Awaaz.De is pleased to announce that our partner Sesame Workshop India has launched an Anganwadi teacher training and classroom enhancement program in Gujarat. The project is supported by the MetLife Foundation. Awaaz.De has developed mobile voice apps for delivering teacher training, Q&A support, experience sharing, and monitoring of teacher performance. Below is the official press release, originally published by IndiaPRWire.

A mobile leap by Galli Galli Sim Sim and MetLife Foundation

New outreach programme on mobile phones is all set to take Healthy Habits for Life to Anganwadis in Gujarat. Aims to improve teacher quality and enhance classroom experience

New Delhi, Delhi, May 15, 2012 /India PRwire/ — Sesame Workshop India, the nonprofit organization behind Galli Galli Sim Sim, the beloved children’s television program on the leading Indian kids’ channels, Cartoon Network and POGO, and MetLife Foundation have teamed up to expand the nutrition and healthy habits educational outreach program via mobile phones to Anganwadis (government run preschool centers) in Gujarat. This is part of the Healthy Habits for Life campaign supported by MetLife Foundation that also includes activities in Mexico and Brazil.

It is well documented that there is a critical need to foster healthy habits in young children, especially in India. During early childhood, children form habits and tastes that last a lifetime providing a window of opportunity to promote positive behaviors that could last well into adulthood, such as eating healthy foods, washing hands with soap, and choosing healthy snacks.

“MetLife Foundation is pleased to continue its partnership with Sesame Workshop in India to empower families to develop important health habits at an early age,” said Dennis White, president and CEO, MetLife Foundation. “Our program this year will make use of innovative new technologies in classrooms while continuing its on-air presence to promote good health, particularly in underserved communities.”

The new outreach program will enable 150 government run preschool centers or Anganwadis in Dhrangadra and Halvad blocks in Surendranagar, Gujarat to improve teacher quality, enhance the classroom experience and ensure positive outcomes on children’s leanings’. Supervisors at these Anganwadis will be trained by Sesame Workshop to use mobile phones both for self-training and to integrate multimedia content in the classroom. They will also be enabled with Pico projectors, which will be utilized to project multimedia content to children in the classroom. The mobile phone will also be used to track usage, viewings and monitoring. The Anganwadi Supervisors will in turn train the Anganwadi workers. Training will comprise both in-person and through video modules. Ongoing training will be through pre-loaded mobile phones and each of them will go through a refresher course every three months.

Each Anganwadi will be equipped with a mobile phone – for viewing video content, using audio content, monitoring and training as well as a Galli Galli Sim Sim Kit, focusing on health, hygiene and nutrition. The kit will have instruction cards for the Anganwadi staff, manipulative/workbooks for children and worksheets for parents (for interaction at home) and a curriculum integration document. There will be a distribution of one Pico projector per five Anganwadis, to enable monthly screening of Galli Galli Sim Sim episodes.

On the occasion Rajesh Relan, Managing Director & Country Manager MetLife India Insurance Co. Ltd. said, “I am particularly proud to announce the continuation of MetLife Foundation’s partnership with Sesame Workshop India to promote health education among children and parents. MetLife has a longstanding commitment to empowering individuals and building healthy communities. The need for health information and promoting healthy habits among children in India is tremendous. Nurturing good nutrition and healthy habits among Indian children is essential in the early years to help ensure they grow up healthy.”

Sashwati Banerjee, Managing Trustee, Sesame Workshop India Trust says, “Given the immense need to promote good health and nutrition in India, this is a very important venture to us, which supplements the work we’re already doing via television and outreach. Today, the use of technology enables us to include many more into the Healthy Habits for Life campaign. This for us is a fabulous opportunity to make Galli Galli Sim Sim and its world of muppets part of a healthy and happy community.”

Now in its third year, the Healthy Habits for Life campaign supported by the MetLife Foundation and also includes a TV sponsorship. As part of the MetLife Foundation grant, Sesame Workshop India, in 2010, made available special broadcast airings of Healthy Habits for Life episodes covering topics such as hygiene, disease prevention, and nutrition; the development of one public service announcement; dedicated healthy habits content (including activities for children and tips for adults) on the Galli Galli Sim Sim website; and a Mobile Community Viewing pilot, accompanied by educational materials, in Jaipur reaching 100,000 children and 33,000 caregivers. Subsequently, in 2011, the Galli Galli Sim Sim radio program was launched to reach out to children across 11 cities in India. This was a brand new series and was broadcast on All India Radio in several cities including Alwar (Rajasthan), Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), Hazaribagh (Jharkhand), Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) Jalandhar (Punjab), Jammu (Jammu & Kashmir), Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Raigarh (Chhattisgarh), Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir) and Udaipur (Rajasthan).The radio episodes promoted messages such as hand washing with soap, eating healthy foods and a balanced diet, getting physical activity, the importance of immunization, and more. The Galli Galli Sim Sim radio program was produced by adapting material from over 1500 existing Galli Galli Sim Sim television segments and was aired thrice a week over a period of 52 weeks.

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