The Sikh Foundation of Virginia (SFV) Gurmat School helps students learn Punjabi and improve their understanding and practice of Gurmat. The curriculum is based on teachings of the Sikh Scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
The School year is from Sept-May, and classes are held at the SFV Gurdwara Sahib every Sunday from 10:30 am – 12:15 pm, excluding holidays. Students also participate in special events and service projects throughout the year, and in a 3-day Youth Camp in July. Registration for students aged 6-18 years begins in August. A nominal fee is charged, as an indicator of parental support.
Students are grouped by age and prior knowledge of Punjabi. This enables teachers to tailor the curriculum for Punjabi, Gurmat, and Sikh history classes to the needs of each Group. Teachers and Sangat volunteers provide individualized attention as needed. Each class session is for 30-45 minutes, and regular attendance is expected. Parental involvement in their students’ education, and as resource persons for the School on a voluntary basis, is encouraged.
The School coordinator and teachers run the school relatively independently, with administrative support, resources and oversight provided by the SFV management and Board of Trustees. Sangat contributions and suggestions are welcome at all times.
Numerous activities are conducted to enrich a student's learning experience:
- Gurbani (memorizing and reading Nitnem Banis and Ardas)
- Kirtan and musical instruments (voluntary attendance)
- Reinforcing Sikh identity (various annual and special events, parades, Camps)
- Punjabi reading and writing (personalized, to facilitate learning)
- Sikh history (Guru period, Sakhis, later period, recent events)
- Sikh beliefs and philosophy (plus their application to daily life)
- Sikh rehat maryada (expected practices and personal behavior)
- Seva opportunities (various service projects, traditional activities, volunteering)
- Leadership development (through debates, public speaking, activism)
- Personal development (through mentoring, volunteering, training as Camp counselor)
The mix of activities and their emphasis varies by a student's age.
The combination of a more-focused Gurmat education program, enhanced student effort and parental involvement, continued dedication and commitment of School teachers, and greater oversight and financial support from the Board of Trustees will facilitate the further development of SFV youth.
Registration is ongoing. We welcome all returning as well as new students. For more information or if you have any concerns or suggestions regarding the School, please contact the Youth Coordinator or the School/program coordinators and teachers.