Check out the Video of Indian children singing on the FCL Music and Videos page
Shanti Selvakumar (seated in the tree) wrote in 2009, "On October 2nd (Gandhi's birthday) we took the kids to Gandhi Mandapam and did a role play...We are conducting educative seminars for parents. I feel proud that I could do something for society...at the cost of my beloved son. We have twelve students (of 64) for whom we give fee exemption--mostly girls. I am grateful to you all for helping me start the school. It helps me a lot in forgetting my pain. Parents are very happy..."View Gallery
Students in Los Angeles sat on the edge of their seats to see the pages of the book from India. Pencil shavings had been glued onto pages as flowers. Cotton balls filled the urns drawn on the pages, which told of the students’ careful development of their current habits-of-heart, Respect and Sympathy. The book came in response to a challenge from the Heroes Class. (See related story under Charter Schools
When asked to provide help for those who they sympathized with in their community, the Indian children at Nishanth Full-Circle Learning Academy, in Chennai, India, chose the “orphaned grandparents.” It was an especially poignant choice in a country where extended families rely on each other, and aging parents often have no safety net once their children have passed. The project’s own founders, the Selvakumars, founded the school to quell their own grief over the loss of their 24-year old son. Now the young children had created gifts for “orphaned grandparents” and delivered them, along with kisses, in exchange for blessings, as these grandparents had no one to bless. They bowed down before the grandparents, the moment memorialized in photos and glued into the book they sent to their American global partners, now sitting on the edge of their seats to see.
Children promote harmony between all people at community performance.View Gallery
A Venn diagram on the board soon showed that we all have similar hurts and needs and ways to use our skills to show love, respect and sympathy; only the gestures change. Now all the Los Angeles children want to speak Tamil and go to India. They hope to hear soon what the Indian children want!
Other projects of the Nishanth Full-Circle Learning Academy include environmental projects, exchanges with orphans, events to promote cultural and religious tolerance, and Founders’ Day celebrations warning of the dangers of smoking and encouraging acts of selflessness.
Learners at the Nishanth Full-Circle Learning Academy, in Chennai, India, hold cultural festivals and study ways to appreciate diversity. They also learn how character can improve poverty, the environment and community life.View Gallery
The project in India began when a young man named Nishanth Selvakumar lost his life in a traffic accident in California. His grieving parents, Shanti and Shelva, and his employer, Kavian Magzhy, collaborated to start a school for in his memory, asking Full-Circle Learning to assist with the launch and provide training. The school would serve those who could not otherwise afford quality education. Grants from EHG has been helpful in the founding of the school, and the Selvakumars have made great sacrifices to keep it running. The site selected was a converted apartment building next door to the home where Nishanth grew up. In due time, the school gained greater self-sufficiency, and leaders helped students address vital community issues while teaching them to connect inner character strengths to academic and artistic talents to address those needs. The Nishanth Full-Circle Learning School is a shining example to others around the world.