promote an eco-friendly and green DEEPAWALI. Diyas, candles and paper hand bags of many varieties are sold. Students and teachers enthusiastically participate in this camp. This thereby promotes a pollution free DEEPAWALI.
Teachers have also come forward with full zeal and zest. They are actively participating with MUSKAAN and teach our students how to save our environment by promoting a pollution free DEEPAWALI and hence working for a social cause. We salute the spirit of MUSKAAN.
   
 
The students at Lincoln Elementary in Oak Park have been busy creating Valentine's Day cards for the residents of the Oak Park Arms Retirement Home.  Third grade teacher, Ms. Parra, reached out to the students in GVC this year for help. The Lincoln GVC students responded by working all week creating cards that would brighten up the spirits of the residents on Valentine's Day. 
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Lincoln 5th grade students volunteered at the OPRF Food Pantry and the Greater Chicago Food Depository over winter break. As a result, they helped numerous families who were in need- check out their hard work in the slideshow below.

A BIG thank you to all of the fifth grade teachers, students, parents,and principal Cathy Hamilton for an outstanding Hungry Minds Pasta Dinner. Over $2000 was raised for the selected charities (Heifer International, World Food Programme, International Children's Relief, and the Haiti Children's Home). Enjoy the slideshow from the event
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GVC Students and the Lincoln Student Council created handmade greeting cards to benefit the Haitian Children's Home.

Video highlighting our work with the Haiti Children's Home.
Haiti Exchange of Hope Website
The fifth grade students at Lincoln are very busy preparing for their annual Hungry Minds Pasta dinner on Thursday night.  Each year the fifth grade students participate in a service learning project that involves those in need.  Students are involved in the process from start to finish...from making signs to announce the event to serving the pasta on the evening of the dinner.  This year the student's decided to contribute the proceeds of the dinner to Heifer International, World Food Programme, Haiti Children's Home, and International Children's Relief. 
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