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ISKCON School of Hillsborough, North Carolina, Update

February 2002

We're developing our school website at www.radharani.com. Please visit.

Hare Krishna 
Hare Krishna 
Krishna Krishna 
Hare Hare 
Hare Rama 
Hare Rama 
Rama Rama 
Hare Hare

Several of our high school students are chanting sixteen rounds and aspiring for initiation. Two of our graduates are presently in Italy in an exchange program with their college, Boston University. Another graduate got straight A's and 20 semester hours of credit in college last semester. Several more ISKCON School graduates got all A's last semester in various colleges. A recent graduate finds college English work easy. Her mother writes, "She is getting nothing but praise from her English teacher for ‘expository writing.’ I know that is all thanks to you. She is not learning anything new in that class. Also in our Spanish class we seem to be surrounded by kids who cannot understand the most simple, basic ideas like definite and indefinite articles, possessive pronouns etc... even in English!"

We are now the only school in ISKCON that former gurukula students are managing. (In Mayapur the gurukula's ashrama head is a former student but he does not manage the whole program.) For many years, Urmila devi dasi has been training Campakalata devi dasi and Mayapurcandra dasa, both born and raised in ISKCON, to be teachers and school administrators. Starting this January, Mayapurcandra officially became the school principal. Uttara devi dasi, a long-time experienced educator, joined the teaching team.

Mayapurcandra has instituted three new programs— Harinama, "Gurukuli" temple afternoon, and school lunch. Once a week, all students attend a harinama sankirtana program at a nearby park. Srila Prabhupada really emphasized that our gurukula students should have regular public chanting. The atmosphere centers on students having fun in spiritual life. All of our students generally attend. The people who happen to be at the park are always smiling at our little bhajan group, which is very nice looking and melodious. We have about 30-45 minutes of bhajan/kirtan, then popcorn and playing on the swings and so forth.

On Tuesday afternoons, many students go to the kirtan/bhajan at the temple for Radha Golokananda at 4:15 for a "gurukuli only" program. The students take turns leading kirtana, giving a scriptural class while sitting on the asana, and generally relishing Krishna consciousness.

Formerly students had to bring their own lunches. Now, Apurva dasa and Kamalini devi dasi, who along with their daughter and son-in-law (Panca tattva devi dasi and Madan Gopal dasa) run a successful restaurant in nearby Greensboro, are supplying prasadam for lunch time. For only $2.00 a student can purchase a delicious hot meal. We are hoping to be able to have a sponsor for this program so that in the future we can serve all students free of charge.

Campakalata and Uttara are increasing the number and variety of field trips. The elementary science class had a wonderful field trip to a jewelry store as part of their study of rocks and minerals. They learned how gems are evaluated and had a great time, too.

We are hoping to produce first-class science teaching materials, working with Sadaputa and the BI, that will explore the differences between modern science and the Vedic scriptures. Urmila is taking a brief sabbatical to study this and other curriculum plans as well as studying to become a development officer.

Three students returned to the school this semester from home schooling.

Upcoming: the school will be changing its name, and making many improvements to its website!

CHAKRA 1 March 2002

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