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The Sikh Coalition News
April 23,2012

Sikh Coalition Continues Educating Texas Teachers on Sikhi

Background on the Issue
As you know, Sikhism was added to the Texas state Social Studies standards in 2010.  In an effort to reach Social Studies teachers across the state, last year the Sikh Coalition led workshops at 3 different teacher conferences to show the educators how they can teach Sikhism in the classroom. These educators expressed such enthusiasm and appreciation for this information that the Sikh Coalition is attending more conferences this year.

Update on Sikh Coalition Outreach
This year, along with local Texas sangat, the Sikh Coalition led Sikh Awareness sessions at the following teacher conferences:

  • Region 4 Social Studies Conference – Houston, TX (February 4)
  • Texas Social Studies Supervisor’s Association (TSSSA) – Austin, TX (March 29 and 30)

The presentations consisted of a brief introduction to Sikhism, a short video, and a question and answer session.  Each attendee was also given a 20-page packet containing lesson plans, ways to respond to Sikh bullying incidents, and a resource list that contained links to books, films, and teacher resources online. Sessions ended with a turban or patka tying demonstration. Click here to see pictures from these events.

Many educators who attended have already requested Sikh awareness presentations for their school.  Several educators expressed an interest in disseminating more resources for their school districts.

In addition, the Coalition published an article in the Texas Social Studies Supervisor’s Association online newsletter which every Social Studies Supervisor may access.  The article encouraged Texas teachers to teach Sikhi to their students and told them where they can find resources to do so online.

Thank You
The Coalition would like to thank Tom Wurst, the Education Specialist for Region 4 for inviting the Sikh Coalition to their annual conference and to Marci Smith Deal, TSSSA President for organizing the TSSSA Conference.  We would also like to thank Pete Yackus for publishing the article about Sikhism in the Texas standards in the TSSSA newsletter.

Thanks to Parminder Singh, Mahnek Singh Birring, Simran Singh, Moninder Chadha, Kabir Singh Chadha, and Sahib Singh Chadha for helping with the turban and patka tying demonstrations at these conferences.  Also, thank you to Gurinderjit Singh for his wonderful photographs!

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  • “Thank you so much for the informative and enjoyable session today.  When the Texas standards were rewritten many teachers were unsure on how to teach the significance of Vaisakhi and Sikhism. I appreciate the Coalition’s efforts to bring clarity and understanding of Sikhism, so that as educators, we can better present the information to our students. Knowledge is a powerful tool.”
    -Brenda Marfin Director of History and Social Studies, Magnolia ISD
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