taekwon-do training in the morning
children at play
daily school assembly
walking the ducks
children's art mural designed by Ethel
Special Activities at Shanti Bhavan
Sports & Games
Higher grade children (above grade 2) play soccer, tennis, roller-skates, volley ball and basket ball.
Shanti Bhavan is a non-sectarian institution where all religions are respected and no particular religion is propagated. We have a common prayer hall shaped like a triangle with its apex pointing North. Holy books of all the major religions in India are kept in the prayer hall. A tree made by the tribals of Madhya Pradesh in bell metal is the center piece. A traditional South Indian brass lamp is lit everyday. Staff members go to the prayer hall to pray, meditate, or reflect during their free time. Festivals of Hindus such as Ganesh Chathurthi and Divali, Eid of the Muslims and Christmas of the Christians are celebrated, as also seasonal festivals such as the harvest festivals of Pongal and Onam. Children say the Children's Prayer mornings and evenings, at school assemblies, and before and after meals. Staff say the Staff Prayer each morning at assembly, in the presence of the children.
Prayer before Meals
Mr. M.K. Srinath, former director of the Wildlife Education Fund-India, takes fortnightly sessions with our children on various topics such as deer, tortoise, rabbit, elephants, insects, snakes, rats and environments such as the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Mr. Srinath has brought live specimens of tortoise, rabbit and snake. He also showed the children a video about dumping waste. The children have gained awareness about animals and how to treat and study them. The third and fourth graders have benefited most. The younger children have enjoyed parts of the videos and seeing and touching the tortoise and rabbit.
Shanti Bhavan Art Show
Ethel Caldwell, a volunteer art teacher from Latter-Day Saints Humanitarian Services put up an excellent art show of children's work on 7th October 2001. Every child's work from Preschool through Fourth Grade was shown. The art works on display were drawings and paintings with different mediums, sculptures of wooden blocks and clay, and paper mosaics.
Ethel started her classes by giving each child a mirror to look at, and draw herself or himself. "Look at Me" had some amazing resemblances to the children's faces! The Preschoolers used crayon and paint, and also cut and paste. Kindergarten children learned to paint with one colour, two colours and three colours. Children learned techniques like cross-hatch, perspective - "Near and Far" and patterns displayed in "Beautiful Numbers." Ethel taught them how to draw "Y" trees, using the letter Y. She introduced the children to works of artists such as Vincent Van Gogh - "The Colour of Sky" and Piet Mondrian - "Abstracts." Georgia O'Keefe and the Shanti Bhavan flowers provided the inspiration for "Life Studies." The children coloured lizards and their backgrounds in warm and cool colours. They painted over wax crayon drawings, "Wax Resist" drawing from the tradition of batik. The BYU Dancers' Company presentation, "Walking" gave the inspiration for "Cave Paintings" done with paint and markers on brown paper.
The piece de resistance was a magnificient mural designed by Ethel. Ethel was inspired by the art she saw at the Mysore Palace. It is a composite work that includes the artistic impressions of the children about Shanti Bhavan. There are different scenes bordered by ornate margins. The children's and staff's signatures, including Ethel's and Dr. George's signatures, are in these margins. It is Ethel's genius that has incorporated the children's work to make a very unique and striking piece. It is placed facing the main entrance of the school so that everyone can get an impression at a glance of the daily life of Shanti Bhavan seen through children's eyes. Please visit www.shantibhavanonline.org for more details.