iMPAct Newsletter April 2011

Table of Contents

    An Honor for Miri Piri Academy and Kirandeep Kaur

    Kirandeep Kaur, our Principal of Academics, was the guest speaker at “Learn More! Cambridge International Examinations”, a Principal’s conference organized by University of Cambridge International Examinations, UK that was held at Cambridge International School in Jalandhar. Kirandeep shared her principles of learning with other delegates in an interactive session. She correlated the principles with best practices of teaching, and shared how these are implemented at Miri Piri Academy.  She provided examples from the MPA classrooms and demonstrated how these are put into practice every day in school.

    The participants enquired about classroom policies and procedures from Kirandeep and sought to understand the international strategies being used by the teachers during the academic day. It was a great honour for Miri Piri Academy to be acknowledged for its observance of international standards and implementation of effective practice in order to provide quality education to all its students.

    Snapshots of MPA life in March and April

    Goindwal Yatra

    When I first got on the bus I was very excited and curious about this new adventure. We got to Goindwal and started the steps almost immediately.  I started with enthusiasm and it was easy until i reached the 20th step. Then running up and down the steps started to become more difficult, it started to get cold and as it got later into the night, I was getting more and more tired. I started at 6 pm and pushed through the night, finishing at around 7am. Once I reached the 84th step I was so happy. I felt such a release and I was proud that I completed my goal. – Bhajandeep Kaur

    The Cool Pool

    About 2 weeks ago, Amrit Singh (our Student Life director) and some of the students talked about emptying our sand box to make into a pool now that it’s soon the hottest point of the year.  Amrit Singh was of course happy to have it done and he got us some shovels, some orange buckets, and a big blue carrier truck to put all of that sand in. Then we got to work. At sports time we volunteered to spend some time digging and carrying all the sand onto the truck. It was a lot of work but the end result was for sure worth it. Team work was key. We had some digging and putting the sand in buckets, and some carrying the buckets onto the truck, and some emptying and pilings the sand on the the truck. It was surprisingly very fun and in the end got us a makeshift pool, which we all enjoyed this Sunday after gurdwara . On a lazy Sunday at the hottest point of the day, the Cool Pool was so nice. There was even a Slip and Slide that we set up! It was a very fun group experience I’m glad I could be apart of it. – Amrit Saroop Kaur


    Gatka Trip to Harian vela

    This trip was probably one of my most amazing trips with MPA so far. Poking my head out of the jungle, running through beautiful fields, feeling the earth under my bare feet, looking around to find many beautiful gurdwaras. I was enjoying freedom in full strokes, feeling boundless joy. A couple of days ago the gatka squad left for Harian vela, prepared to experience and learn more about gatka from people who have devoted themselves to lifestyles filled with service, discipline and belief. The nihangs.

    So we arrived, found our shelter to be a bedroom in which we all slept together. Our time was filled with intense and very inspiring gatka classes where all of us could learn new techniques and increase our skills. We had really good langar and met truly inspiring and compassionate people who were crazy at gatka, the martial art they have mastered. We also got a chance to hang out with the horses, dogs and other animals living in the village while wandering through the jungle and fields.

    Best of all, we got the privilege of meeting Baba Nihal Singh ji and ask him questions.  He gave us more knowledge of earlier times shared between him and the Siri Singh Sahib Yogi Bhajan. This trip was probably where I learned the most about Indian culture since I arrived. I really experienced the respect and love that lies in it.  I have learned a lot and I am really looking forward to going again next year! – Jai Satya Kaur


    Ah, the beautiful colors of holi. All bright,exciting, full of life and energy. Giving one the inspiration to cover any human in sight with this magical paint.  The day of holi was celebrated at MPA with the intermediates, juniors and staff. Starting off with a warm up tag of colors, and then leading to a colored water balloon capture the flag tournament. It was blue vs red, and you could feel the intensity building as we all stood on our sides, waiting for the game to start. The rules were simple: get hit by color twice and

    you get sent back, steal the flag and you win. The red team finished each round victorious, leading to an undefeated record. The next and final round was the open round, every man for himself with as much color, water balloons, and buckets you could get your hands on. No one would be left clean. By the end of this round, we finished off all the balloons and color. Everyone small, big, junior or staff got a taste of this fantastic holiday. Everyone had fun spraying, throwing getting hit and watching these games take place. It was a weekend to remember! – Guru Amrit Hari Khalsa

    Rafting and Spring Break

    After the student and staff of MPA had already relaxed for four days in the  town of Rishi Kesh (By relaxing I mean eating at tasty restaurants, going to the beach and playing cards and board games in the evenings.), the school was having a rafting trip. We got up at 7:45 as usual and read Japji Sahib together in the warming, rising sun on top of our hotel. Later in the day there was not a cloud in the sky and it got hot, so any form of water was helpful to cool down. There was a little bit of time to eat breakfast before we left.

    After walking across the bridge we got to two buses. It was already getting hot and we all crammed in, which is actually alright and kinda fun at MPA. Once we got to the beach we put on the supplied life vests and helmets and were briefly introduced to the technique of rafting. There was a group of 7 or 8 of us in each boat with a guide.  They were really nice and fun, but once we got to the rapids they would get back to their boundaries and give clear commands like “all forward, stop it.”  The rapids were definitely the highlight of the trip. We had a lot of fun. We pushed and pulled each other into the water and we also got a chance to be in nature and enjoy the trees and the Ganga. Over all I really liked our spring break and rafting trip! We all got a chance to relax and have a break from our daily schedule. – Nils Teske

    Silver House Win

    As we were all standing in formation, nervously waiting for the winning house to be revealed, my one and only thought was “We came in second place.” The special awards had already been distributed and it seemed to me as if Gold House would win. I had no idea of how many points each house had received. They started by naming the last house and then Blue, the third house. Wait… the winning house is silver! I was so incredibly thrilled and proud that my house had won the squad competitions! I looked around at the faces of my fellow squad members and I could see the excitement emanating from them.

    The prize for winning was a night and day staying in town at the Best Western hotel, so after formation we went to grab some clothes, a bathing suit and toiletries, and got on the bus to drive to the hotel. We stayed there till the next day, hanging out and playing games. Then the next morning we spent our day in town. That night was one I will remember forever. I got to swim, play games and spend time with my squad members. I can definitely say that winning the competition has unified us as a squad even more, and has inspired us to finish the year with an extra boost of enthusiasm. – Guru Amrit Kaur

    Register for the Peace Flame Run Today! Deadline is May 1st.

    The raffle was a great success and we raised more than 10,000 dollars for our Financial Aid fund!  Now that the groundwork has been laid, we have another $135,000 to raise for the 2011-2012 school year.  We invite MPA students, parents, alumni and friends to join the Peace Flame Runners at the 26th Annual International Peace Prayer Day and support Miri Piri Academy’s Financial Aid Fund!

    The flame on this candle circled the globe before finding a permanent home in northern New Mexico at the Santuario de Chimayo. It originated with the torch that was carried around the world in 1986–the first run designating a United Nation’s International Year of Peace, and has burned at the Santuario ever sinceThe same flame has been used in the Chimayo Prayer Pilgrimage for Peace every year since 1987 (the 5th year of the Peace Pilgrimage). It has been carried by International Peace Prayer Day runners to the Jemez Mountains site of International Peace Prayer Day at Guru Ram Das Puri for the past 25 years.

    This year two of our alumni, Guru Amrit Hari Kaur Khalsa and Siri Krishna Kaur Khalsa, had the idea to collect sponsors for their run, and to donate the money to the MPA Financial Aid fund.  What a great idea!  We would like to extend this invitation to all of our students, family and friends!  If you are planning to be in Espanola, NM for the 3HO Summer Solstice Sadhana then it will be easy for you to participate.  Simply register below and we will send you a pledge form to collect donations from your friends and family.

    The route is twenty miles long, from the Santuario to Ram Das Puri.  Participants under the age of fifteen or those who don’t want to run 20 miles can join us from the foot of the mountain for the last eight miles.   There is a support van to provide rest periods and athletes can go at their own pace.  Sign up below, and we will send you a pledge form and instructions.  The athlete who collects the most donations will win a free iPad!

    Not going to be at summer solstice?  You can still be involved by sponsoring a runner or just going to and making a contribution!

    Important Announcements

    • Financial Aid for returning students has been closed.  Awards will be sent out in the next week.
    • Enrollment and financial aid applications for new students for the 2011-2012 school year are now open!  If you know anyone who is interested in enrolling their child please email us at: [email protected] so we can send them instructions as well.
    • Students have begun their intensive study for final exams.  Just one month left till they are flying home!
    • If you have not already sent in your child’s travel itinerary for your return home, please do so this weekend.  We will be organizing the return travel for those have not sent their details in the next week.

    Highlights from the Blog

    The raffle was a great success.  Thanks to all of you who participated, we have raised $10,260 for the MPA Financial Aid fund. An additional several thousand dollars was donated by our friends who were inspired by the raffle to sign up for monthly contributions to support the fund. Your contributions make it possible for […]


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    Support Miri Piri Academy

    Your donation will not only go to support Miri Piri Academy, but you can also obtain a substantial tax break! We are so blessed to have monthly contributors that give from $11 up to $300 per month. Funds are used to support the students directly through our Financial Aid Fund, to help with operational costs and for capital improvements. We are also in the process of establishing an endowment fund.

    Thank you to all of the donors who make our program possible! We encourage all of our parents, friends and alumni to be a part of ensuring Miri Piri Academy’s future. If you are already donating, we encourage you to consider increasing your monthly donation. Simple email us at [email protected] and let us know what change you would like to make.