The Start of AppVidya
Ever since I can remember, my family and I have always been involved with CASP. I have been reading the progress reports of the children we sponsor, and have been touched by the greeting cards and artwork that we received from them. This summer, I began to tutor some of these students online, because I wanted to contribute in other ways, too. I was amazed by the enthusiasm, confidence, and potential that these children had shown. They were smart, open to learning, and excited to learn more English. As happy as I was teaching them, I felt that its impact was still relatively small considering these were just hour-long classes that only focused on English. I wanted to provide them with lifelong support, but my parents told me that this requires a good education before adulthood. Weekly English classes were helpful, but nowhere near sufficient to provide a solid educational foundation. As a busy student of a prep school in the United States who is not a professional teacher by any means, I knew that they needed a more professional supplement to their education.
Initially, I thought about doing a fundraiser to hire professional tutors and connect them to students in India over Skype, but I soon realized that this was not a viable solution. Firstly, these students lack a stable WiFi connection; they were brought to a CASP office far from their homes in order to attend the classes I did over Skype. This is viable for weekly classes, but is not sustainable or convenient for daily studies. Additionally, tutors do not teach classes like schools do, they generally supplement classes and answer questions. In order to motivate these students to learn new things, a proper curriculum would be needed. As a result, I came across the idea of tablets. They are cheaper than hiring actual tutors, extremely convenient, do not require WiFi, and have a holistic curriculum. After contacting numerous companies, I settled on BYJU'S because they are the most well-reviewed company, they offered a great plan, and they have a high retention rate with real people who will regularly monitor the progress of the students. Additionally, they prepare students for the common entrance exams, which can set them on a better life path. I am writing this article as fundraising begins, and I hope to see a lot of support from the communities that I am a part of. In December, I will visit these students and update this blog with pictures and more information. I am very excited to visit the villages in Maharashtra to distribute the initial tablets.