Balagokulam

hindu dharma for the kids, parents and teachers

Balagokulam explained

Our children are our future. In order to continue our faith, culture and values of Sanatana Dharma that we were raised with, our children need to be introduced to these very early, very consistently and most importantly definitely.

It is a known fact that most Hindu children born and raised in the USA have a vacuum in their mind about their religion and culture. If we do not provide them timely and accurate information, they are most likely to jump to wrong conclusions and deviate from truth. It is therefore the duty of every parent to ensure that their children are made aware of the great dharma they are born in and teach them the values of our culture.

In a step to aid that drive, Hindu temple and Cultural center of South Carolina proudly announces the start of a Sunday school for children. The Sunday school that is called Balagokulam will be launched on Sunday, March 18, 2007 at 10:30 AM.

The goal of Balagokulam will be –

  • To facilitate children to appreciate, learn and practice Hindu way of life.
  • Instill pride and confidence in Hindu children about their identity.
  • Raise Hindu awareness in the society around.
  • Develop social awareness and leadership skills among children.

The goal will be achieved by involving children in various activities. Children will have lots of fun while they learn. Activities are planned for their physical, intellectual, social and spiritual development. Weekly activities include games, yoga, story sessions, Shlokas, Bhajans, Arts and Crafts, Competitions and many more. Other activities include:

  • Clay Modeling - Especially for Ganesh pooja, children can make murti of Ganesh themselves.
  • Rangoli - Demonstration and some hands on training.
  • Projects on modeling temples with cardboard, foam, sticks, etc.
  • Teerth Yatra or Pilgrimage (Visit to temples in your town).
  • Sahal (Picnic) with all the families to build family level bonding.
  • Seva: Visit to convalescent hospitals, children's wards in hospitals, soup kitchens, etc.
  • A presentation by social workers group or teenage counselors about challenges facing American society today.
  • Sports Day
  • Competitions in chanting Shlokas, singing songs, speaking, etc.
  • Art of Skit writing and acting
  • Hindu Jeopardy/Quiz
  • Dialogue between parents and children (For teenagers)
  • Celebrating Hindu festivals in schools.
  • Teaching how to read and write Devnagari script
  • Preparing posters on different topics: Can be group projects

Currently we have a Balagokulam shakha running in the North East Columbia, very successfully for over a year now.

The new Balagokulam will be conducted at the Hindu temple on every Sunday. The class will be for 90 minutes. Children from ages 5 and above are allowed without any charge. Based on the number of children enrolled, they will be segregated by their age group. Syllabus is developed according to the level of understanding in the respective age group. Activities will be planned separately for different age groups especially the youth groups of 14- 17 yrs. Parents will also be involved in planning the activities for children of different age groups.

We will need volunteers for various activities. For volunteering in Balagokulam activities, please call the following people.

Ravi Narumanchi at 803-454-9362
Sabari Chiraparambil at 803-996-3523
Rajesh Verma at 803-233-4737
Sunil Tuppale at 803-865-6837
Uma Krishnamurthy at 803-996-5494

Please make the call by March 06, 2007 as we are planning a workshop for Balagokulam teachers on March 11, 2006.

In order to determine the age groups, we request you to enroll your children as early as you can. Please use the attached enrollment form to enroll your children. You have a choice to choose between Balagokulam conducted in the northeast or in the Temple. You can either mail the completed form to the following address of the temple or handover to the temple priest Sri Joshiji.

Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of South Carolina
5704 Kiawah Road
Columbia
SC 29212

Though Balagokulam is being offered free of charge, please note that it involves significant expenses. Hence your generous donation, both financial and physical will be greatly appreciated.

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