Dr. Sharad Paul's Foundation* has run literacy programmes for over a decade and started with the, now annual, short story competition in 2006. The winning schools received a cache of new books for the school and the winning children got e-learning tools like iPads or video cameras from Dr. Paul.
Moving on from this to the design of this mobile classroom will allow these literary programmes programmes and more to continue. The building, completed and installed onsite at Glen Taylor School in Glen Innes, Auckland. will also double as a community center in the evenings where parents can be educated on good eating and health. If you wish to volunteer or contribute please messenger me on Facebook. If your want to help support this initiative, thank you, and please use this account number:
Bank of New Zealand BNZ: 02 0152 0277973 000
Swift Code BKNZNZ22)
"If we can encourage even one child to reach for greatness, the mission will have been worthwhile" - Dr. Sharad Paul.
A personal mission - from education to health
As a doctor and father of a school-aged daughter, I was realized that children from economically-disadvantaged schools were reading books that were three years behind their peers in wealthier areas. If you left primary school with such a disadvantage, how could you compete in the real world?
That led me to begin a weekly programme in schools, teaching creative writing. Giving up a day of medical work weekly may have surprised others, including my family, but I felt richer for it. For over a decade, I have taught creativity and built libraries in low-decile schools. I even ended up an adviser on the National Commission of UNESCO.
A decade later, while researching for The Genetics of Health book, I realised that poor nutrition and bad diets worsen learning outcomes and moods.
This led me to plan a mobile learning centre to run literacy programmes and also deliver nutritional education in the community. During the day, the room would be dedicated to teaching literacy and creativity, as we know that being creative improves problem-solving skills – and thereby math and science performance.
From a sketch, to a model, to the real thing...
Last year, a student from an Auckland School (Glen Taylor) won the annual short story competition run by my Baci Foundation, a registered charity. The student won an iPad, the school won a new library of books, and our first mobile classroom found a home.
Inside the Mobile Education Unit complete with heat pump and with all books supplied by Dr. Paul's Baci Foundation -
The Mobile Education Unit onsite at Glen Taylor School East Auckland.
Above: The completed Mobile Education Unit installed at Glen Taylor School
Dr. Paul & Glen Taylor Principal Chris Herlihy + students on the deck of the completed MEU - March 2018
Photos from the opening - Dr. Sharad talking on healthy eating, the kapa haka (traditional Maori dance) performance by the Glen Taylor School students and the meal supplied by Dr. Paul's charity and prepared by top chef Jinu Abraham, the executive chef of Heritage Auckland
*Baci Foundation Charitable Trust - Registration Number CC44282 - New Zealand
All donations gratefully received.