Children in Kenya attending outdoor classes in school

Education Beyond the Classroom

Education is the foundation of all CPI programs!

Holistic education goes beyond the classroom and includes various forms of learning, including formal, informal, and experiential learning. Its ultimate goal is to foster intellectual growth, critical thinking, and the acquisition of skills and knowledge that enable individuals to lead fulfilling and productive lives.

Play-based learning transcends traditional classroom settings by promoting active learning and holistic development. Through play-based learning, individuals of all ages acquire problem-solving skills, enhance creativity, and build social and emotional intelligence. It encourages exploration, experimentation, and the development of critical thinking abilities. 

ChildsPlay International offers free education to the children in our programs. While we compensate our local partners for delivering CPI’s educational programs, we ensure that the children receive snacks, refreshments, and unrestricted access to all classes.

Play-based Learning

Play is not just fun; it’s an educational powerhouse. At ChildsPlay International, we believe in the power of play-based learning. Through activities such as storytelling and art, and soft skills like winning and losing gracefully, children discover their unique capabilities and develop self-confidence and improve literacy.

Children learn the rules of a game and, beyond that, how to make spatial and temporal judgments. They also learn soft skills, like how to win and lose with grace. They learn their own unique capabilities and develop self-confidence. Play serves as a powerful educational tool, offering valuable lessons in a dynamic and engaging manner.

Play-based learning nurtures holistic development, fostering problem-solving, creativity, and social-emotional intelligence. Through activities like puzzles, imaginative role-play, and interactive games, it encourages exploration, critical thinking, and joyful learning, deepening our understanding of the world.

CPI Around the world

Holistic Education

Boy in Manipur, India attending Storytelling session

In Manipur, India, CPI worked with the respected filmmaker, Somi Roy, to capture Manipur’s indigenous games, as part of our Cultural Conservation initiative. The boy is drawing during a Storytelling session.

In Sri Lanka, CPI partnered with Nanda Waninaika, who runs a school and multidisciplinary collective, to reintroduce the children to play, creative activities, and games.

Girl in Sri Lanka creating artwork during a Storytelling Workshop conducted by CPI.

Storytelling is the Oldest Form of Education

Storytelling serves as a powerful medium for sharing experiences. Stories engage our thinking, emotions, and imagination all at once. Narratives serve a purpose beyond literature; they can effectively illustrate even the most intricate and abstract ideas. Incorporating storytelling into education can take various forms, including reading books, and sharing personal experiences. Storytelling holds the key to unlocking the realms of personal imagination and fostering a sense of shared love within local communities. CPI is dedicated to enhancing children’s mental health, education, and overall well-being through the medium of play-based learning. Regardless of whether we refer to it as Mask-making or Storytelling, this endeavor fundamentally constitutes education.

Drawing is an important component of CPI's Storytelling Program
Storyteller, teacher and children in Uganda
Children in Nepal Attending CPI's Storytelling Workshop

Empowering Education Through Storytelling

Storytelling allows children to explore their experiences, emotions, and perspectives in a safe and supportive environment, ultimately aiding in their recovery and resilience-building.

By bringing together the young and the old, storytelling becomes a catalyst for community building and forging lasting connections.

children in kenya having fun posing for picture during storytelling

Empowering Education Through Storytelling

CPI supports an innovative project to preserve the story-telling traditions of Peru’s indigenous cultures.

When Peruvian children draw and paint the stories that they hear, they learn to make visual interpretations of linguistic portrayals, transposing ideas from one medium into another.  They learn that interpreting their cultural heritage is a means of preserving culture, even as they make that heritage into a foundation for personal expression.

When Peruvian children draw and paint the stories that they hear, they learn to make visual interpretations of linguistic portrayals, transposing ideas from one medium into another.

Of course, these are complex lessons – real cognitive feats – but the children pick up in the midst of having fun. So, while we integrate learning into all our activities, the children never feel pressured (as they might at school). If they feel challenged and have the sense of rising to that challenge, we feel that we have succeeded.

Educating First Generation of Female Mask-makers in Haiti

Mask-making workshop in Haiti offers another example of how CPI promotes education. The children learn a culturally important skill. They learn to work with their hands, and to produce real art from the commonest of materials. They begin to understand that creating an aesthetic object – valued by everyone – is within their own capacity. Such realizations foster a can-do sense that they are themselves valuable, and able to make a contribution to their community. Thus, mask-making demonstrates how acquiring even the most manual skills can have wider (positive!) implications, both for children and for cultures under stress.

Song and Dance

Song and dance, in places like Kenya and Sri Lanka, have produced similar results. As the children learn, they develop a sense of agency. They take charge, becoming spontaneous and, hence, creative. At CPI, we believe that play – and its educational benefits – engage the whole child, allowing the child to grow and develop in ways that will remain beneficial into maturity. Our goal is to promote fun and, with it, a type of education that remains with the child long after the initial fun is just a memory.

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