A Love of Learning
Posted February 22, 2012
TKG Academy - the Dallas Elementary Day School - located in Kalachandji Dham right near the Dallas Temple, has been serving the community children since the 1980's. With a beautiful playground, nestled in a pecan grove, next to Kalachandji's Park and a block from Kalachandji's Palace, temple and Restaurant, it is an idyllic location for children to thrive. An updated website, showcasing all that the students are accomplishing is up at www.tkgacademy.com.
All the students start their day with a Sadhana Class, where they worship the school Deities of Sri Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra each morning. They chant japa and learn Vaishnava songs and prayers. This gives them a firm foundation for the intellect to thrive. Students then head into their Academics Classes, from Kindergarten to 8th grade, where they study in an engaging dynamic way, that meet and exceed state standards of education. The small student to teacher ratio - 1/10 - allows teachers to work individually with each child, attentive to his/her particular learning styles, interests and needs in order to motivate the student and impart a love for learning and academic excellence.
The older classes learn their academics in a project based environment. Instead of just reading about the topic in the book, teachers endeavor to make it come alive! Last week, 3rd through 5th graders experimented with a wire and a battery to light up a lightbulb! They practice making lapbooks, videos, displays and oral presentations regularly for their classes. Click Here
Younger students learn language through the Sing Spell Read & Write program, infused with Montessori inspired materials. When children learn their sounds, letters of the alphabet and spelling through songs and hands-on manipulatives, all their senses are absorbed. The subject matter becomes very quick to remember and teachers find that this absorption produces satisfaction as well! The curriculum and materials used allow for self-discipline to take place - when students are so engrossed in their exciting school work, needing attention by acting out becomes a non-issue. Click Here
Monthly Krishna conscious themes are also integrated with the academics. The month of January students learned about the Nine Processes of Devotional service. In conjunction with Sravanam (hearing), junction with our study of Sravanam (hearing), we studied sound waves and parts of the ear. We've been engaging in Smaranam (remembering) in Literature class by reading stories from Srimad Bhagavatam and then practicing the skills of annotation, chronological ordering and summarizing with those stories. In art class, the students painted to music. They heard a calm bhajan, sung by Srila Prabhupada and another more fast-paced kirtan sung by Sri Prahlad Prabhu and accompanied by his accordion. They explored the effects of Kirtanam, seeing how they used different strokes and colors according to the mood. Afterwards, they expressed verbally, why they chose the colors and strokes they had chosen and what the music made them feel.
For Pada Sevanam - worshipping Krishna's lotus feet, students learned that since devotees (like Lakshmi devi) are always situated near Krishna's lotus feet, serving the devotees is also worshipping His feet. All month, they have been encouraged to engage in acts of Pada Sevanam by keeping daily records of different services they performed which are prominently displayed in the hall for everyone to see! Click Here
Vaishnava festivals and holidays are observed in style. Students just performed a drama for Lord Nityananda's Appearance Day at the temple. They have carnivals, holiday parties, and actively participate in the temple programs by leading kirtans, performing dramas, cooking, and much much more!
TKG Academy also boasts a solid group of Alumni students, graduated from TKG Academy and settled into adult lives. Many have graduated and are successfully continuing their careers or raising families; others are still studying in colleges in the area and involved in the temple festivals and operations.
Please visit www.tkgacademy.com for regular updates and news.
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