www.indiaparentmagazine.org • October 2018 India Parent Bridging Communities Since 1994
Cover Story The “P Word”
S AGE A CADEMY
“It’s always there implicitly. That women are different.”
JEI L EARNING C ENTER , S ANTA C LARA
S CUTTLEBUGS C HILD D EVELOPMENT C ENTER
THE EXTRAORDINARY HAPPENS WHEN YOU SPARK CURIOSITY
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www.indiaparentmagazine.org • October 2018 magazine India Parent Bridging Communities Since 1994
BATA’ S N ARI TURNS B AY A REA ’ S WORKING MOMS INTO RAMP RAMP WALKING WALKI FASHIONISTAS !
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Summer Camp Special 2018
6 India Parent Magazine.org
Oakwood School in Morgan Hill Know how One local family has been with Oakwood for many years! Meet Divya and Nikhita Gopisetty who didn’t know what their future had in store for them but whose parents believed that Oakwood would provide an excellent foundation for them to discover who they were and how they wanted to shape the world.
Growth and progress have always been a part of Oakwood School’s history.
The Oakwood School story began in 1959, when Gwen Riches, an educator and artist, gathered her children and their friends for an afterschool arts program in her Los Altos home. As the children happily played, created, and performed, word began to spread. The Riches’ family home became Pinewood School, which still thrives today in Los Altos. Fast-forward 40 years, when Gwen Riches’ eldest granddaughter, Michelle Helvey, and her husband, Ted, founded Oakwood School in Morgan Hill. It began as a preschool through eighth grade school, and the high school was added in 2005. Today, Oakwood School is flourishing with an enrollment of nearly 500 preschool through twelfth grade students on a 30-acre campus tucked away behind the intersection of Monterey Street and Watsonville Road. One local family has been with Oakwood for many of those years. When Divya and Nikhita Gopisetty started at Oakwood School in seventh and second grades, they didn’t know what their futures had in store for them, but their parents believed that Oakwood would provide an excellent foundation for them to discover who they were and how they wanted to shape the world. During her time at Oakwood, Divya co-founded the Speech and Debate Team, was the captain of the Girls' Varsity Basketball team, and also participated in the Interact Community Service Club, where she was able to engage in social justice issues that mattered to her. These experiences helped Divya grow as a student, individual, and leader, supporting her next chapter in life. After grad- uating from Oakwood in 2014, she headed to Stanford, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology and was honored to speak at Stanford's 2018 grad- uation ceremony. Nikhita is currently a Senior at Oakwood and was one of five Bay Area teens who headed to Washington D.C. last year with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to meet with two U.S. senators and members of Congress to talk about renewing $150 million in federal funding to find a cure for the disease. Like her older sister, she has also been able to balance academics and extra-curricular activities so that she has discovered where her passion and interest lie. Nikhita works on the tech team for Oakwood Performing Arts productions and plays tennis with the Girls’ Varsity Tennis Team. Oakwood School has reached another pivotal point in its history with the launch of Spreading Our Roots: Oakwood Campus Expansion Project. The project includes a new Liberal Arts building, gymnasium, and a playfield. These projects are well underway, advancing the school's ability to provide enhanced hands-on learning opportuni-
Divya with Parents Stanford Graduation
learn a variety of increasingly complex visu- al arts techniques. They also participate in PE classes and compete in a variety of ath- letics programs. After years of thoughtful planning, the projects and initiatives the school has underway are transforming the campus and making it possible for future generations of Oakwood students and facul- ty to excel and discover, to imagine and pio- neer, to lead and transform. They will unite the school as a community to create an even better Oakwood and amplify their students’ impact on the world—both locally and glob- ally. The completion of this growth at Oakwood School will propel a bright, new generation of gifted, young people into vital leadership roles in our community. The need for active learning and critical thinking to create a bold, entrepreneurial spirit in students has never been more apparent. When people visit the Oakwood School campus, they feel
Nikhita Speech and Debate Class
ties and expanded extracurricular offerings for current stu- dents as well as sustaining excellence in education decades into the future. These enhancements greatly support two of the key tenants that set Oakwood apart from other schools – confident self-expression and unbridled exploration. At the heart of the Liberal Arts building is a 200-seat theater along with a Maker’s Lab where students will be able to build whatever they can imagine and turn their technolog- ical dreams into reality. Oakwood students from first grade through twelfth grade study drama, take part in plays and musicals, and
there is something quite special. The reason for this is no secret. When children are taught in a small and nurturing classroom environment by subject-focused teachers who love what they do (Oakwood boasts a 9:1 student teacher ratio), wonderful things happen. Add to that a strong cur- riculum, broad extra-curricular opportunities and beautiful facilities and you have an educational opportunity that is unmatched in the area. We are certain the Gopisetty girls think so. We can’t wait to see the great heights they reach next.
Oakwood Campus Expansion
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Iducator is an educational service platform. We are like Uber for preschool substitute teachers. How does Iducator work? We have a teacher network and school network. When preschools need substitutes, school directors use our soft- ware to make a request. Our software dispatches that request to qualified teachers based on their location, with the teachers closer to school first. If the request is ignored or declined, it will be passed on to teachers living further away.Teachers would see each job request’s location, time, and estimated income. They can decide which job/jobs to accept and even have the choice to accept part of requested time. Our Belief We can provide working opportunities to everyone who love to work with kids and help our pre-schools find good teachers with click of a button. With the help of technology, we can connect thousands of teachers and schools, helping our society to provide bet- ter childcare to our kids. . The Difference There are many differences between us and other such agencies. First, we put our teachers in control. They can decide when to work, where to work and how much to earn. Second, is we believe in technology, with click of a button, our software automates everything, so teachers can just focus on teaching. Third, we keep on innovating and improving. We listen carefully to feedbacks from our teach- ers and school partners to improve our service and soft- ware on weekly basis.
We have over 50 schools in our network and we are actually expanding in the Bay Area. Through interactions with multiple schools, our teach- ers would learn from different approaches from different schools and find their best fits. Teacher’s Background Anyone who truly love kids and has experience taking care of young children can apply on our platform. This experience can be previous work, babysitting, or even tak- ing care of one’s own child. No prior Early Childhood Education background is required. Many stay at home moms work on our platform, they enjoy the flexibility and the ability to earn extra money. Good childcare starts with good teachers, and a big part of it is sub-teachers. Right now bay area has a preschool teacher shortage. If you love working with chil- dren and have some flexible time, join us. Together we can help our kids get better care and you can earn some good money. Start your Early Childhood Education Career with us!
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X-Ray: Meet our Community Leaders
Murali Krishnamurthy Founded Sankara Eye Foundation, USA ( www.giftofvision.org) in 1998 to raise funds for free eye surgeries. Set a big vision of 'Vision 20/20 by 2020. Recruited, motivated and challenged volunteers to bring out their potential to achieve more. Progress has been phenomenal - from 8,000 free eye surgeries in 1998 to more than 106,000 free eye surgeries in 2010. The revenue is now close to $4 Million and there are more than 200 volunteers all over the country.
and learn from these challenges. These challenges then turn out to be the stepping stones to our next big dream, our next big project.
• Can you please tell us a lit- tle about your background? Why Sankara Eye Foundation? I had been a software engi- neer by profession here in the Silicon Valley. My Uncle, Mr P. Balasubramanian, who was vol- unteering for Sankara Eye Foundation (SEF) India, encour- aged my brother (K. Sridharan) and I to start a chapter for Sankara Eye Foundation (SEF) here in the US to support the
• What or who has been your inspiration to found Sankara Eye? Sankara Eye Foundation was started in India in 1977 by a wonderful Doctor couple Drs. Radha Ramani & R V Ramani with the advice and blessing from Shri Sankaracharya of Kanchi. These doctors have dedicated their lives to SEF and in turn the organi- zation has grown and the growth and difference it is making also inspires us to do better each day. Our inspiration and motivation to expand and grow the organization to all corners of India was seeded by our uncle, Mr. P. Balasubramaniam. The inspiration and motivation grew with all the volunteers, donors and all support- ers of the organization. This is a grassroots organization and most of the funds come from retail sources - individual donors. We raise funds by doing banquets, sending newsletters and doing various events. Yes, cer- tainly the events like these concerts, Dandia etc. are a huge way to help spread the word and in turn get donations as we raise aware- ness about the project. These events also help energize volunteers who put their heart and soul into planning and organizing these events. • How is the 20/20 goal look like now? Are you almost there? We currently have 9 hospitals and building 3 more in Indore, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. We have so far done 1.75 million free eye surgeries and we are on track to reach our goal of vision 2020 - of eradicating curable blindness by year 2025. We want to reach all regions of India where there is a need for eyecare and have set ourselves a target of supporting 500,000 free eye surgeries per year. To accelerate our growth, to cover areas not covered by SEF hospitals, and to reach our goals faster, we have launched an ini- tiative of partnering with various existing free eye care providers who meet the eye care and charitable standards set by SEF. • What is your message to our readers? Any project when worked on along with the community yields very purposeful and positive results. We seek your support in helping this noble cause of eradicating curable blindness in India. You can do so in many ways - by donating, by attending our events, by helping spread the word, or by volunteering. • What do you think of India Parent Magazine? India Parent Magazine has been a longtime supporter of SEF and we truly appreciate them helping us in our journey to brighten this world. • What are the main avenues of resources to fund hospitals in India? Do concerts help?
great work being done by SEF in India and help them grow. We hesitated quite a bit and almost avoided talking to my uncle for a while due to his persistence about us doing something for SEF. However, after my brother’s visit to the hospital and him getting convinced of the great work being done in SEF, and the need for free eye care, we started SEF here in the US in 1998. We never expected it to grow this big, though I was always inspired by Swami Vivekanand's thoughts of dreaming big. We started small and poured our heart and soul into this and since that day, there is no looking back. It gave a purpose to my life and to the lives of hundreds of volunteers across the country. Today, SEF has grown into one of the largest free eye care providers in the world and together we are helping brighten this world, one eyesight at a time. • What has been the response like from the Silicon Valley? Silicon Valley and its residents have been very kind and pas- sionate in supporting the endeavors of SEF. This is a grassroots organization and we get a lot of support from the community. We are headquartered here and have our largest presence here, though we do have chapters across US. We are lucky to be in a place like Silicon Valley, which is filled with generous individuals, corporations and organizations. Many of the Silicon Valley corporations encourage the employees to donate funds by matching their donations dollar for dollar. A lot of these organizations encourage their employees to volunteer for various charities and donate to charities based on the hours vol- unteered by their employees. • What kind of support did you receive from the corporations here in the Valley? Were they willing to help? • What are the difficulties if any did you encounter in India? In terms of NGO issues? These hospital projects are humongous and like it would be in any other country, finding and acquiring land, getting needed approvals sometimes does pose challenges. However, we grow
students develop confident self-expression.
Oakwood students graduate with the confidence and knowledge to project their voices
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thoughtfully from any stage. Here, performing doesn’t mean pretending to be someone else. It means becoming your best self and learning how to share that self with others. That’s why we give all our students plenty of opportunities to perform in public. Students begin to speak more clearly, listen more attentively, and challenge their own boundaries—the key to success in any college, any career, any relationship.
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The “P Word”
most of my life, I listened to her intricate plans for the big ceremony — she’d make her grand entrance in a designer ghagra, meet the fiancé her parents chose for her, and, final- ly, in front of all of the people she loved, be presented with her custom-made 5 carat diamond ring. When the day arrived, the mouthwatering aroma of her favorite dishes – butter chicken, daal makhani, jalebi – crept all the way up to her bedroom on the third floor. Guests flooded in. Her slender hands, weighed down by rows of iridescent glass bangles and thick coats of henna, clenched her sides. She looked perfect. Absolutely perfect. Then she felt something wet in between her thighs. She stared into the mirror for a few seconds, eyes widened. Suddenly she collapsed onto the floor, bursting into tears. On her engagement night, my cousin wasn’t allowed to eat with her family. She wasn’t allowed to see her fiancé for the first time or go to the temple. She wasn’t even allowed to greet the relatives who traveled across the world to be with her. Because she got her period. At the news of my cousin’s quarantine, not one guest objected. Apparently, meeting an “impure” woman would be far worse than not seeing the beautiful bride-to-be. God Written by SINDHU RAVURI Artwork Courtesy: FRANCHESCA SPEKTOR
Contrary to what you may see on television, my vagi- na doesn’t bleed translucent blue solvent. When I speak passionately or assert myself, it does not mean I am reach- ing that time of month. And, for the record, you know you can say the word, right? Period. The fact is, we have all been indoctrinated with a deep- seated stigma of menstruation. Somewhere amidst the patriarchal society we live in, cultural beliefs, and misogy- nistic media, the word “period” stopped being a benign, physiological function and became an emblem of degrada- tion and shame. “I learned in Asian mythology the origin story of rice — there (was) a rice goddess spilling blood on the field, which produced the crop,” Louise Tan, a producer of this year’s UC Berkeley Vagina Monologues, said. “As the time went by, these myths of rice developed around a more patriarchal culture, so the myth itself changed. It wasn’t a rice goddess spilling blood on field, but rather a woman being killed by men, which then provided the blood that yielded rice. So blood has grown to be associated with death and disaster.” Personally, I’ll never forget my first cousin’s engage- ment day, just a few days prior to her 25th birthday. For
ideas are sold to us in the media from a young age such that sometimes we don’t even recognize that we are thinking this way.” “When I am transitioning from here and going into the workforce thinking about these collective norms that are really male-centric, I realize that the bias and sexism is not explic- it,” said Michele Gleit, President of Body Peace, a student organization on campus dedicated to promoting positive body image, mental health, awareness of eating disorders, and self-acceptance. “It’s always there implicitly. That women are different.” Now, nobody is denying that we have come a long way. There was a time when menstruation was consid- ered a reason women shouldn’t be astronauts. Now, a woman can go as far as taking an estrogen contraceptive pill to not menstruate at all in space, if they so choose. There was a time when Midol advertisements read, “Be the you he likes. Good to be around, any day of the month.” Now, Always com- mercials embrace female empower- ment through their #LikeAGirl cam- paign. But when we are bombarded with supposedly “feminine” images of daisies or bright pink colors with each commercial, we are subtly insinuating the fragility, delicacy, and secrecy that comes with menstruation. With the emergence of THINX, the first period- proof underwear, we are finding more and more ways to hide our blood, emphasizing the idea that that aspect of our bodies should be repressed. “Making a woman feel ashamed about her body is also a form of insti- tutional violence,” said Tan. “Refusing to acknowledge that women have periods is a form of educational vio- lence. Women being afraid to talk about their bodies or bodily functions, or being dismissed by doctors due to lack of medical research about these natural things, is violence.” A Closer Look Into the Stigma & Movement Against It
needs a fresh supply of nutrients to nurture a fetus. Without our periods, we would never be able to produce healthy children. Even on social media, anxiety over the period has found its footing. Instagram took down a photograph of Indian American artist and poet Rupi Kaur in which her menstrual blood was visible, because, according to Instagram, the image went against community guidelines and had been flagged as inappropriate content by several viewers. “I come across [the misconception that] the majority of women are debil- itated by or hate their periods,” said Professor Ingrid Johnston-Robledo of Castleton State University, and mem- ber of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, in an email interview. “All the emphasis on continuous hormonal contraceptive use (like birth control pills, which allow women to delay their period) perpetuates the myth that women are debilitated and hate their periods. …I am not against hor- monal birth control! Just against the way it is marketed, by treating men- struation is a diseased state. Soon, that new product which allows women to have blood-free period sex is coming out. Why not just have period sex?” According to Professor Johnston- Robledo’s co-authored research paper, “The Menstrual Mark: Menstruation as Social Stigma,” stigmas can be cate- gorized into three distinct types: abominations of the body (deformi- ties), blemishes of individual charac- ter, and “tribal” identities (social markers associated with marginalized groups). The period, according to the paper, fits into all three of these classi- fications. Menstrual blood is “consid- ered an abomination.” “In a heteronormative, patriarchal society, men’s bodies are seen as the standard. Therefore, when they are compared to bodies that menstruate, periods are seen as the ‘other,’’” says Nidhi Patel, a facilitator of the FemSex Decal on campus. “We are taught that periods are gross and dirty because it is a way to keep damaging ideas around sex and bodies in place. These
forbid someone touched a healthy, bleeding woman. But, then again, my cousin didn’t protest either — isolation was normal during a woman’s period. She went as far as to say it was ‘necessary.’ Menstruation Around The World, and Close to Home This cultural, societal and self- infliction of shame of a natural bodily function has somehow persisted across cultures and countries. According to Femme International, in Kenya, women in the semi-nomadic Maasai region are not allowed to enter goat pens or milk cows while they are on their period for fear they will cont- aminate the animal. In certain areas of Nepal, a women is not allowed to interact with anyone during her peri- od; in fact, she is banished to a special clay hut in the wilderness until her period is over. In Islamic tradition, menstruating women are not allowed to pray, touch the Qur’an, or observe fasting tradition. Menstruation is the number one reason why girls miss school worldwide. “All the emphasis on continuous hormonal contraceptive use (like birth control pills, which allow women to delay their period) perpetuates the myth that women are debilitated and hate their periods. …I am not against hormonal birth control! Just against the way it is marketed, by treating menstruation is a diseased state. Soon, that new product which allows women to have blood-free period sex is coming out. Why not just have peri- od sex?” -Ingrid Johnston-Robledo And why only look abroad? Even in the US, menstruation is seen as a disturbing abnormality. We are living in a time where successful political fig- ures like Donald Trump can say, “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever,” when a female news host had the gall to challenge his political and social statements. Menstruation, by definition, is the periodic shedding of a woman’s uter- ine lining. In essence, the uterine
Similarly, Shivani Narang, a cast mem- ber of the UC Berkeley annual Vagina Monologues, was able to fully embrace an unexplored aspect of her- self by participating in the event. However, she had never heard of any conversation on campus delving into period stigma prior to her experience with the Vagina Monologues. “If you think about it, sex in gen- eral is uncomfortable at first. Learning how to undo a lot of the damaging ideas we have internalized about our genitals is the first step in overcoming the initial disgust many people have towards period sex.I am a huge advo- cate for people who want to explore period sex. -Nidhi Patel “I haven’t really heard it anywhere else in my life — not on campus or at home. Nowhere else, other than the Vagina Monologues, has there been that space and comfort to talk about it. Menstruation is supposed to be silenced. Being open to breaking that silence is important. Focusing and cen- tralizing that conversation on the per- son with the vagina, and honoring that person — woman-identifying or non- identifying, it doesn’t matter. But we need to celebrate that, be more encour- aging of that. Whether this means pop- ping a bottle of champagne or just talking about it, as long as you’re giv- ing love and not shame. ” According to Gleit, acknowledge- ment of menstruation on a daily level is minimal, indicative of lack of aware- ness and acceptance of the period. “It is almost like people trivialize the issue,” she said. “They will say things like, ‘Oh, you are just making it up in your head,’ or ‘Deal with it,’ when it comes to symptoms of the period. Really it’s just a lack of empa- thy from a lot of people. I think women themselves are also afraid to talk about it openly for fear of not seeming like (they) fit in. Plus, when- ever the conversation turns to men- struation, guys just don’t…the conver- sation just stops.” Tan acknowledges that, while the Vagina Monologues did help her be
their sexuality, sexual responses, anatomy, consent, and more by show- casing different perspectives through fellow students, speakers, and confer- ences (like the Queer and/or trans people of color conference). Being a part of FemSex allowed Patel to accept herself and her body more. “In FemSex, we have this one day we call Menarche Party where we cel- ebrate periods.” she said. “I loved the feeling it gave me of accepting my body and all of its functions. I remem- ber this was one of the first times I heard a bunch of people talking about period sex in such a sex positive way, and it was incredibly liberating.” Patel also believes that period sex is a specific taboo that people should openly discuss. “Period sex may seem uncomfort- able at first, but that’s not because there is anything inherently disgusting about period sex,” she said. “If you think about it, sex in general is uncom- fortable at first. Learning how to undo a lot of the damaging ideas we have internalized about our genitals is the first step in overcoming the initial dis- gust many people have towards period sex.I am a huge advocate for people who want to explore period sex. I also believe that people should have sex in any way they want to. If period sex is not for you, that is fine. Just don’t look down on people who enjoy it.” FEM Tech, the first technology club for women of all majors, aims to support women from all backgrounds through training workshops, mentor- ship programs, networking events, and organized seminars. Diana Arteaga, a member of FEM Tech, has never been more confident to talk about her body. “FEM Tech …created a space and community for women and other underrepresented groups to talk about our unique challenges that we face,” she said. “It’s been really validating and I feel solidarity with my fellow members. So now I feel totally com- fortable talking about women’s issues, even with men. It’s given me a lot con- fidence to own who am I am.”
According to “The Menstrual Mark: Menstruation as Social Stigma,” one of the main perpetrators of men- strual disgrace is silence. It starts when, in fifth grade maturation class, boys are separated from the girls to talk about their bodily changes. It implies from a very formative, young age that menstruation is something we should be embarrassed to talk about openly. Had there not been any reason to hide our period, the article says, we wouldn’t need to call it by its several euphemisms like, “our time of the month.” We would just call it what it is — the period. Several groundbreaking move- ments to embrace the period have flourished in light of these repressions of menstrual freedom. In 2011, photog- rapher Ingrid Berthoin-Moin pho- tographed 12 women wearing their period as lipstick. Soon after, Jen Lewis used her period blood to construct visual art, often using abstract visual ideas and the cellular complexity of menstrual blood to emphasize the beauty and power in menstruation. In 2015, Harvard graduate student and former drummer for singer M.I.A., Kiran Gandhi, ran the London Marathon without a tampon, letting her blood flow freely, representing the larger “Free Bleeding” movement that has been brewing on the feminist blo- gosphere since as early as 2004. But have these large scale move- ments sparked conversations on the microcosmic levels of universities like UC Berkeley? Have they changed any- thing? The Period Conversation at UC Berkeley “I come from a relatively conserv- ative South Asian family where sex and body parts are not talked about,” says Patel. “My mother often made it seem like periods were dirty and that they were something that I needed to keep secret about. It wasn’t until col- lege and taking control of my own sex- uality did I finally confront all the shame I had around periods.” FemSex, taught by student facilita- tors, enables students to learn about
an extremely young age, instilling in her mind that menstruation was a gross thing. “In fifth grade we were watching videos and one white girl looked at me and said, ‘Your period is probably dirtier than all of ours.’ When I asked why, she said ‘because of your dark skin.’ At that point it had nothing to do with what was learned in class. It a matter of associating the color of my skin with dirtiness of my period. That I still remember that inci- dent says a lot.” In order to alleviate this burden, we need to find a way to accept and welcome discussions about the period, without making it the core of who we are as women. “In fifth grade we were watching videos and one white girl looked at me and said, ‘Your period is probably dirtier than all of ours.’ When I asked why, she said, ‘because of your dark skin.’” “It is an important aspect of women’s health and sexuality. Menstrual shame reflects body and genital shame,” Johnston-Robledo says. “Reducing the stigma attached to menstruation can help women with body literacy, healthy sexual decision making, other reproductive health behaviors, etc. It is not an isolated sys- tem we should hide or eliminate. …That doesn’t mean we all need to be free bleeders, paint our lips with men- strual blood, or create menstrual art. We just need to recognize menstrua- tion as an important aspect of women/menstruators’ bodies. It is worthy of conversation and academic scholarship.” So many different influences silence women, shame them. Ignoring that shame is not tackling that prob- lem. We need to face the root of it. Talk about it. Make it normal. Make it acceptable. Say the word. Say ‘period.’ It’s our only hope for change. -Shivani Narang
struation is often omitted. Also pads and tampon containers should be stocked! They are always empty.” The Emotional Toll of Stigma I remember the first time I saw my blood at 13. I didn’t know what it meant — were my breasts going to grow hugely? Was I officially a proper woman? Did God not want me in His temples anymore? Was I dirty? At 13, I already felt disgusted with myself for something I couldn’t con- trol. The emotional burden of that is something I cannot fully express in words. It makes me feel subdued, hypervigilant, and minimized. “I think this unnecessary stigma against periods teaches girls from a young age that they need to be ashamed of their bodies,” Patel said. “The amount of energy and stress this causes young girls creates yet another barrier that girls face in excelling in the ways they want to excel. I think young womxn and espe- cially young womxn of color, queer womxn, and low income womxn are criticized heavily for decisions they make about their own bodies. This in turn results in social isolation, emo- tional distress, and low self-esteem.” For Narang, menstruation became associated with racism and sexism at
fearless and comfortable about her “body and whatever secretions come out of it,” a widespread conversation has not yet been sparked because of the way the administration is set up. “I think there’s a lot of resistance from the administration. For example, even attempts to address sexual assault are just to show that something is being done rather than actually accomplishing progress,” she said. “A lot of departments have yet to get in on the conversation [about periods], but then it just goes back to the admin- istration not taking the issue of men- struation very seriously.” So, what can we do to make men- struation a greater topic of discussion on campus? “I think normalizing menstrua- tion is important,”Johnston-Robledo said. “Open conversations that do not pathologize and stigmatize menstrua- tion can go a long way. There is so much interesting coverage of periods in the popular press these days. It would be great to post those stories on social media, comment on them, bring examples up in class. You could also encourage your campus resource staff to incorporate menstruation into their resources and workshops. It is funny that, even for workshops about women’s health and sexuality, men-
This article is first published in Uc Berkeleyʼs Weekender.
408-254-0954 • e-mail: email@example.com
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Meena Yeggina
Mora Oommen Natalie Daprile Rishi Ravuri Sindhu Ravuri
PUBLISHERS Meena Yeggina
Stephen E. Von Till PHOTOGRAPHY Jill Johnson
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ashok Swain
Gerald Cumings Jacqueline Payne
WEB SITE www.indiaparentmagazine.org
www.indiaparentmagazine.org firstname.lastname@example.org 408-254-0954 OCTOBER 2018
The “P Word” - Commentary
“Contrary to what you may see on television, my vagina doesn’t bleed translucent blue solvent. When I speak passionately or assert myself, it does not mean I am reaching that time of month. And, for the record, you know you can say the word, right? Period.” See Pg 14
Celebrate Diwali: Festival of Lights at Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose See Pg. 22
By Sindhu Ravuri, Bioengineering Honors Society Outreach President
Cover Credit: Berkeley Bioengineering honor society Historian, Ashna Mangala
C HANGE THAT I NDIA NEEDS Education is the Key By Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, India
Oakwood School of Morgan Hill The reason parents trust See Pg 8
B AY A REANS FELICITATE G URU V ISHAL R AMANI
What makes Iducator Unique?
FOR HER RECORD OF 250 ARANGETRAMS
See Pg 10
See Pg 64
New this year! To honor the Sikh holi- day, Bandi Chorr Divas, which coincides with the celebration of Diwali, we’ve added a new activity. Visitors can fashion their own colorful cloaks or cholas from paper, markers, and brightly colored fab- rics. The afternoon is filled with exotic dance, stunning cos- tumes, and impressive moves by Abhinaya, Kathk Kala Vihar, Xpressions, Dhoom, Aerodance, EnActe Arts, Ushanjali School Dance, Jeena, and Lavinaka & Nabh dance troupes. These talented groups will take your breath away with their high-energy fusion of modern rhythms, classic Indian dance, and brightly colored performances. We originally created the The Diwali Festival in part- nership with an advisory board comprised of members of the South Asian community as part of our strategic com- mitment, Inclusion and Cultural Competence. We’re com- mitted to promoting the region’s diversity through our Cultural Celebration series, so that families of all back- grounds can explore the many cultures and traditions in Silicon Valley. The Diwali Festival joins other museum cel- ebrations including the Lantern Festival, Dia de los Muertos, Menorahs & Miracles, Children of the Dragon, El Dia de Los Tres Reyes Magos, Lunar New Year, Proud of My Family, and Family Lunadas. Celebrate Diwali: Festival of Lights at Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose
By Cecilia Clark, Diwali has become one of the most anticipated week- ends at Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose for staff and visitors. We love planning for this joyful celebration and our visitors respond with their enthusiastic participa- tion and appreciation. This year’s sixth annual festival on October 20th and 21st is teeming with traditional and con- temporary dance troupes, visual arts and crafts, Diwali story time, and delicious samples of food. We can’t wait! Children and adults can make a lantern, mold a Diya lamp, sample yummy burfi, and fashion beautiful henna designs. These immersive activities are sure to delight people of all ages and bring South Asian culture and traditions to life. Purvi Shah of Picasso Art Studio will be a welcoming pres- ence as you enter the museum. She’ll be creating a spectac- ular rangoli design on the entrance floor, introducing fam- ilies to the decorative art form that is used by families to bring about good luck. Youngsters can have a go at creating their own stunning artwork in the museum’s Art Studio
Saturday, October 20; Museum opens at 10 a.m. Sunday, October 21; Museum opens at 12 noon.
Cost of Admission: adults: $15; children: $15; seniors: $14; infants and members are free. Festivities are included in the price of admission.
and Art Loft. We’ll kick off both days with a thunderous Dhol dance by Zoraver Dhillon. He’ll set the mood for this happy occa- sion that brings together children, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends to celebrate the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Diwali is an opportunity to pause and be grateful, make special memories with family and friends, and share traditions celebrated by so many in our Bay Area community and beyond.
S c u t t l e B u g s C D C “We are committed to you and your child!”
Our program is child driven in content and duration, with teachers research- ing and learning about the chosen top- ics alongside the children. This method nurtures and challenges the children appropriately as they can relate to the subject matter and are more likely to be engaged in the vari- ous learning moments. This also allows for teachers to recognize, encourage and document each child’s growth and development as it unfolds. Children at an early age will advance mentally, physically, emotion- ally and socially at their own pace but it is important to provide them a framework in which to thrive. We seek to develop and optimize this scaffold- ing for each child and along the way foster deep curiosity and confidence within them. Each child transitions when ready in the early years then sync up with their graduating class and the appropriate educational syl- labus two years prior to graduation. We have both detailed and general learning goals we aim to achieve daily, weekly and monthly. By the time they graduate from ScuttleBugs our kids exceed kindergarten minimum requirements. Our Infant room is needs based so we follow whatever schedule your baby is on. Our Toddler, Junior Preschool (2’s), Preschool and PreK Kindergarten Readiness programs fol- low their own set schedule between 7am and 6pm M-F. Our lower ratios allow for more 1 on 1 time when and as needed in any instance (for more advanced, atypical or developmental- ly delayed children). They will receive tailored instruction/guidance to chal- lenge them appropriately. We occasionally have offsite field trips for our older kiddos but prefer to bring the entertainment inhouse. Recent examples include a petting zoo, reptile show, bubble show etc.
We are committed to supporting you in providing your child the oppor- tunity to enjoy early learning, rich in positive experiences and healthy rela- tionships. A collaborative effort between families, center staff and the community is vital in building a strong foundation for children’s optimal health and well-being. Scuttlebugs Child Development Center is a privately-owned company that specializes in the delivery of pre- mium, full service early childhood education and care. We are conve- niently located in-close proximity to Westfield Valley Fair and Santana Row. Scuttlebugs CDC offers Infant, Toddler, Junior Preschool, Preschool and PreK Kindergarten Readiness pro- grams including: • Exceptional early childhood edu- cation and care for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years, operating year- round, weekdays from 7am to 6pm • Tailored curriculum based on the Reggio Emilia philosophy and an Emergent approach to early learning. Individualized developmental plans for infants and toddlers • Full-time and part-time options providing nutritious meals, formula, diapers, wipes, sunscreen and nap time linens • A first-class, boutique facility with generous and well-appointed indoor/outdoor areas for all age groups • A secured building with biomet- ric/keycard access, video surveillance and fully enclosed playground ensur- ing your child’s safety • All center staff are First Aid and CPR qualified One of the most important deci- sions a family will ever make is choos- ing the ideal preschool or childcare arrangements to suit their specific needs. Studies prove the first five
years are critical in shaping a child's outlook and future. Our core differentiation is through an innovative approach to high caliber early education and care. We promote the growth and development of the child as-a-whole by acknowledging their individual interests and needs and embracing their unique tempera- ments. Our goal is to facilitate mean- ingful experiences and interactions, enabling your child to reach their max- imum learning potential through a variety of planned and spontaneous activities. As mentioned above, we are also a premium full-service center that provides EVERYTHING! All general inquiries, administra- tive duties and accounting etc. are ‘outsourced’ to our parent company The ChildCare Foundry. CCF’s sole function is to support Scuttlebugs. CDC; guaranteeing minimal class- room interruption and distraction, effective on-site mentoring for staff and daily operations that adhere to the superior quality level we implement and expect. We strive to maintain higher ratios than Licensing requirements at all times and typically meet the follow- ing: Infant/Toddler 1:3 (1:4), JPS 1:8 (1:12) and PS/PreK 1:10 (1:12).
24 www.indiaparentmagazine.org October 2018
warmth, support and, yes, love.
We have selected a unique team of highly educated, experienced, and dedicated individuals who are passionate about what we do, and understand the myriad of issues fac- ing today’s families. Each member brings a variety of cul- tural and professional experiences, leading to a resourceful and well-rounded base of knowledge and wisdom to draw from. ScuttleBugs prides itself on our multi-culturalism and embrace the “small” world we live in. We have 6-8 lan- guages on staff and triple that in our family’s foreign tongues! Our arms are open to all families. We conduct reg- ular projects, activities and events that honor and respect our diversity (after all, the owners aren’t from around here either). Parents and Kids love Scuttlebugs because it is: 1) SAFE: 24 hour surveillance, biometric sign in/out, magnetic strip security cards. 2) PROFESSIONAL: Tertiary educated, experienced ECE teachers who are passionate and dedicated to the children and families we serve
4) HEALTHY: Nutritious, delicious meals prepared on site (meet and talk to Ms. Joanna, our cook!). Nut free. Dietary restrictions and allergies accommodated. 5) 360°: Committed to a diverse syllabus that includes socio-emotional, pre-literacy, math concepts, languages, music, outdoor activities and exceeds Pre- K standards.
6) FLEXIBLE: Open 12 months, M-F, 7am-6pm. We work to meet your schedule.
7) ALL INCLUDED: Meals, snacks, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, potty training – meaning convenience and value for parents.
https://www.scuttlebugscdc.com/ 3291 Stevens Creek Blvd • San Jose • CA 95117 • Phone: (408) 564-5356
3) DEVOTED: To our children and give such
themselves), practice good decision making, make friends and bond with others. At the APJCC Preschool, each day we offer a combina- tion of free play and organized activities. Activities are designed to enhance children's skills in all areas of devel- opment, including physical, social, emotional, language, cognitive, and spiritual. We offer a mix of indoor and out- door activities, weather permitting. A typical day includes experiences such as art, sensory activities, building or play- ing with manipulatives, singing, storytime, and a group project, as well as snack and lunchtime. Children also enjoy a weekly music class with our music specialist, and gym class with our movement specialist. Children who are at school for the full day (rather half day) also have naptime. At Camp Shalom, the preschool-age program is similar to our regular APJCC Preschool program that was just described. For grades K-8, a typical day starts with an all- camp song circle, followed by a variety of activities with the child's age group, which might include sports, art, cooking, science, lunch, and children's choice electives, as well as daily swimming in our heated pool. Every week has a spe- cial theme, and the children also enjoy weekly field trips to fun locations around the South Bay. W E WORK WITH KIDS AND FIND SOLUTIONS We work with children to help them regulate their own behavior. The emphasis is on finding solutions to challeng- ing behavior. When necessary, we reach out to parents to involve them in finding a solution. At the APJCC Preschool, each class has two teachers, a senior teacher and a junior teacher. Senior teachers are required to have, at a minimum, 24 college credits in Early Childhood Education/Child Development and at least 175 days of early childhood teaching experience within the past 4 years, or an Associate's Degree or higher in Early Childhood Education/Child Development and at least 3 units of supervised field experience. Junior teachers are also required to have college credits in Early Childhood Education or Child Development. All teachers have com- pleted a fingerprint scan and background check, and are carefully selected for their warmth, enthusiasm, and caring attitude toward children. At Camp Shalom, all our camp counselors have experi- APJCC EMPHASIZES ON DEVELOPING NEW SKILLS , HAVING FUN AND MAKING FRIENDS !
The Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center (APJCC) is a Los Gatos community center that offers sum- mer day camp, year-round preschool, and many other pro- grams for kids and families. E VERYONE IS WELCOME The APJCC Preschool follows a developmental philos- ophy. This means we follow developmentally appropriate practices in a play-based program that helps children grow in all developmental areas — social, emotional, cognitive, language, and motor development. Our summer camp, Camp Shalom, emphasizes having fun, developing new skills, and making friends. Kids can choose a traditional day camp experience with daily games, arts & crafts, swimming, singing, and a variety of other activities such as science and nature, field trips, theme weeks, and more. Or they can choose from a variety of spe- cialty camps in areas such as circus arts, cooking, dance, LEGO engineering, STEM, and sports including basketball, martial arts, parkour, soccer, and tennis. APJCC IS DIFFERENT Some of the things that make our preschool and camp programs special are the warm and welcoming atmosphere, the quality of our staff -- many of whom have been with the JCC for many years -- and the focus on non-academic areas of child development, especially during the summer. We're proud that our day camp is accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA), which certifies summer camps for quality and safety. And we're proud of our licensed preschool, license #430709398. In the APJCC Preschool, the child/teacher ratio follows state licensing requirements for the various age groups: for 18-month-olds it's 1:4, age 2 years 1:6, age 3 years 1:8, and age 4 years 1:9. At Camp Shalom, our counselor to camper ratio is 1:8, except in our preschool camps where the ratio follows the same state licensing requirements as our preschool. Our philosophy is that play is the work of children, and that children learn valuable lessons through a play-based, experiential approach. By interacting with peers and by finding creative solutions to challenges, children learn to self-regulate (regulate their emotions and behavior by
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