A Brief History
Shishu Bharati was founded by a small group of parents who had immigrated to the U.S. from India and wanted to pass on the knowledge of their mother tongue and rich cultural heritage to their children. The need for classes in the Indian languages had become apparent when the children growing up in the United States had to communicate with relatives and friends here or in India who did not speak English. These parents formed a small study group for their children. It gathered every Sunday in the home of one of the parents. Volunteers taught the group about India’s cultural heritage and Indian languages.
As the group grew, it moved to St. Anne’s School in Arlington, Mass. By this time, the school had become a registered non-profit organization and was named SHISHU BHARATI school.
Indian culture is an important piece of the mosaic formed by the American scene today. Our school is a bridge between the cultures of America and India where ideas can be exchanged freely from either side.
The school’s objective has been to develop a sense of well-informed cultural pride in the students by teaching them to Indian arts, customs, languages, religion, history, geography, and current events. We are very proud to note that with the help of very limited resources, the community’s aspirations have far been exceeded.
We have over 850 students, over 100 teachers, and numerous volunteers. We have an evolving program in Indian culture, which is challenging because of the diverse backgrounds of teachers and students. We have language programs in Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.
In addition, we offer free Yoga classes for adults. To supplement language and culture classes, Shishu Bharati has a library and extra-curricular activities that include performances by artists, field trips, and outdoor games. Our opening day picnic, Diwali, Holli, and the annual function have become big events to look forward to.