President’s Message

 

August 29, 2018        

President’s message

Center for Indian Cultural Education, Bal Vihar of St. Louis, a nonprofit, 501(c ) 3 organization was founded 15+ years ago to instill and foster East Indian Cultural in the children of ages 5 though 14. Bal Vihar has been providing this service to the St. Louis community since August 1992 and has been growing in number of students ever since then. This independent organization has been active in diversity program where Bal Vihar youth children hold activities at St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis arts Museum and more projects where children of different faiths such as Christians, Muslims, Jews and other faiths work together in projects such as can-structure through the St. Louis based Interfaith organization. Our children also carry out activities in Churches, Mosques and Synagogue to appreciate diversity and learn other faiths. Our students are taught discipline, diversity, respect and devotion in their daily routine. The ultimate goal is "to throw the light of cultural knowledge on every child, to make every child an outstanding citizen and to spread the song of peace and harmony around the world."

After long wait and developing long term relationship with the Hindu Temple of St. Louis, Center for Indian Cultural Education is expected to relocate its venue from the current Ladue Middle school to the Community and Cultural Center starting the school year 2019-2020. Being close to the Hindu temple, this exposure will allow the students

Appreciate the value of our temples and significance of our temples, a worship place.

Enrollment of 350 + students for the Cultural Education in the school year 2018-2019 signifies the increased involvement of the local community. Thanks to the introduction of hands-on and interesting projects that our educational team and event team are conceptualizing and implementing most effective way. I sincerely appreciate all 55+ volunteering teachers and 30+ administration staff who are professional and taking time to join the schools in its vision and mission.

Many thanks to the Bal Vihar parents for their active role in meeting our vision and mission. Likewise, we 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.

During the 2017-2018 school year, Bal Vihar celebrated the following events:

➤ On September 17, 2017, Bal Vihar celebrated family picnic for Bal Vihar families to meet the parents of this their children classmates. The event was held at Babbler state park.

➤ A grand Diwali celebration was held on October 22 at Hindu Temple with children performing Puja and celebration Diwali with fire work.

➤ The school celebrated India’s 69th Republic day on January 28, 2017 in presence of 400+ participants that included St. Louis community leaders, Linda Lee- President of Bach Society, Cecilia Nadal – Executive director of Gitana Production of St. Louis, Sherri Williams- Educator, adult learning at St. Louis Arts Museum, Beth Rodriguez – CEO and Interfaith consultant St Louis, MO and Leaders of local Indian community such as Dr. Arekapuri and more.

➤ A grand festival of Color- Holi was celebrated on March 3, 2018 at the Mahatma Gandhi Center facility with plenty of color to use and food for he children.

➤ On March 4, 2018 Bal Vihar youth joined youth of other faiths children (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) through the Interfaith Quest -this in itself a big step, and then opened up a dialogue about their religions. The participants worked together to build a mural “Looking Up” made entirely of canned food. The sculpture, named “Looking Up,” was created by St. Louis artist Thomas Friedman and represents an individual’s capability to aspire and dream beyond our daily life experience and look up and wonder what is beyond.

➤ Collaboration with the St. Louis Arts Museum to hold India’s Independence Day. The celebration of India’s Independence Day on August 19, 2018 was open to the community.

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 2018-2019 on August 26, 2018, 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.

I know our upcoming school year 2018-2019 will be another challenging year as we will be getting ready to relocate to New Cultural Center being built by the Hindu temple of St, Louis. MO. But constant support of our parents will make this transition smooth. Have a wonderful new school year 2018-2019.

Best Regards,

Sudhir Brahmbhatt