CM D/FW also offers many diverse enrichment opportunities for children to “grow and glow.” In this nurturing environment, children discover and develop their latent talents, and also get a chance to form lasting relationships with each other.
As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child, and all the CM D/FW family members have plenty of opportunities to help in this process. Everyone is encouraged to volunteer and contribute in any of the following activities – not only for your own spiritual evolution, but also for the growth and development of our children.
To volunteer or for more information/questions, please contact the Balavihar coordinators or the respective coordinators.
|Gita Chanting||Story Time|
The language classes at CM D/FW promote two levels of language skills in Gujarati and Hindi.
At Level I, the students get familiar with the alphabet and numbers. They begin reading and writing, and are introduced to common words and phrases, and simple conversation in the fall semester. In the spring semester, we build on this knowledge, and encourage the students to speak the language and to improve their comprehension through songs, stories and games.
At Level II, the students are introduced to conjuncts, gender and plurality. We enhance their knowledge of Hindi, Gujarati, Telegu, Malayam and other languages through reading and writing, building vocabulary, conversations, reciting poems and songs, and telling stories.
Slokathon is a self-paced program that teaches children how to correctly chant several important scriptural verses. It is a compilation of more than 250 famous slokas from the Hindu scriptures in praise of the Guru and various Hindu deities. It also includes texts such as Bhaja Govindam and 100 selected verses from the Bhagavad Gita. The slokas are grouped in sections.
Participants will need to purchase a Slokathon book and audio cassettes or CDs, which are available at the bookstore at CM D/FW. Children can listen to the cassette/CD while reading from the book at the same time. They are also given a plaque with their picture and designated spots for stickers which are awarded upon completion of each section.
The goal is to encourage the children to learn to chant the slokas so that they will be inspired to understand the meaning and value of these verses when they grow up.
Currently classes to teach the slokas are held at CMDFW. Please contact the Slokathon coordinator for more details.
Bharatanātyam classes are offered at CM D/FW. The students will also be taught the theory of dance from the Nātya Śāstra and Abhinaya Darpana.
Please check the calendar and contact the Dance Class teacher for further details.
The word bhajan refers to a chant or song which is sung in praise of God, usually as part of a religious service. Bhajans play a very important role in most of our Hindu religious celebrations.
At CM D/FW, our mission is to impart the basics of Indian classical music through singing bhajans. Children are introduced to several Carnatic and Hindustani rāgas by singing devotional songs that are set to melodious tunes. Their inherent and keen sense of rāga (tune) and tāla (rhythm) is explored and emphasized. Children gain immense self-confidence in their musical abilities as there are several opportunities for them to exhibit their talents.
The Gītā chanting competition was started by Chinmaya Mission in 1991. The goal is to help children, youth and adults to memorize and chant a selected chapter or set of verses from the Bhagavad Gītā. Over the years, over 5 million people around the world have participated in the competition!
Classes are conducted at CMDFW every weekend to teach the children how
to chant the selected verses. The competition is usually held every
year in April-May. Please check our calendar and contact the Gita Chanting coordinator for further details.
Each academic year, an off-site camp is organized on the Labor Day weekend for Balavihar children. Children leave from Saaket on a Friday evening to go to the campsite for the next two days. A typical day at the camp starts with meditation and includes activities like yoga, satsang with the acharyas, learning bhajans and slokas, crafts, volleyball, cricket and other outdoor games and also gives them an opportunity to showcase their talents in the evenings. Children come away from the camps with fond memories and create lasting relationships with the acharyas and each other.
This is another way where the children get an opportunity to bond with Swamiji and their counterparts of the CM D/FW family. Lock-ins are held by grade level for elementary, middle school and high school children. Parents drop off their children at CM D/FW for the evening. Children have a wonderful time as they get together to play games, watch movies, participate in a seva project and spend time with Swamiji. An important part of the evening is food! Children look forward to this annual event – is it the food, the activities, or a combination of all of it? Attend it yourself (either as a child or a parent-volunteer) and find out for yourself!
The annual picnic is a great way for all Chinmaya family members to get together and have fun. Age appropriate games are organized and there are many chances to win fabulous prizes. Food is always one of the main attractions and a lot of volunteers work behind the scenes to make this a successful event. Be there or be square!
This is another annual event hosted and organized by the children towards the latter part of the academic year. People are encouraged to sponsor the walk at various levels. In the past, the children raised funds to help deserving charities like the City House and Boys, Girls Club of America and the Bhutanese refugees. What a wonderful way of reaching out to the community at large! Stay tuned for more details for the upcoming year.
Every child wants to be a part of Balavihar! For our young emergent learners (ages 3 to 6), we have an exclusive membership to the Book Club that meets once a month for Story Time. The children are greeted by a surprise character from one of the Classical Indian legends or folk tales. They are mystically transported to the enchanted land and are completely enthralled by these captivating stories! After all, who wouldn’t enjoy the role playing and puppet shows that are presented during this time? I surely wouldn’t want to miss out … sigh … if only I could have my childhood back. So get on the bandwagon and check our calendar for regular updates on the next scheduled event. All you need to bring is your imaginative presence. You don’t even need to fasten your seat belts as your journey to the Enchanted Land begins. There is no cost for attending, and the experience is priceless.
What more can you ask for?