Creativity. It’s that buzzword many employers are looking for in prospective hires. But how can someone demonstrate they are creative? Furthermore, how can they acquire this skill in a school setting?
It feels contradictory to pair creativity with education. For many of us, we entered school with flourishing imaginations and got bogged down with rules and instructions. We left school “educated,” able to color within the lines.
For C2C, this issue is even more challenging within the educational structures in place for the girls we work with in India. In a society where numerous families perceive their daughter’s potential in terms of her marriageability, how can she explore her creative potential?
Commit2Change was established to address the ongoing challenges for young girls, especially in underserved communities. Prana Chai as a key sponsorship partner, supports Commit2Change's mission by donation of $2 from the sale of each single bag, while also offering sponsorship packages to our retail and wholesale customers. Girls in C2C not only have access to computer learning skills in TechLab, but they also are given free range to explore their technological and creative prowess through apps. The free app, Scratch, allows users to create music, videos, and games while also learning coding.
When using Scratch, the girls have used the app in imaginative and inspiring ways. During one class, the instructor assigned the students the task to upload a music file and remix it in order to practice playing with the different effects of sound. While everyone got to work, one girl decided to go a different route—using her own voice. She recorded herself singing a song and uploaded it to the app. Using Scratch’s features, she remixed her voice and published the song. The tutor was so amazed that she showed the song to Kuber Sharma, executive director of C2C in India. Needless to say, he was floored. “We didn’t know that was possible!” he exclaimed.
Another student used Scratch as a storytelling platform. She drew a character, uploaded it into Scratch, and then began writing a story to go along with her creation. The story may have initially been inspired by an example project, but as the narrative progressed it became abundantly clear that this was a story all its own, birthed from her imagination.
Creativity is crucial to an adolescent’s development and yet there are no parameters for how to teach this skill. But when providing our girls with helpful technological tools, we witness them be more daring, ready to try new things, and problem-solve any difficulties. Our students have created songs, stories, animations and other media because we provide them the instruction that they don’t need to simply colour inside the lines.