Hinduism Today Magazine Issues and Articles
Children's School in New York - Small But Flourishing
Category : March 1980

Children's School in New York - Small But Flourishing



The School, Founded in the Fall of 1979, Impresses the Three R's and Stresses Practical Saivite Living

Classes at the Children's School of Flushing, New York began last year on October 8th. Five Church families living in the neighborhood of the Mahaganapati Temple in Flushing run the school with Gurudeva's blessings and also supply the teachers. The families are: Janaka & Bhavani Param, Deva & Tara Katir, Jothi & Ramya Kumara, Deva & Amala Seyon and Satya & Vasuki Sivam. Six of these ten adults are licensed schoolteachers, making staff no problem. The mothers host their students from 9:00 A.M. to 2:45 P.M. five days a week in their homes. A Board of Education oversees the smooth running of the school now and into the future. Gurudeva, Master Subramuniya, is Board Chairman, Deva Katir is the Principal, Deva Seyon is the teacher's representative, Jothi Kumara is Secretary and Janaka Param handles all legal aspects of the school's existence. Gayatri Ananta Devi, one of the resident Brahmacharinis at Indiashram, across the street from the Mahaganapati Temple, is teacher of religious studies. It is a small school now but every increment for steady growth in the future. It is Gurudeva's suggestion that property be purchased near the temple for the growing school facility and with a look ahead to the time when other Saivite children in the community will attend, including the young second generation Indian immigrants.

The children's daily studies are based on New York public school system materials, but classes in Math, Reading, Penmanship, Social Studies and science are interspersed by Religious Studies, Health Care, Nutrition, Exercise, Cooking, Child Care, Sewing and Music with emphasis on bhajan singing. The New York area provides a wealth of educational activities for the children so field trips occur at least monthly. The Saivite children show great interest in their school day and the parents are very pleased with their progress. Problems in organizing and running the school have been surprisingly few. The emphasis is on the religious and moral training of the children at this early age.