President’s Message

June 20, 2016        

                                               Update on President’s message:

The Center for Indian Cultural Education- Bal Vihar of St. Louis enrollment was record high of 415 students and continues to grow and may go beyond 450 students in the upcoming school year 2016-2017. Thanks to our continued effort in introducing hands- on and interesting projects that our educational team and event team are conceptualizing and implementing most effective way. I sincerely appreciate all 60 + volunteering teachers and 30+ administration staff who are professional and taking time to join the schools in its vision and mission. As we enter into 24th school year providing services to the Missouri and Illinois community, we continue to occupy Ladue Middle school in St. Louis as our venue till a community center is built next to the Hindu Temple in the near future.

Many thanks to the Bal Vihar parents who are taking active role in supporting the Hindu temple in raising funds for the Community center. We also appreciate local Indian organizations, businesses, local Universities, political groups and many nonprofit organizations such as Science Center, Arts Museum and more for their collaboration with the cultural school.

We see the world through our cultural lens (es). A number of cultural aspects influence the way we interact with other people, including national culture, gender culture, corporate culture and various communication styles. All these elements influence how we conduct work, our behavior and style, our use of language, how we solve challenges, problems, and conflicts, how we negotiate, and how we go about creating relationships. With these intrinsic values of culture in mind, Center of Indian cultural Education- Bal Vihar school is focused on its vision of instilling and fostering Indian culture in children regardless of their origin.

Our expanded curriculum and activities include the classroom activities, hands on projects and celebrations related to Indian culture. For the school year 2015-2016 it was exciting to see significant participation of Bal Vihar students: Our activities included as follows:

  • Bal Vihar youth took on responsibility of collecting old and new shoes that are still usable for the ‘Shoeman Water Project” during October and November 2015 classes. Large number of shoes were collected and donated to the Shoeman Water Project Organization. Bal Vihar team was interviewed by local FOX news channel.

 

  • Celebration of India’s 67th Republic day in January 2016 in presence of MO-Senator, news media and other local dignitaries with over 600 participants.

 

  • Participated in activities organized by the Science center and interfaith Quest to include diverse group of youth from Islamic, Hindu, Christian and Jewish faith. CANstruction project for 2016 was a big hit again!

 

  • Bal Vihar hosted walk for water event on April 16, 2016 to raise awareness of the global water crisis at Vlassis Park in Manchester, MO where the community joined Bal Vihar students and helped raise $3000 + to donate for the cause.

 

  • Organizing International Yoga day on June 26, 2016 for the community. Bal Vihar school members were interviewed by the Local FOX 2 channel at their studio for this event.

 

  • Collaboration with the St. Louis Arts Museum to hold India’s Independence day. The celebration of India’s Independence Day on August 14, 2016 is open to the community.

 

  • AS Bal Vihar enters into its 25 years of Service to the community, we will be holding our 25 years celebration on April 1, 2017. We anticipate the event to be spectacular celebration in presence of state, federal, and local community and business leaders including Indian Consulate General office. Please be part of this event.

 

  • Our youth children get exposure in contributing in teaching children, in Yoga, Bhajans, supporting the teaching aspects and organizing cultural events and more. They are provided community services hours and volunteer work time for their high school graduation. 

 

As we enter into the new school year 2016-2017 on August 28, 2016, we are preparing for another exciting program, education and fun filled activities. Our improved curriculum, hands-on practices for our children, and celebrating Festivals have been Hall mark of our program. I sincerely appreciate the hard work that our volunteers carry out by relentless effort in delivering the best they can. Bal Vihar is able to realize its vision and goal through these volunteers, and parents are setting examples of community services for their children. We still need many dedicated volunteers and teachers in particular. Please contact us and set up an example for your children by volunteering.

To accommodate for the future growth Bal Vihar executive committee has been expanded to five by an election process. Dr. Pallavi Sinha has been chosen by the Administration to join the Executive team while Dr. Ashok Kumar will focus on the Youth program as the no. of youth has significantly increased over the last few year. Thanks to Dr. Kumar Dr. Hamsa Subramanian for their tremendous dedication in making the youth program very interesting to the students. The new Bal Vihar executive committee now consist of Sudhir Brahmbhatt, T. Subramanian, Vishvakant Tripathy, Shanthi Krishnan and Pallavi Sinha.

I know our upcoming school year 2016-2017 will be challenging due to another record breaking enrollment and large participation of children and adults. Have a wonderful new school year 2016-2017.

Best Regards,
Sudhir Brahmbhatt