SHRI HANS ED SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM BEGINS
"If parents are short of money and cannot meet the costs of monthly tuition, should we boot the child out of school and replace him with someone who can pay?" Sharon Keller posed this question in a recent discussion about the scholarship program at Unity School in Denver.
Sharon explained, "In Denver we have a high cost of living and low salary base. 'This puts parents in a bind; they want their children to have a spiritual education but they have trouble making ends meet. So we instituted a program where premies can help fellow premies by supporting the scholarship fund. A full scholarship for one child per month is $60. A premie doesn't have to pay the whole amount himself but can go in with other premies to raise the money. If four premies get together with $10 each month, it will only come to $40 which isn't a full scholarship, but it is usually enough to keep a child in school. It is important to remember that these scholarship funds are not substitutes to tithing. They are donations in addition to tithing. A scholarship helps one child, but the best thing we can do for all our children is to actively support the Mission's efforts to make this earth a place where a child can thrive."
Shri Hans Educational (later renamed Unity School by Guru Maharaj Ji) began late in the summer of 1972 when seven premies/certified teachers began to work together under the agya of Maharaj Ji to create a school. Holding jobs to support themselves and living together in a small cottage in Denver, they gradually formed their own unique educational philosophy inspired by what Sharon calls, the "Waldorf School impulse."
Unity School fills a void left by other existing educational programs. Bob Horner, the seventh grade teacher, ex-plained, "School is a child's first experience of the world outside his family. No amount of meditation is going to make a public school syllabus into a spiritual introduction to the world. We use our curriculum as a means to transmit a vision of the essential unity of creation as well as- to develop the child's intellect, artistic sensitivity and physical coordination. Our children knit as well as compute. They learn to play the recorder as well as read and write.
In 1973 the school officially opened with six students. This year the "mini-school" has 33 students in nursery school, second and seventh grade and operates from three ordinary houses across the the street from their original cottage. "Right now," Sharon explains, "the school is just too small to operate efficiently. We have 33 children, but we have the teachers and administration to easily accomodate 100 … if we only had the space." So the search is on to find a proper school building with adequate playground and classroom facilities. One possible site is directly behind the "Indian Center," a large hall the Denver community is considering to buy for a community center.
But at Shri Hans Educational it is not only the kids who are going to school. Teacher training is an essential part of their ongoing development. "Shri Hansers" as they are affectionately called, are enrolled in outstanding colleges around the country learning how to teach a complete curriculum from kindergarten through 12th grade. Teachers will also be available for other communities who pledge to support two teachers to begin a Unity School in their area.
The amount of love and dedication at SHED is best expressed by the method in which this teacher training has been financed. From the Shri Hans Educational brochure: "One often hears of people working to put themselves through college, but much of our school has prospered through people working to put their friends through college - for the sake of excellence in education."
Attention Ladies & Gentlemen!
With the upcoming issue, all future performances of And It Is Divine will be brought to you solely by Shri Hans Productions. The quarterly magazine is now being written, produced and printed wholly by premies. If you currently have a subscription please excuse a slight (1 week) delivery delay for this month's copy as we change to our own presses. Thank you.
- The Staff of And It Is Divine
Coming in the next issue …
Guru Maharaj Ji and Durga Ji have just had their first child. Guru Maharaj Ji gave his blessings for the premies to celebrate.
Guru Puja in Venezuela?
Guru Maharaj Ji has named South America as the site for this year's Guru Puja Celebration. Venezuela tops the list of possible locations.
"It's your paper."
By popular demand! More premie news, more premie writing from premies all over the country. A whole page of delightful details in the next issue.
Maharaj Ji has named 1975 as the year for propagation. DT will cover the plans for the coming year's effort.