P.O.BOX 83696 , Gaithersburg, MD-20883, USA

Business Contact Information
  • Location
    P.O.BOX 83696
  • Address
    P.O.BOX 83696 , Gaithersburg, MD-20883, USA
  • Website
  • Phone Number
    +1 240-750-7241
  • Contact Person
Contact form
Project/s Location/s

1. Mental Health, 2. Teacher Programs, 3. Sikhism Program, 4. Mental Fitness, 5. Sikh kid2kid Program, 6. Peace Message, 7.

Project/s Description/s

Teacher training workshop in Sikhism by Sikh Kid 2 Kid is a student lead effort. Student involvement in the teaching of the religion to the educators is unique and very effective in multiple ways. Students develop the confidence in being who they are by presenting their cultural and religious identity to their teachers in simple terms. They discuss similarities and differences and draw parallels between Sikhs and fellow Americans and have a sense of achievement because they have done their half of the explanation. The training also opens the students minds when teachers ask frank questions which were doubts and misconceptions till being answered. There is a clarity in the air because all mystery is taken away. Teachers are expected to learn about Sikhism- Religious Identity, Beliefs, Philosophy and Worldview. Teachers learn about the common misconceptions and get to have an open dialogue with students, community members and clergy. Teachers experience the service and food. They also get to know the Sikh students better and connect with families in an informal way. Teachers have the control of the classroom thermostat in their hands and they can help diffuse problems and create a conducive learning environment for students of all backgrounds. Our teacher training program helps eradicate a lot of misconceptions that Sikh students face. A very common misconception about Sikhism is that it is a cross between Islam and Hinduism; this is not true, as Sikhism is an independent faith. The misconception of it being a branch or blend of other faiths is a disservice, as it misrepresents the sovereignty of the Sikh identity: it can rob some Sikh students of a feeling of acceptance and belonging, as if no one understands their identity. Because many Sikhs are perceived to be Muslim, they often face the effects of Islamophobia. This can often put Sikh students in a sticky situation, as the Sikh philosophy teaches not to deflect hardship onto others. Simply put, a Sikh student is not likely to throw a Muslim student “under the bus,” but they simultaneously would like the independence of their faith to be recognized. Many textbooks in school are the source of these misconceptions, and thus it is vital to have educators that can look beyond the textbook. Finally, many people are unaware of the magnitude of the global Sikh population; it is the fifth largest religion in the world with over 26 million followers. We have a plethora of resources for educators to use when teaching about Sikhism, including movies and pamphlets which can be found on sikhkid2kid.com. Though many Sikh students may be excited to present about their identity, it’s important that they are not pressured to act as the teacher. Educators can use many ways not to single out kids. In addition to our resources, we suggest inviting a third party volunteer such as a parent or faith leader to present. Teachers can also invite college students from religious based organizations to speak. We encourage teachers to reach out to students before or after class to avoid putting them in the spotlight. The PTSA can have avenues for students to present Sikh artifacts in the form of skits, turban tying, presentations, and food at international nights. Apart from that, educators can always offer platforms for students to express their identities through art and music. We have recently explored another educational avenue. Teacher who attend our program have been inspired to arrange field trips to the Gurdwara, or Sikh house of worship, for students to engage in seva (selfless service) projects, receive SSL hours and learn about Sikhism. The first field trip is scheduled for May 5th 2018, where 25 students accompanied by parents and their teacher will come for 3 hours and package food for the homeless shelter. In addition we have started holding in house training for entire school staff conducting mini Sikhism workshops for 1 entire day with great success as we conduct pre and post surveys and have great reviews. While our program is unique and a very grass roots effort yielding very good desirable results of creating understanding, empathy and tolerance towards each other we have realized our short comings. The draw back of the program is time, effort, standardization and number of students who need to be trained to conduct these workshops. The need for such programs is huge as the benefits outway the costs by a landslide. The teaching could be done by reading materials and videos, but real life experiences and storytelling are a much more effective way of cultivating a congenial learning atmosphere in the classroom, because nothing can beat real life experiences. Technologies like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality will make it possible for workshops like ours more accessible to both teachers and students. By using the grant funding to create an app that anyone can download to be virtually put into a teacher training; we will have a comprehensive workshop for all ages within the classroom, and stimulate discussion amongst peers and educators. The first phase or the introductory lessons to Sikhism will be done by Virtual Reality in a guided experience type of a manner, where users will feel like they are in another world. The immersive exploration is based on exploration, and will mimic a visit to the Sikh temple. Virtual Reality will give people the autonomy to explore and learn at their own pace.

Admin Information
  • Registered Charity
  • Place of Registration
  • Budget
  • Donations Accepted
  • Members

President Amrit Singh
Vice - President Anmol Singh