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Connecting Signs: A Language We All Must Learn

Connecting Signs: A Language We All Must Learn

When you’re thirsty, you ask for a glass of water. What about those who can’t speak?

When you’re lost, you ask for directions. What about those who can’t make themselves heard?

When you’re worried, you call a friend and talk for hours at end. What about those who don’t have that option?

When you hear music, you can’t keep your feet from tapping. What about those who can’t hear?

Clearly, we need to bridge the gap and connect with the unconnected! And Connecting Signs does just that.

What is Connecting Signs all about?

It is about connecting those missing dots.
It is about making those unheard voices heard.
It is about breaking down those walls that keep us from communicating.

Connecting Signs is a way for us to reach out to those who need us the most, and in a way that has never been done before!

In our day to day hustle, we don’t realize that life is not as easy for those who can’t hear or speak. Even if we do take out the time to reach out, we do so with an air of sympathy or commiseration. The important realization, which we often forget, is that those with a speech or hearing impairment are truly gifted in ways that go beyond the ordinary. All they need is a little touch of magic from those of us who can encourage and help them.

International Week of the Deaf 2017: September 18 – September 24, and Connecting Signs is an endeavour, which will raise greater awareness around those who can’t speak or hear. The campaign will strive to signal the many challenges these people face, besides the many hardships they bear due to societal negligence and lack of effort.

The various activities and events will be a sincere attempt at bridging all gaps, and opening doors to effortless forms of communication. Besides educating the masses about sign language and its importance, Connecting Signs will also embrace the differences, give life to new friendships, and negate all forms of misconceptions and taboos associated with such impairments.

The power to change lives lies in our hands! Are you giving a thumbs up to this one?

MBCN HI Students Connect All With Indian National Anthem In Sign Language

MBCN HI Students Connect All With Indian National Anthem In Sign Language

How many of you truly know the meaning of the Indian national anthem? We may sing it, hear it, or hum it, but do we know the real essence of the words? Sometimes, a lot is lost in translation, and a lot more goes missing for those who can’t hear or speak.

The children from MBCN recently showcased Jan Gan Man (the Indian national anthem) in sign language, and taught us a great deal about the beautiful song. The different meanings of the words were brought to life, and the zeal and pride on their faces made it a delightful experience for one and all. More importantly, it made us understand that knowing sign language is crucial when it comes to understanding the needs of those who can’t hear or speak.

Connecting Signs is reaching out to all types of people who come from different walks of life. It is an endeavor to reverse the norm and encourage inclusiveness on all levels, and of all types of people. As a society, we love learning new languages and exploring different cultures. It is however pivotal that we understand sign language and understand the culture of humanity in order to help those who need us the most.

With International Week of the Deaf just around the corner, let us all come together and celebrate the language that can connect us all and unite us for Love, Harmony and Humanity.

Video link: https://youtu.be/Q6SVvhml55g

Positive Parenting: A Powerful Tool For Growing Healthy Kids

Positive Parenting: A Powerful Tool For Growing Healthy Kids

What is positive parenting? And why is it important? That fact that its message is reaching far and wide, makes it absolute imperative for parents to understand how to improve the quality of parenting. And hence, this blog!

More and more parents have, over the years, begun realising that a change must be made in their child-rearing practices. That no bookish knowledge can ever instil the right parenting skills in them. In the light of it, here’s a lowdown on the good, the bad and the ugly of positive parenting. First and foremost, what we, as parents, must understand is that every child is unique. How they behave, cannot be boxed under the categories of ‘Right’ or ‘Wrong’.

Children soak up behavioural patterns like a sponge, and therefore, what we do as individuals is of utmost importance when it comes to parenting. What our children observe is what they end up doing in their day to day lives. Whether you lie to someone, make fun of a friend or use harsh words – your child will inculcate it all.

That being said, there are no rules or formulas, but certain aspects you can use to guide yourself throughout this never-ending journey.

Narrow down the one area you wish to work on the most: One of the key problems most parents face is not knowing where to start. But this is actually quite simple. All you have to think about is that one thing that puts your child at a greater risk. Is your child hurting someone physically or mentally? Do they break things at home due to bad temper? Start here, and start small. Smaller steps create bigger ripples.

Pinpoint what you wish to change: If your child has a bad mouth and tends to use a lot of swear words, try and understand the root of the problem, and give them an alternative. For example, you could tell your child that the next time they get angry and wish to curse, they need to go inside their room for a few minutes till they feel better. Reprimanding them for the same will only worsen the situation. Whereas, your job is to smoothen the road for them.

Give them the reason to change: Telling your child to change something about themselves without explaining will only leave him/her confused. Even if they do alter something for your sake, the results will most likely be short-lived. If you wish for your child to change something for good, then always give them the reason in a nice, logical way. Shouting and yelling won’t work here.

Chalk out goals for you and your kid: Working together as a team always gets better results. Parenting is never one-sided; it is about you and your child. Tell your child that you hate punishing them for something as trivial, and that you wish to come up with a way where you both can be happy. This will make your child look at things in a more practical way, and kids love to be problem-solvers. With this adult-like approach, you fix the problem, while putting them in charge.

Encourage their special talents & skills: Your child’s hard-earned 50% is as good as a hard-earned 100%. With the amount of competition in our society, putting additional pressure on kids only makes them crumble. Whether it’s painting, dancing, cooking or fixing gadgets – your kid has a special talent, and it is your job to encourage that.

In a nutshell, positive parenting only requires a change in mindset. As a parent, you must be committed to approaching your kids with affection, empathy and patience.

Gift Your Sibling A Bliss In A Box This Rakhi

Gift Your Sibling A Bliss In A Box This Rakhi

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
― Mother Teresa

One is outgoing, the other shy. One is talkative, the other reserved. One is dominating, the other submissive. But they accept each other despite these differences, and share the warmest equation. Truly, there’s nothing quite like a sibling bond. MBCN Raksha Bandhan

Rakshabandhan celebrates that unbreakable promise of togetherness. And a rakhi is that thread of love that binds brothers and sisters for life. What’s more? Family get togethers, sweets, gifts, happiness and celebrations – all of it and more weave magical moments that we cherish as memories for a lifetime.

Gifts, being an integral part of any celebration, need to be special and thoughtful. Special occasions like Rakshabandhan call for exclusive gifts and unique packing. At MBCN, children with special needs have made that effort for you, out of pure love and affection. One look at these, and you’ll realise they have poured their hearts out while crafting extraordinary gift boxes for your siblings.MBCN Raksha Bandhan

Sneak a peek at what our kids with special needs have made for you with love:
NOTE: Please make the image clickable with this link: http://www.mbcnschool.org/product/beads-basket-big/

Royal box for your royal brother. Planning to gift him a wrist watch? Nothing could be better than this unique blue box, embellished with stones and beads to carry your love for him.
NOTE: Please make the image clickable with this link:
http://www.mbcnschool.org/product/cash-box/

Rakhi is synonymous with giving cash to your sister. Here’s a beautiful red-golden case for her to collect money for your birthday gift.
NOTE: Please make the image clickable with this link:
http://www.mbcnschool.org/product/chocolate-box-set-of-4/

Making chocolates for your brother? Gift him a lot of them in all his favourite flavours, in this special box.
NOTE: Please make the image clickable with this link:
http://www.mbcnschool.org/product/bangle-box-2/

This one’s for your sister’s love for bangles. A box as exquisite as this would just make her day.

A busy schedule might make it a little difficult for you to add an emotional touch to the gifts for your loved ones. Our kids at MBCN fill that gap for you, and happily so! These are not just gift boxes, but love-coated expressions that must be acknowledged and appreciated. And by investing in these, you’re contributing to the happiness of these children.

Want to check out all that these kids with special needs have made for you? Take a look here http://www.mbcnschool.org/shop-online.

How MBCN is enriching the lives of specially-abled kids?

How MBCN is enriching the lives of specially-abled kids?

Life is full of hardships, but it is these hardships that help us grow. However, the opportunity to grow is only feasible for those who have the resources to sustain tough times. Mental and physical health become the bare minimum of such resources that enable us to improve. But the life of those who are unfortunately deprived of even the bare minimum is an uphill battle.

Believing in the idea of an equal society, Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan aims to help the specially abled children by providing them with education, therapy and vocational training, which helps them become financially independent.

The sheltered workshop is one such initiative that enriches the lives of these children. The range of products that are available include office items, gift items and day to day necessities such as paper bags and envelopes. All these products are made using eco friendly methods, which go a long way in creating a sustainable-environment.B

The rehabilitation professionals provide special training to the kids, which equips them with the necessary skill set to create these products. Besides making them self-sufficient, such activities also instill a sense of self worth in them. Kids with special needs are very sensitive and the unfortunate worsening of their condition has been accredited to the unjust behaviour of people around them. What one must understand is that the key to helping these delicate children is love and patience.
How MBCN is enriching the lives of specially-abled kids?

At the sheltered workshop, specially abled kids enjoy making the products, and the profit from the sale is distributed amongst these kids. The impact of the workshop is multifold, as the specially abled kids learn a new skill while enjoying the process at the same time.
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The world is full of problems, and as human beings, the least we can do is help each other build a society, which is based on equality and unity. We at MBCN, work ceaselessly to enrich the lives of these children and hope for a better future for them.

Don’t forget to do your part by purchasing some wonderful items from the website.

http://www.mbcnschool.org/shop-online/

Simple ways to cultivate happiness at school

Simple ways to cultivate happiness at school

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon

Each one of us want our children to be happy, and while this is traditionally thought of as a homebound concern, everyone sends their kids to school with the hope that they will have an emotionally enriched and balanced life.

Unfortunately, the competitive atmosphere in schools has created a different definition of positive classrooms for many educators. For most, positive classrooms have come to mean places where students arrive at school ready to learn, work hard, go home, complete the homework, and return to school the next day to learn some more. Often, teachers are so focused on ensuring that students pass achievement tests, that they have little or no time to address the social and emotional needs of these young and curious souls. On the brighter side though, some educators are beginning to realize that overlooking the overall well-being of the students is a huge mistake. It definitely does not take rocket science to understand that happy children are likely to be less distracted and are more willing to learn . Here are a few simple ways to cultivate happiness in classrooms and schools:

1. Slow Down
When we slow down, we notice more, we appreciate relationships, learning, and goals. Everyone can benefit from slowing down, and that includes students and teachers too. In the classroom, this would translate into spending more time during the morning meet-up session, or taking those extra 10 minutes to engage kids with a fun activity or game prior to starting a ‘serious’ lesson in the class.

2. Going Out
Being outside, even for just a few minutes a day can heighten our state of well-being. We breathe fresh air, feel the natural elements — the warmth of the sun, the wind, the moisture of rain, all of which helps us introspect. Even if it’s cold outside, we can take our students for a quick walk, or indulge in silent reading sessions amidst natural surroundings, for example-parks, or sprawling gardens.

3. Move Your Body
Moving bodies=happy minds! Even if you can’t take your kids outside, you can incorporate activities into play sessions. For example, you could use popular, age appropriate music to break the monotony. Through this, happy endorphins are bound to rise, which ultimately leads to attentive minds, ears, and hearts.

4. Sing
Singing requires us to breathe deeply, and this in turn makes us happy.If you teach elementary school, then it’s easy to get your kids singing everyday. In fact, you could start the day with a simple and fun song! Find songs that connect with what you are teaching, as this will help kids have better recall with their academic lessons.

5. Smile
Try smiling more often, but aim for authentic, genuine smiles. However, if you are more of a ‘serious’ type, then go ahead and fake it. Fake smiles too can help you move along, and can have a positive impact on those who interact with you.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating a happy, jovial environment for the kids at school, but to start with some simple and actionable ideas is the best way. Try them, share them and let us know if you have different methods, which work for you.

If you are seeking instant inspiration and happiness, you can also read our blog on How to Create a Happier World Together.

How to get your kids to open up about school

How to get your kids to open up about school

Parenting is easier said than done. Ask parents of an infant, and they might tell you about the sleepless nights they have to endure. Ask parents of toddlers and they will tell you about being on their toes 24×7. Ask parents of teens, and they will tell you a hundred more things they have to worry about regarding their child’s future. No matter what age, sometimes it’s impossible for parents to get their children to talk. This situation is the most distressing part of parenting, where you sense something is wrong, but can’t put your finger on it. Children have a way of shutting themselves out and just zone out. Therefore, it’s important for parents to be open and talk to their kids in a non-judgemental manner. This approach helps the kids open up, feel safe and share their deepest of thoughts.

Here are a few parenting tips on how you can get your kids to open up about school

1. Don’t become an interrogator the moment your child comes back from school

No matter how strong the urge to know about your kid’s day at school may be, refrain from throwing a volley of questions at them. Instead, just say ‘Hi! Welcome home! I’d love to hear about your day whenever you feel like talking’. This shows the child that you are there for them whenever they need you. Also, it puts the pressure off the kid to give a detailed account of what happened at school.

2. If the child looks bothered, ask more open-ended questions.

Rather than simply asking “How was school today?” and getting a close-ended answer like “Fine” or “I don’t know”, try this!

– “What did you work on in your art class today?”
– “What do the kids actually do during recess?”
– “Did anyone get in trouble or do anything funny today?”
– “What was the worst thing about today and what was the best?”

But remember, don’t push too hard. Be patient and give your child some time to ponder and get back to you.

3. Resist the need to become a problem-solver.

When your child finally decides to talk, don’t overreact and jump to offer solutions. Instead just listen reassuringly without being judgemental. Make them feel understood, and show them you know how it feels being in their shoes.

Follow these simple techniques and you’ll be making some success in getting your kid to open up and communicate with you constructively.

Know about MBCN’s Continuing Rehabilitation Education (CRE) Program

Know about MBCN’s Continuing Rehabilitation Education (CRE) Program

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”

Bringing in new ways to simplify learning for special children, MBCN recently conducted a Teachers’ Training Workshop on CRE (Continuing Rehabilitation Education) in collaboration with Amity Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences. Approved by the Rehabilitation Council of India, the workshop was organised on the theme of ‘Functional Curriculum’.

What is Functional Curriculum

Functional curriculum focuses on independent living and vocational skills, emphasizing communication and social behaviour in children with special needs. MBCN always makes constructive efforts to train its special educators in the latest learning techniques that fall under the purview of special education. The whole objective of this learning method is to impart skills that are essential for children to live independently in the society.
CRE Training at MBCN
Experts held some really insightful and informative sessions on different aspects of functional learning. Here are a few highlights of the CRE training program at MBCN.
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Dr. Alok Kumar Bhuwan, Director of Manovikas Charitable Trust, New Delhi, addressed the audiences on Independent Living: Advocacy and self esteem and independent living with disability.

Ms. Nitika Mendirata, Director of SASR, Faridabad, talked about ‘Functional Numeracy’, what it means and where it is required.
CRE Program

Ms. Diana Lil Phillip, Assistant Professor at Amity Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences (AIRS), introduced MBCN educators to ‘Functional Academic Writing’.

Dr. Amitav Mishra, Professor, School of Education, IGNOU, New Delhi, talked about ‘Functional Curriculum & Inclusion: How to make IEPs (Individualized Education Programs), personalize IEPs and how to select goals’.

Mr. Saurabh Kumar Mishra, Assistant Professor at Amity Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences (AIRS), threw light on ‘Functional Communication’ and explained how meaningful it is in terms of building vocabulary for special children in a naturalistic way.
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Learning is a continuous process

As teachers and special educators, it is imperative to be able to identify the functional skills of special learners and intervene to bring improvements in them for a better life ahead. The underlying aim of such exercises at MBCN is to discover ways of using latest techniques to make learning simpler and fun for the children with special needs, while also offering inclusive education by accepting children with disabilities and focusing on their individual abilities.

5 fun ways to get your kids in action during the summer holidays!

5 fun ways to get your kids in action during the summer holidays!

Summer is that time of the year that every kid looks forward to. It’s the perfect time to plan activities that cannot be undertaken with regular school chores. Even for parents, summers are a great opportunity to strengthen the bond with their kids by spending more time with them. Here’s a look at 5 activities that can catapult your kids into action:

Gardening: Gardening is essentially a way of connecting with nature and one of its biggest benefits is that it enhances your child’s immune system. Besides, gardening is fun, both for adults and kids. There are so many gardening projects for kids over the internet that are sure to excite the young ones, like an inexpensive terrarium or a hanging planter with plastic bottles.

Camping: Camping offers kids a joy like nothing else. Take your kids for camping, where you can teach them how to set up a tent, light a bonfire, scout and much more. After exhausting the energy, you can relax in the best possible environment i.e. amidst nature.

Cooking: Another great activity to bring out your kid’s creative side is cooking. Kids love taking a swing at cooking every once in awhile and the joy of doing something with your kids is unparalleled. So go ahead, start with a sandwich and end with a delicious delicacy.

Theatre: Theatre has rapidly gained popularity as an extracurricular activity for kids. Much of its popularity is credited to its benefits, as theatre helps foster a sense of confidence and boosts creativity. There are several institutions that organise special activities for kids in the summers, such as mycity4kids, where you can find a plethora of activities for kids including theatre.

Treasure Hunt: The excitement of finding something unexpected is a sweet feeling. Plan an adventurous treasure hunt and encourage your kids to partake in it. Use the entire house to extend the excitement and fun. Your kids can also invite their friends to partake in the activity to make them even more exciting.

With a plethora of options available to have fun, you should definitely encourage your kids to explore the opportunities. Such activities are great for enhancing the skills of your kids such as communication, teamwork and creativity, to name a few.

Yoga- Restore. Rebalance. Rejuvenate

Yoga- Restore. Rebalance. Rejuvenate

International Yoga Day is just around the corner, and the enthusiasm around the globe is already visible. The fact that 72 students and teachers from the City Montessori School of Lucknow will be performing exercises at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on the occasion speaks volumes about the popularity of Yoga in the modern day world.

Our lifestyle is such where humans struggle with physical and physiological stress in their lives. This is where yoga comes as a rescue and alleviates stress, both physical and mental. Based on the holistic principles of harmony and unification within body and nature, Yoga’s simple postures leave a powerful impact. Yoga is not only a great solution to stay fit, but has also emerged as an alternative form of therapy. Solutions of many chronic ailments like asthma, diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis have been found in Yoga.

The great thing about yoga is that there are very few limitations. While colorful yoga pants, support blocks, and fancy mats are nice, you don’t necessarily need any of that to get started. Instead, a basic yoga routine which comprises of beginner poses will help your body and mood change for the better in no time.

There are a lot of health benefits one can expect from yoga. Some of those are:

1) Better Flexibility: Yoga helps in loosening the body, and in increasing flexibility.

2) Better Posture: Bad posture has been linked to backaches, neck pain, joint problems, and muscle fatigue. Yoga is one of the best ways to fix poor posture as each pose helps lengthen the spine, and gives a steady, balanced posture.

3) Increases Strength: Yoga naturally helps in strengthening the muscles & joints, and prevents injuries.

4) Better Sleep: A good way to relax the nervous system, yoga minimizes stress and improves the quality of sleep.

5) Boosts Metabolism & Immunity: Yoga naturally boosts the metabolism which assists in weight loss. Yoga also stimulates the four main physiological systems; circulatory, digestive, nervous and endocrine, which is directly connected to the immune system.