Grandmothers are Signing In and Making a Difference
While most of us use Skype (a computer program that makes video calls to other Skype users, or voice calls to landline and mobile phones, for those of you who zoned out the past five years or so) to catch up with friends and family who are abroad, a group of British grandmothers are logging on for a completely different purpose.
According to the Guardian, Professor Sugata Mitra (whose work inspired the film Slumdog Millionaire) of UK’s Newcastle University, when in India a few years ago, spent time with a group of Indian children to find out what they wanted to use Skype for.
“Surprisingly, they said they wanted British grandmothers to read them fairytales,” he told the Guardian. Mitra found about 200 grandmothers, many who are retired teachers, to volunteer their time to read to children in the slums. The project, called Sole and Somes but often referred to as “Granny Cloud,” has moved beyond mere storytelling. The grandmothers are now education mentors. They sign in for hour-long sessions that involve conversations, singing and storytelling.