A post from Principal Kelly!
As most of you know, The Peck School has been a special friend and mentor to us for the last 7 years and this year has been incredibly special in the “KoPECK” relationship. Nisha spent four months at Peck School as a visiting student and had the time of her life! While Nisha works on compiling some of her journal and diary entries from the trip and sharing them here, we wanted to share some exciting news. Our Peck Friends took their commitment to us even further and after escorting Nisha back from the states, school principal Nina Sharma and school psychologist Dr. Zan Struebing spent two weeks at Kopila conducting, training and implementing a program on character education. The Peck School has their own nationally recognized and award-winning character education program know as InDeCoRe that has now gone GLOBAL! It was awesome having these two experts working along side the Kopila team to help us strategize and come up with our very own program and our own InDeCoRe acronym to fit our needs, the Kopila culture, and the values we want our students to embrace.
It is with great excitement that I share Kopila Valley has an official character education program that we'll be adapting for the new school year. Kopila means "bud" and in our weekly assemblies we're always talking about the kids blooming, blossoming and growing into the person they want to be. We were so lucky to have had Nina Sharma and Dr. Zan Struebling come and help us strategize and train our team.
Announcing the REAL GROWTH program at Kopila.
Why Character Education? Nina Madam and Zan Madam (as we referred to them here) both presented a ton of research being done on the importance of teaching moral values and character alongside leadership and academics.
Here's an awesome short video on the research behind building character if you're interested and want to learn a little more about what we're striving for.
We also love Linda Kavelin Popov's The Virtues Project. We've been using it a lot in our home.
Instead of yelling “Pay attention and listen!” or “Show your sister respect!” as a team, we've been working really hard to explain and model what good listening, respect and other values look like. But now, thanks to the PECK school we now have the framework to make values a priority. Our REAL GROWTH trained Kopila teaching team will be focusing on one value per term starting with Respect. Love and Gratitude are also at the heart of the program (figuratively and literally)
Our teachers are enjoying taking what they have learned and putting it into practice every day. Some of what our team needed was new language and consistency that they can use in the classroom and walking through the halls we can hear the teachers practicing the language in both English and Nepali.
“Thank you for your effort on your math exam today”
“I am so grateful to those students who are listening quietly”
“Wow, he had such great team work for the Corporal Punishment Conference!”
As fellows and teachers we all really loved having such amazing professionals around to use as a resource. Becky spent hours into the night with Zan talking about the counseling center and I felt incredibly thankful to be able to bounce ideas about school culture around with Nina. We are so lucky to have such amazing people supporting us from around the world and PECK is at the top of the list! You can read more in Peck News! Mrs. Sharma and Dr. Struebling also posted about their entire experience on the Peck Blog.
Last week we were visited by two of the coolest girls! Kopila loved having them and everyone was impressed with how their family jumped right in, rolled up their sleeves and became a part of the team here, even amidst the chaos. Odessa and Sigourney even went to classes and were "students for the day." In Susanne's English class little sister Odessa wrote this beautiful poem that I couldn't help but want to share with world. Actually i think it's hands down one of the best compliments I've ever heard about this place.
Here it is peaceful,
somewhere all of your
worries are gone, yet soft
and gentle like a friendly short
song. I feel so different, so
friendly and kind, but who
knows maybe it just a myth in
my mind. but that's the best
part see, you dont really know,
if maybe your body is putting
on a show, or maybe this is the
real, real, you, a realer you, than you
And a sweet poem by our very own Krishna Bogati who is quiet the writer these days! Sarah Kay has clearly left a lasting impression.
The world around me!
The world around me is very similar to the world around you.
It is filled with trees which give cool breeze in the hot summer.
There are flowers that smell like the incense inside your house.
It is filled with those people who make the world more beautiful and meaningful. When I am around them I feel like I don't need anything else all I really need is the people I love and the people who care about me.
I don't know why I feel like all these people are perfect.
They know the right things to do at the right times and the know the best word to say when you need them.
They are all like gods and goddesses who have come to the world to make this place even better than it is.
The world is not only filled with houses,trees,flowers,animals and birds. It is also filled with beautiful people who are meant to make the world even better.
So,I love the world around me.
Written by:Krishna bogati
You may remember from 6 months or so back when we told the story of our dear little friend Ganga who needed surgery for her feet. She was struggling to walk due to a birth defect. It's funny how you really can take the little things for granted. I think it's rare that we think to ourselves, "Man, I'm really grateful for my feet."
Some really happy news came today. Ganga is back :) After multiple surgeries, casted molds, and a 6 month stay in the hospital, Ganga is well on her way to having functional walking feet and well on the road to recovery. I can't imagine being in a hospital for 6 months with my feet in plaster and having to be carried absolutely everywhere. The way Ganga takes it all with such ease and a smile is so inspiring and admirable to me. This is a really special kid and today I found myself feeling like I would do absolutely anything for her. She still has a long way to go. Her brother and mom told me today that Ganga will have to wear special shoes and braces until she is 35 and for the next few years probably have to go back to the hospital every 2-3 months on an 18 hour bus-ride. She'll also most likely require another surgery or two. But today, when she took off her heavy shoes I was startled to see that she has real actual functioning feet and she was smiling ear to ear.
Donor support and the generosity of H.R.D.C. hospital made this possible for Ganga and we are so thankful. I think the picture really says it all. When I say that "together we can change the world," I really mean it.