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Our Projects
READ TO LEAD Project Back

New Life’s Read to Lead project is designed to support the education of 10,680 students of Standards 1 to 8 in the Tiruchchirappalli district of Tamil Nadu. This project was started on 12 January 2008 and has now been approved by the ‘ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth’ and ‘Give India’.

The Read to Lead Project is funded by the ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth and Give India. The project will support the education of 10,680 children living in Tiruchchirappalli District and studying in Grades First to Eight.

Need for the Project

A large number of children studying in primary/ secondary schools in the district drop out of the education system as they are unable to keep up with the level of studies. The drop-out rate increases in parallel with an increase in age, suggested by the fact that children aged between 11 and 13 years drop out of school at a higher rate than children aged between 6 and 10 years. Coming from poor households and families that are themselves uneducated, these children find no help or coaching at home. Further, the present education system, characterized by a high student teacher ratio, cannot cater to the individual needs of these students. The children, hence, feel unable to cope with the studies and consequently drop out. This project proposes to provide this support system to the students.

Scope of the project

The project is aimed at 10,680 students studying in Standards 1 to 8, each of whom was involved in our earlier projects completed between 2003 and 2008. The project is designed to identify students’ problem areas not only in each subject studied at school, but also in each individual lesson. These problem areas will then be identified through the use of carefully prepared model tests comprised of objective-type questions, as well as examinations conducted at a district level. Subsequent coaching of these students will be organised with specialist teachers who will be engaged to strengthen students’ confidence levels and prepare them for competition at a district, state or national level. Such skills will be needed for entrance examinations and enrollment into higher education courses.


As previously mentioned, New Life has already identified the beneficiaries of the project. 10,680 children, who were screened and supported by earlier projects on the basis of their vulnerability to poverty situations, are proposed to be supported in this project.

A breakdown of students involved with the project is available in our database. In brief, students were selected from various projects such as:

  • The Child Labourer Rehabilitation Programme;
  • Ensured Childhood Programme (providing day care centres for children);
  • Microfinance (an educational loan programme to support female children during their primary education); and
  • The Go to School Project (providing educational learning material and support).

Project details and main activities

The students selected will be admitted to our coaching classes with the specialist teacher, which will be conducted after school hours. The project’s innovation rests within the identification of problems associated with the students’ learning processes according to both the subject being studied as well as the individual lessons with each subject. As previously mentioned, these problem areas will then be identified by model tests and examinations conducted at the district level. The integrity of the examination will be strictly maintained, with external examiners being engaged for the purpose of upholding this level of integrity. Tests will be conducted frequently and will aim to strengthen students’ confidence levels in competition at a district, state or national level in preparation for entrance examinations and enrollment into higher education courses.

The specialist teachers appointed will set these model tests for all subjects in the State Board Syllabus from Standards 1 to 8. The results of these model tests will be entered into a unique piece of web-based software called Unique Modern Education Communication Systems (details of which can be found at by the staff and facilitators appointed in each municipal ward and the Village Panchayat. The improvement of the students' educational standards will be monitored by both parents and school authorities, who will be able to access information stored within the software using an in-built SMS facility. Therefore, all academic progress achieved through the project will be made accessible not only to the funding agency but to all other stakeholders, namely students, parents, school teachers, school administration and the general public and community.

There will be a reward system for students who show improvement in all facets of the educational development cycle which is designed to promote students’ talents within hamlets, villages, taluks and districts in all subjects, as well as each individual lesson within those subjects. The awards will be given a star for every academic achievement and this will be posted on their individual profile maintained within the software. This performance recognition will be made available in the public domain (in the web portal of and the students will forever cherish the wonderful memories of their achievements, thus reinforcing their confidence levels for when they move on to higher education.

The role of the facilitators will be to identify the subjects and lessons that present more of a challenge to students and engage specialist teachers with the aim of better student results. The facilitators and specialist teachers will be provided with incentives for their contribution to the students’ academic improvement.

Project time frame

Proposed start date for the project: 12 January 2009

Proposed end date for the project: 11 January 2010

The ICICI Foundation, who is funding the project, will be provided with the following feedback as part of the Read to Lead programme. If you want more details see our link

Student No. Feedback particulars Frequency Is New Life willing to provide this information?
Fund utilization certificates Once (before final disbursement) Yes
All details mentioned in the Read to Lead student inventory:
Student enrollment number Quarterly Yes
Student enrollment date Quarterly Yes
Name of enrolled student Quarterly Yes
Age of student Quarterly Yes
Name of student’s parent/s Quarterly Yes
Address of student Quarterly Yes
Educational status of the student during enrolment as requested in the student inventory Excel file Quarterly Yes
Educational status as at reporting date as requested in the student inventory Excel file Quarterly Yes
Whether the student has departed from the program Quarterly Yes
Reason for student’s departure (if applicable) Quarterly Yes
Date of student’s departure Quarterly Yes
Enrollment number of replaced students Quarterly Yes
Activity schedule details as per the Read to Lead activity schedule: Quarterly
Progress indicators Quarterly Yes
Planned activities Quarterly Yes
Achieved activities Quarterly Yes
Statement of funds received and utilized as per the Read to Lead budget and cash flow format Yes

How can you support the objectives of the Read to Lead project?

You can take an active role in the project as a distance volunteer by becoming member of our Google group found at group/friends-of-new-life-- ngo?hl=en. The majority of the staff involved in this enormous initiative, although skilled in their job field, lack English language skills, particularly in report writing and documenting of data. You can support them from a distance and can work with them to work towards achieving the project goals.

You can help by visiting the project site during your vacations or holidays in the following ways:

  • Help train staff with entering data regarding student performance into the Unique Modern Education Communication Systems software;
  • Help identify the weaker areas in school subjects and individual lessons by coordinating with locally-appointed specialist teachers;
  • Involve yourself in the parent meetings (using the SMS campaign which was mentioned earlier);
  • Participate in the evaluation of student performance and award distribution functions; and
  • Most importantly, recognise the children who long for your love, support and concern.

You can implement the same project where you live by associating yourself with M/S IRDA Limited under the SSEG scheme (further details can be found at Help make our mission to educate our nation’s children a reality!

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the coordinator of the Read to Lead project,
Mr M. Thangadurai, on +91-9629222922 or via email at /

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