The Storytelling Project August 23, 2021 Pushkala Subramani Creativity starts young, and blooms with self-confidence Gayathri Shukla For Pushkala Subramani, creativity is like a bud that is inside all of us. With children, the bud is just bursting to blossom—all it takes is a kindling of self-confidence. Pushkala’s passion is to nurture kids’ self-confidence through early childhood education. She runs a day-home and preschool, Bud2Blossom, which she started in 2015. In her care are infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children who attend her before/after school-care programs. She says, “It is one of my passions as I know it’s a challenging one. However, the values taught during this budding stage will be etched in kids forever.” A creative person herself, Pushkala thoughtfully designs her day-home layout and programming to kindle kids’ curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. For example, she hangs numerous charts, ranging from alphabets to world map, at the eye level of toddlers. Kids above the age of two are stimulated through activities like animal identification. When the animal toy is shown, kids have a chance to respond by calling out name or sound. While turning the animals back to the bin, they count the animals and receive stars. Three steps of learning are involved in this activity—animal names, counting, and star colours. For kids aged three to five, Pushkala runs an activity on Friday afternoons called Show and Speak. Kids bring their favourite toy or book and speak about them through a series of formulated questions. “They are so candid in their response, and most of the times, they take me by surprise. Their speech looks much more organized as they could recall the question patterns and make up their own speech with little cues from me,” Pushkala says. Also present in her programming is an organic exchange of learning between younger and older kids. Pushkala shares another example, “Infants and toddlers pick up books of their liking when I read story books for three to five years old. They flip pages and look at them with awe.” Apart from her day-home, Pushkala additionally runs a program called Budding Talkers where she teaches communication skills, such as public speaking and effective listening, for participants between the ages of nine to 17. Creativity is Pushkala’s way of stretching beyond her comfort zone, while positively building children’s sense of self-confidence. “Creativity is a skill that differs from person to person, ranging from kids to adults. Anything that I create with my imagination and effort ultimately satisfies my heart and soul, and brings out that simple glee on my face.” About The Storytelling Project On November 16, 2015, Calgary Arts Development hosted a working session with approximately 30 creative Calgarians from various walks of life. Many of the small working groups voiced the need to gather and share more stories of people living creative lives. That need has turned into The Storytelling Project. The Storytelling Project raises awareness about Calgarians who, by living creative lives, are making Calgary a better city, effecting positive change and enriching others’ lives. Have a story to share? Email us at email@example.com.