The Silver Oaks-RDF history goes back over 10 years of selfless, voluntary service. Headed by the dynamic Mr. Dhanunjaya, with Mrs. Seetha Murty as Principal, this duo of visionary educators have always understood RDF’s vision and mission of education being the most significant way to make a real difference in the dreams, aspirations and lives of rural, underprivileged children in rural Telangana.
2006: Thus began a yearly ritual of awareness generation and fundraising within the Silver Oaks campus in order to raise funds. Mr. & Mrs. Dhanunjaya, Mrs. Murty and her team of teachers have actively championed the cause with students and parents, by sensitizing them to the plight of their rural counterparts.
2007: Rather than merely ‘donating’ money; over the years, students have come up with creative ideas for fundraising such as doing chores in school and at home and being paid for this; selling paintings and other art work at in school fairs and saving money from their pocket money. Every student of the 2000 strong population, from Nursery to Class 12 and over 150 teachers has been involved in some way towards contributing funds.
2012: Mrs. Murty, not content with merely fundraising for RDF, wanted the effort to be more significant and lifechanging. With this, they created a customized primary curriculum for RDF schools. The customized and contextualized curriculum was specially created keeping RDF in mind, underpinned by IB student-centric practices. The curriculum combined English, Science and Social Science in a way which seamlessly combined these subjects and making it easy to teach via various activities and worksheets.
Training was delivered to all Primary school teachers at Silver Oaks campus and the Curriculum was rolled out in RDF Kalleda School.
2013: The Curriculum was further modified based on feedback from RDF teachers and staff after the pilot implementation in 2012. Additionally, the curriculum which had been hitherto shared as softcopy till 2012, was converted into textbooks and workbooks, all funded fully by Silver Oaks! The curriculum with its rich resource of activities has truly expanded the thinking skills of students and teachers, along with making them more comfortable with teaching and speaking in English. Simultaneously the curriculum was also rolled out in Matendla and Rollakal schools.
Each successive year, RDF teachers from Primary and High School undergo training with Silver Oaks mentors to advance their skills in various teaching practices and curricular themes. This has proved invaluable to RDF teachers as it enabled them to understand better ways of teaching and classroom skills.
The training and handholding is further enhanced through monthly visits to all schools. The visits are designed to not just assess the implementation of the curriculum, but painstakingly help teachers with English-Telugu translations, discussions and demos, if needed.
2014: Always brimming with ideas, Mrs. Murty then went a step further and created a student exchange program, in order to sensitize her students more deeply with the lives of rural children, including personally observing how their fundraising efforts and the provision of the specialized curriculum was creating tremendous impact. Senior schools students have spent time residing in Kalleda and Matendla, interacting with RDF students and staff. Together they have attended classes, participated in sports and other extracurricular activities and taken to local homes to interact with villagers.
All this has been made possible only with the unflinching commitment, support, time and funds which have been given to RDF by the teachers, students and parents of the Silver Oaks school community.
Latest news from the RDF – Silver Oaks partnership – 2016
Visit to Matendla School by Silver Oaks teachers and students
On 29th September 2016, as part of the regular training and monitoring visit, 4 staff members and selected children visited RDF Matendla School and spent quality time there. Teachers and students interacted with Matendla School students and staff to review the implementation of the curriculum, review the teaching and learning practices that RDF teachers have been trained on by the Silver Oaks team and clear their doubts. They also provided teaching demos, shared knowledge and their best practices.
Follow this link to see Silver Oaks’ Coins for the Country project.