iMPAct Newsletter August 2010

Table of Contents

    Preparing Your Child for a Year at MPA

    It’s that time of year again, and all over the world MPA students, new and old, are getting ready to make the long journey toAmritsar.  This year we will have students from sixteen different countries: Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, India, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, UK, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, and the USA.  We are looking forward to welcoming the largest group of new students in the history of our school!  It is going to be an amazing year.

    As the students get ready, we want to remind parents to read some tips for Preparing Your Child for Miri Piri Academy.  We also asked our veteran students to offer some recommendations to their new brothers and sisters as they do their final packing.  They suggest that you dont forget to pack:

    • A camera to record and share memories with family and friends.
    • A cozy quilt and sheets to make the dorm feel like home.
    • Pictures of family and friends for the wall and bedside table.
    • Board games, footballs, cleats, basketball shoes, skateboards or anything else you like to do for fun.
    • Your iPod and headphones!!

    A Song in the Heart

    by Kamaldev Kaur and Arturo Wallace, new members of the MPA family

    Seventeen years ago, on the 7th of September, I became the mother of my oldest son, Arturo Wallace. From that moment in time, a great deal of my energy, in one way or another has been directed toward raising him and his younger brother, Diego. Like many mothers in my generation, I read up on every subject possible to help make the right decisions and send them walking down the right path.  When it was time for them to enter school, I felt like I had found the best for them both; a place at the very school where I have been employed as an English teacher most of their lives.  However, from the get go I began to witness a split reality; one very flat reality existing on a mediocre report card while in the same space in time, I was able to enjoy watching their great success in all the other parts of themselves as human beings, reflected in the areas of arts, sports, friendship, loyalty, integrity, honesty, and nobility, and that are sadly enough, not graded with any real serious commitment on the part of our educational system. At the end of the day, they are classified with numbers and labeled mediocre; while the reality is just the opposite!

    Over the years I have really struggled with the idea of understanding, and then accepting, that the kind of education being offered is just so incredibly limiting and at times meaningless, due to its mostly exclusive focus on the mental capacities of memorization in where the child is asked to sit down, pay attention and memorize; in turn reducing the child to a tiny and rather poor cousin of the human being, that has by birthright, the gift of splendid and multiple intelligences.

    And the rest of this child? Where is he? Can anyone see him, hear him, or feel him?

    Preparing to go to India next month has been less a series of events and more like an organic manifestation of the spiritual makeup of me and my son, Arturo. With the help of The Divine Guide Within which has  lead me to all of my personal interests and studies in education and spiritual growth inside of the teachings of Kundalini Yoga, I was presented with this very important opportunity to enroll my oldest son in The Siri Singh Sahib`s spiritual and educational academy in Amritsar.

    For us, it simply feels right, a perfect fit, and an example of something that makes sense on all levels; a good feeling in the gut and a song in the heart. As a mother, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment as I watch with gratitude this reality falling into place with order and grace. On the part of my son Arturo, funny enough as it may seem, he is enjoying a bit of super stardom in his high school and neighborhood.  Mostly, there is a lot a male energy circulating around their strong attraction to hair, turban, swords, musical instruments and the ever growing lure of yoga. My house is full of teenagers, boys and girls, staring at him in disbelief, with eyes wide open and a million questions! I don’t know about your neighborhood, and city, but in ours, yoga has become something cool and fairly sought after! And of course, I can only enjoy this so deeply, because as a mother and an educator, I have seen so many teenagers fall through the cracks due to the lack of effective and nurturing educational, family and spiritual culture. And as we all know well, when the pain hits, the vast majority of humans, young and old, just begin to flounder in the sea of turmoil and confusion and lose our ways for minutes, hours, days and sometimes a lifetime.

    How fortunate to have this early opportunity to live and learn a spiritual strength to help navigate through this life, come what may!

    Sat Nam and Blessings to all of our new family at Miri Piri!

    Fundraising for Financial Aid

    As the school year begins, the enrollment season is coming to an end.  This year we have the highest number of new students

    Students on Winter Break in Rajasthan

    From left: Teo (Germany), Gobind (Brazil), Manee (UK), Tarun (UK), Balwant (Mexico) and below, Guru Partap (Netherlands) in Rajasthan for Winter Break 2009

    joining the school than ever before.  With word about the school and the teachings of Yogi Bhajan spreading rapidly all over the world, our student body has become increasingly diverse.  With that diversity, however, also comes the need for a substantial increase in our Financial Aid Fund.  This year more than 66% of our student body is depending on Financial Aid to make their journey possible, and we in turn are depending on our parents, alumni, friends and supporters to contribute to the Financial Aid fund that supports them.

    This year our fundraising goal for the Financial Aid fund is $250,000. We kicked off our fundraising this year with a Silent Auction at Summer Solstice in New Mexico, and raised $10,000 in one week there.  Since then we have been calling on our long time supporters and donors, and through your generosity another $35,000 was raised.  By Guru’s grace, at the start of the school year we are well on our way towards our goal!

    It is our hope that each and every parent, alumni and friend of the school will sign up for monthly donations by credit card or electronic bank transfer by the end of this year. Whether $108 or $15 per month, all donations, large and small, make a difference to our students and make our Financial Aid program possible!

    Our goal of raising $250,000 is very doable. Our goal can be reached with just:
    1400 people donating $15 per month ($252,000)
    700 people donating $30 per month ($252,000)
    400 people donating $54 per month ($259,200)
    200 people donating $108 per month ($259,000)
    25 people donating $10,000 ($250,000)

    Ultimately it is our goal to enroll anyone who wants to attend, regardless of their ability to pay.  Your contribution will help us reach that goal! Please donate today, and encourage other alumni, parents and supporters too!  If you have any questions about our fundraising efforts or our Financial Aid fund, please email Saraswati Khalsa at [email protected]

    What’s Happening at MPA

    • The students will begin arriving at school on August 21st and 22nd, and will start the school year with a challenging and relationship building trek into the Himalayan mountains on the 24th.
    • Enrollment for the 2010-2011 school year is still open even now! Please start your application today.
    • We invite you to subscribe to the newsfeed of our official MPA Blog so you can stay in touch with what the children are doing!

    Highlights from the Blog

    Camp Miri Piri – Asia 2010

    Jugat Guru Singh Khalsa, school Principal, along with the other members of the Cherdi Kalaa Jetha and alumni Gurprakash Singh Khalsa and Harimandir Singh Khalsa traveled to Malaysia to teach at Camp Miri Piri from the 8th to 13th of June.  Some of our students from Thailand and Singapore couldn’t get enough of MPA during […]

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    This year for the first time Jugat Guru Singh Khalsa, School Principal, and the Cherdi Kalaa Jetha traveled to the European Yoga Festival to teach and to connect with the sangat and the children there.  As Jugat Guru Singh described it, the Miri Piri Academy spirit was all over the camp: “We were given a […]

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