With the help of Ms. Swapnam Kumar and other volunteers Hindi Classes are conducted at the temple for children, ages seven and up, on Sundays from 11 am to 12 pm. The class include instructions on basic reading and writing, with an emphasis on speaking.
Why our children should join Hindi-Class?
Learning their native language keeps the children in contact with their culture. When speakers of one language settle into an area where another language is spoken, and effort is not taken to preserve their first language, then over the years they will be completely assimilated into the other language and culture. While assimilation is not necessarily a negative occurrence, our children should be taught to maintain their ethnic identity, which can be done by teaching the mother tongue. Dismissing the importance of Hindi is in a way neglecting our cultural values and depriving our children of their cultural identity. Also, it is easy for children to develop their mother tongue while developing English skills as well. Research has shown that compared to other immigrants, second generation Asian children are more quickly losing their mother tongue.
With the above factors in mind, Hindi Class was introduced for the first time in Kansas City in April 2005. Along with reading, writing and speaking Hindi, the class exposes children to their ethnic heritage through discussion, role-play, presentations, arts and crafts, etc. Hindi Class celebrates all major festivals using educational themes.
Hindi Class is coordinated by Swapnam Kumar with help of few volunteers. Swapnam Kumar is an elementary school teacher by profession with more than 25 years of teaching experience in different ethnic situations. She has taught in India, Africa, and now in USA.