Mindsprings was started in the year 2002 by Usha Pandit to contribute positively to Indian Education and meet the needs of bright and exceptional intelligent children, after returning from a decade of teaching abroad in three countries. Gifted education was unheard of and bright and exceptionally intelligent children were not considered to have any special needs. In Bangalore, talks on awareness to parents and teachers, and a few sessions of enrichment programmes for gifted thinkers kicked off the company’s journey in gifted education. In 2004, Mindsprings began enrichment programmes for students has since been running successful after-school programmes for grades 2 to 8. The Mindsprings Centre at Worli will enable exceptionally bright children from all schools to access these programmes.
Mindsprings began its first consultancy project at Oasis International School, Bangalore in 2002. Concept mapping, curriculum design, teacher training and workshops were done. This was followed by a short consulting stint with SGKM School, Ghatkopar Mumbai in 2006.
Mindsprings publishes the highly successful English textbook series “Empowering English” produced in 2007. These books have been used by children in schools in Mumbai, Bangalore and Lucknow. They are being used by schools from the ICSE, IB, CBSE and SSC Boards. In 2010, “Writing with Ease” was added to the Mindsprings Publishing stable. The books are aimed at demystifying learning and creating empowerment for children. Books in grammar, spelling, poetry and reading are on the anvil.
The first Mindsprings Centre at Worli opened in July 2010, where Vidushi Chaudhry, specializing in education for the learning disabled, partners Usha Pandit. Besides enrichment for the gifted, programmes for struggling learners, creative writing, teacher training and parent workshops have been planned. Usha and Vidushi bring their joint expertise to reach across the two ends of the special needs spectrum and fill in all the creative spaces in between.
Mindsprings is undertaking Adult Teacher training programmes, outsourcing of mainstream school programmes like Grammar and Reading and customized solutions to academic problems in schools.
In the future, Mindsprings envisions pan-India educational partnerships to make available programmes, consultancy, workshops, and networking that will contribute to enriching education and empowering for children, teachers and schools.
TRAINING AND WORKSHOPS
REGULAR TEACHER TRAINING COURSES AT SCHOOLS
i. A unique effort was made in training all the teachers and administrative staff of one school in English for a period of 2 years with regular inputs and study materials and testing. The school reported an overall positive change in the standards of English across the board. It was also the testing ground for change management and its travails.
ii. Sustained workshop support at MSB Mumbai to strengthen basic skills(2010)
iii. Support workshops done at Podar Group of Schools across India giving their English programmes a foundation and meaning and progressive thrust. (2011- 2013)
iii. Mindsprings worked with the MSB School in Mumbai and around 50 Podar schools
1. Hirji Salva English Programme (2012 – 2017)
The Hirji Bhojraj and Sons C.V.O. Jain Chhatralaya is a 100 year old charitable trust set up as a hostel to house disadvantaged boys from the Kutchi community and provide them with boarding and education. In later years the Trust also set up on their lands the Shishuvan School which has grown to be one of the best ICSE schools in the city.
Mindsprings has been doing work with 130 boys in teaching them spoken English. In 2015, a decision was made for the children to move from their local municipal school to the Shishuvan School. Mindsprings continues to take differential classes for the boys where English is not completely handled by our team.
2. Activity School Outsourced Programme (2010 – 2013)
The Activity School had engaged Mindsprings Enrichment Centre in a unique in house, turnkey English improvement programme to teach English to students from 1 to 10 in an attempt to get their standards up from its current condition. It was a successful enterprise and the school engaged the company for 3 years.