iMPAct Newsletter March 2011

Table of Contents

    Annual Function 2011 – A Tribute to Shakespeare


    Siri Deva Kaur Speaking to the Guests

    The Annual function of Miri Piri Academy was celebrated on 10th March 2011 with “A Tribute to Shakespeare”. According to the Principal of Academics, Kirandeep Kaur,  “Miri Piri Academy’s Shakespeare program is based on the belief that through this work students not only come to a better understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare, they also learn more about themselves and their relationships with others. Reading, acting, and discovering Shakespeare’s plays can be a profoundly personal journey for students and their teachers.” She added that ,“while conceptualizing “A Tribute to Shakespeare”, Miri Piri Academy viewed each of the three plays “The Tempest”, “Romeo and Juliet” and “Julius Caesar” as a laboratory not only to develop literary and performance-based skills, but also to nurture skills that serve students throughout their lives, which include listening and responding, public speaking, self-presentation, diction and enunciation, physical and emotional self-assessment, self-discipline, and teamwork.”Students of Grades 3 to 6 worked on “The Tempest”, Grades 7 and 9 worked on “Julius Caesar” and grades 8 and 10 worked on “Romeo and Juliet”.

    On 10th March the students of Miri Piri Academy, took the visitors and guests to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre which was re-created on the campus grounds. The displays were a visual delight and the students’ effort showed evidence of a thorough knowledge of Shakespeare and his works.  The students worked on artifacts which included clay models of theme parks, masks, and the characters from the play. They also made creative charts and dioramas depicting scenes from the three plays. The sheer detailing on the three booths, representing each one of the three plays, displayed the excellence of the work done by the students. Along with the displays, the students enacted short excerpts from “The Tempest”, “Julius Caesar” and “Romeo and Juliet”. Kudos to the staff and students of Miri Piri Academy for taking us back to the Elizabethan era.

    As part of the Annual Function the students also sang Gurbani Kirtan and played the tabla and sitar. The audience was enthralled with the Bhangra performance and was delighted as they watched the students perform to toe-tapping music. The evening ended with a spectacular display of Gatka, which the students practice throughout the year. Never before have we seen a such beautiful melange of Western and Eastern culture, where students from the Indian and Western countries have collaborated and enchanted an audience for over two hours.

    Visiting the International Yoga Festival in Rishi Kesh

    Each year our 11th grade class travels to the International Yoga Festival in Rishi Kesh as part of their Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training.  Here are a few great pictures from this year’s trip:

    11th Grade Kundalini Yoga Teacher Trainees

    Leading a class with Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa

    Leading a class with Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa



    Dinner Competition 2011

    by Guru Amrit Kaur Khalsa, 12th Grade


    Alice in Wonderland

    Being the longest competition of the year, the dinner competition is spread out over a period of four weeks. In a predetermined order, the houses each plan a dinner for each of those weeks on Saturday. Each house is given a budget of about $300 to plan a dinner to which staff and students will attend. This budget includes the cost of food, dishes, decorations, electronics, entertainment and any other necessary costs. Each house is given a week to plan their dinner, this means to say that they have a week to make decorations, order the needed electronics, plan the menu, make the costumes, etc.

    To make their dinners more interesting, the students choose a theme. The whole dinner is planned within the characteristics of this particular theme. The houses must be careful when choosing a theme because some themes are not as easy as others to pull off. There are many things the students must consider; the environment, the budget, the available supplies and the guests. Neglect of any of these factors could mean disaster. The theme can be anything; this is where we see the creativity of the students at work. The themes of the four dinners this year were: Hawaiian, Alice in Wonderland Tea Party, Mayan and V.I.P.

    The students encounter many difficulties during the week they plan their dinner. Anything and everything can go wrong but the main difficulty seems to be lack of time. There are so many things to do, and because they are working with food, alot of the work is also done at the last minute. The day of the dinner is a stressful one for the squad members. Between setting up and cooking the meal there is just enough time to get ready. All in all, however, the dinners were mostly a success.


    Dressed and Ready

    The Mayan dinner was lit with only natural light using candles and torches. There was a dance and a fire show that were spectacular and the costumes really resembled the Mayan attire. The Alice in Wonderland dinner was also very successful; the costumes were very creative and well done. The whole environment in which the dinner was presented fit the theme and was very pleasing. The entertainment consisted of a tournament in which students competed in three different challenges; arm wrestling, dancing and rapping. The Hawaiian dinner was delicious, the food and drinks were great. There was squash, vegetable shish kabobs, coconut rice and more. There was a bonfire and the whole environment felt relaxed and vacation-like. The V.I.P. dinner was very fun, the entertainment, which was karaoke, was the highlight of the evening and kept many of the students at the dinner long after it ended. The karaoke was very amusing and well prepared. The decoration and food were also enjoyable.

    At the end of the four weeks, after all the four dinners, the judges pick a winner. The five judges each award points to the houses in three different categories; food, entertainment and decorations.  This year after tallying up all the points we had a tie between Mayan and Alice in Wonderland! The dinner competition is a chance for all the squad members to work together and communicate, and also brings some students closer. Planning a dinner in this way is great practice of organizational skills for life after MPA.

    We Need Your Help! – Just three weeks left.


    Grand Prize!

    More than 65% of our students depend on financial aid, and we expect that we will award more than $420,000 to those students over the coming months. Our Financial Aid Fund has received a grant for $275,000 from the CCC as a starting point, and we now need to raise just $145,000 from our friends and family.

    To kick off our 2011 fundraising efforts we are holding a great online raffle. The grand prize is a Free Summer Solstice Sadhana, generously donated by 3HO. There are lots of other prizes too. Our goal for this raffle is to sell 1000 tickets by April 10th. As of publishing time, 240 tickets have been sold. Please do your part to help us get all the children to India this year!

    What’s Happening at MPA

    • Enrollment and financial aid applications for the 2011-2012 school year are now open! Parents were recently sent instructions for re-enrollment. 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 are travelling for Spring Break in Rishi Kesh and then Anandpur Sahib for Hola Mahalla.  When they return it will be time to buckle down for final exams!
    • Chaperone flight details were recently emailed to all the parents.  Please book your children’s flights and send us the details ASAP!

    Highlights from the Blog

    The purpose is to realize you and within you the truth in you, the light in you, the delightfulness of God in you. That is your soul. – Yogi Bhajan Date: Thursday, June 16, 2011 Time: 4:30pm – 6:30pm Location: Siri Singhasan e Khalsa Gurdwara, Espanola, NM   Congratulations to: Ad Sach Kaur Gendelman Amrit […]

    The teachers at MPA just participated in a workshop led by Dr Sue Lyle, Head of Continuing Professional Development of Teachers and David Hendley, Senior Lecturer in Education at Swansea Metropolitan University, Wales, UK .  The rationale behind the development of the workshop can be summed up in three statements: ·         […]

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    Students at MPA celebrated Basant, the coming of Spring, with Tie Dye and traditional Kite flying activities.

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    We are proud to announce that Kirandeep Singh, our Academic Principal, has completed the CIE Programme Leader course and Miri Piri Academy is now authorized to offer the Cambridge International Diploma for Teachers and Trainers to our teachers.  This is a significant honor for our school and will greatly benefit our teachers and students.

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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.