Dear Supporter Ji,
The Sikh Coalition remains hard at work creating a safer and more inclusive future for Sikh children across the nation. As the Senior Manager of Education, I have been honored to be at the forefront of this work which includes pushing to include Sikhi in state standards for social studies resources, developing resources for educators, parents, and students, and finding ways to teach communities about Sikhism. I’m writing to share with you that this year, we have made significant progress in Wisconsin in particular.
In March 2022, the Sikh Coalition worked with Wisconsin Sikh community leaders and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to upload new material to a statewide electronic library called WISELearn, where Wisconsin educators can access quality, standards-aligned educational resources. The content that the Sikh Coalition provided includes our educator’s guide to facilitate learning about Sikhs and Sikhi in K-12 classrooms and our Sikh Celebrations resource to share fun ways to create awareness about significant dates in our faith tradition among elementary school-aged children.
On Saturday, March 12, I joined Mandeep Kaur, an entrepreneur and Wisconsin Sikh community leader, and Dr. Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, Director of the International Educational Development Program at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, to present at the Wisconsin Council for Social Studies’ 2022 Annual Conference. The workshop provided 140 social studies teachers in the state information about the Sikh faith and how they can incorporate lesson plans into their social studies classrooms.
On April 9, the Oak Creek Public Library, the Sikh community of Wisconsin and the Sikh Coalition hosted an open house to share a new Sikh Book Collection available to the public. Speakers included Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, Mayor of Oak Creek Dan Bukiewicz, Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School Board President Frank Carini, Oak Creek Library Director Jill Lininger, former U.S. Attorney James Santelle, and Sikh community leaders. The collection includes books written by Sikhs and written about the Sikh faith.
Finally, in August 2022, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Sikh Coalition facilitated a virtual Sikh Heritage Study Circle for Wisconsin educators. Educators met for five consecutive weeks to learn more about the Sikh religion, Sikh immigration to the United States, diverse Sikh-American experiences, and how to better support Sikh students. As Dr. Mark Schwingle, Education Consultant from the Wisconsin DPI Teaching & Learning Team, said, “Already I have a better understanding of the Sikh religion. The more we learn about people, the better we can understand and love each other … and we look forward to continued partnership with The Sikh Coalition in the future.”
Despite all this progress, our work is never finished. As a next step, the Sikh Coalition will be developing a lesson plan specific to the Sikh community of Wisconsin that can be utilized by educators in the state. And as students across the nation settle in for a new school year, we continue to promote and add to our Back to School toolkit, which contains a wide range of resources for students, parents, teachers, and administrators.
On behalf of the Sikh Coalition team, we are grateful to the entire community in Wisconsin for welcoming us and making all of our work both possible and a success. We want to thank the sevadaars, gurdwara community members, and sangat members whose logistical support ensured that we are able to connect with sangats and educators across the state. If you have any questions about our work, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com.
Senior Education Manager
The Sikh Coalition
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