Journey with The Walking School Bus (TWSB) across India where we will collaborate with two of our partner communities and schools in the scenic hills of Uttarakhand to improve access to education. As a TWSB Expedition Goer, your work will support the implementation of our holistic and research-based approach to providing access to education.
This summer's Expedition is focused on ensuring curricular sustainability by:
• Working with the Himalayan Public Schools’ teachers on the ground to develop and implement lesson plans that leverage our offline educational content.
• Collecting data to understand the impact of our reading program and intervention.
We will also implement aspects of our nutritional model by:
• Installing a Community Supported Agricultural Garden to improve nutritional diversity and agricultural knowledge.
PURPOSE OF THE EXPEDITION
This trip aims to mutually benefit our volunteers and school and community partnerships through the implementation of our holistic approach to educational attainment. As a bonus, we provide a curated travel experience that gives Expedition Goers a true taste of the diverse and rich Northern Indian culture, sights, and monuments so present in Uttarakhand.
We will work with our partner schools to:
1 . Improve access to curriculum by monitoring our new Solar Power Classroom and installing a Water Catchment System with remote sensing. As well, we will be working directly with students and teachers to integrate the SiMBi reading app into their curriculum.
2 . Improve access to nutrition by implementing our nutritional projects which include: a. Implementing a Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) at HPS Suyalgarh that will be maintained by the communities and schools involved. The CSA farms help our schools to incorporate the best agricultural and educational practices into the classroom. b. Building Water Catchment Systems to provide a much-needed water source for the village, especially during the dry season. It also enables communities to maintain the garden and chicken coops.
Arrival: Thursday, july 5th
Arrive in Delhi by 7:00 pm on July 5th and proceed to Stops Hostel to become acquainted with the Expedition team. After dinner, sleep early in preparation for our 5:00 am departure to Uttarakhand.
Day 2: friday, July 6th
Take an early morning train to Kathgodam, a charming hillside town in Uttarakhand. Here, we will have the option to withdraw money for the upcoming week. We will arrive to the guest house by 4PM where we will enjoy a welcoming dinner while a guest speaker briefs us on the Expedition.
Day 3: SATURDAY, JULY 7TH
Wake up to a beautiful, expansive hill view. We will go over the trip itinerary in depth over breakfast. At 9 AM, we will leave for the Himalayan Public School (HPS) where our team will meet the teachers, students, and the community. After the orientation, monitoring and evaluating the situation, we will dive into our projects:
1. Book project: An exciting art project with renowned Indian illustrator
2. Data collection: Collect literacy data & collect access data
3. Educators will further develop and integrate curriculum
4. CSA Workshop: a briefing on the garden, sourcing of materials
The ‘River View’ lunch: As a part of the hill experience, we will walk the bridge to reach our lunch area overlooking the river. At 4 PM, we will travel back to the guest house and will indulge in team bonding games, while breathing in the fresh mountain air! We will end the day with a home-cooked North Indian cuisine with local flavours.
Day 4: SUNDAY, JULY 8TH
We will visit the city of Almora, a blend of mountain beauty, ancient cultural influences, sanctified spots, thickly wooded forests, scenic valleys, and quaint cafés. Here, we will visit the Zero Point, the Bright End Corner, the Chitai Temple, the Sun Temple, and Kasar Devi. We will have lunch at Mohan’s Cafe.
DAY 5: MONDAY, JULY 9TH
Wake up early and enjoy the sunrise with a cup of traditional chai. Depart for HPS post breakfast; the day’s agenda includes:
1. Data Collection: Literacy
2. CSA Garden
3. An Art workshop in unison with Chopra & HPS
Following the day’s projects, we will head back to the guest house to enjoy a relaxed dinner, and prepare for yet another meaningful work day.
DAY 6 – TUESDAY, JULY 10TH
Leave at 8:30 AM, and continue our projects at HPS Suyalgarh:
1. Data Collection: Literacy
2. Curriculum Dev and teaching
3. CSA Garden
4. An Art workshop with students from HPS (link Ruchi’s Art workshops).
5. Library Sorting
After a productive morning, we will stop for lunch at the awe-inspiring Dhokaney Waterfall and then spend some time exploring the neighboring trails. We will depart for the guest house by 5 PM and sleep early to be ready for the next day.
DAY 7 – WEDNESDAY, JULY 11TH
Return to HPS Suyalgarh to continue our projects:
1. Data Collection: Literacy
2. Curriculum Dev and Implmentation
3. Library Construction
4. An Art workshop with students from HPS
Embark to Mukteshwar, an hour’s drive from Chopra, for lunch and to visit the must-see Chauthi Ki Jaali. We will end the afternoon with a pitstop at Café Chandi Maati.
DAY 8 - THURSDAY, JULY 12TH
Today is power-packed as we will complete the Expedition’s projects: the Library, the book project data collection on nutrition, and implementation of CSA Garden. We will end the evening with a unique, experiential storytelling session. Pack our bags after our last dinner at the guest house.
DAY 9 – FRIDAY, JULY 13TH
Load bags into the car and spend the first half of the day completing projects for HPS Suyalgarh. Bid farewell to the school and community teams, enjoy one last local lunch, and depart for Bhimtal at 3 PM. Post a lovely 2-hour hillside drive, we will reach Bhimtal located 1370m above sea level. Stay in Bhimtal overnight and enjoy the sights.
DAY 10 – SATURDAY JULY 14TH
We leave the hotel early for a little picnic at lake Garuda tal. one of the pristine lakes of Sattal in Uttarakhand.
Lunch at Birdsong Cafe.
Depart for Delhi where we will say our goodbyes.
Total cost per person for the Expedition is 750 USD which includes all food, transportation, and accommodations (excludes airfare to and from Delhi). In addition, we are asking that each Expedition Goer raise 1250 USD to contribute to the projects in Uttarakhand, India. 100% of funds raised go to our projects. In fact, our projects cannot be implemented without these funds. TWSB will help you meet your fundraising goals by creating fundraising pages for each volunteer. You will be issued a tax receipt for the amount raised.