Mrs Kumudini Lakshman, of the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is the recipient of the Educator of Distinction Award, given by the Saskatoon Pre School Foundation. There were 45 nominees for the awards in various categories. She is one of five who received the award in the Volunteer Category. She has been teaching SSEHV in an inner city school. The children come from lower economic groups, broken families, or families with problems.
The citation for the award says
Volunteering four times a week Kumudini built great relationships of trust with the students and staff and proved her willingness to do any task. She shows commitment by showing up day after day with cheerful and humble attitude. In the classrooms Kumudini teaches values such as honesty, respect, friendship, kindness, and love with the Grades 1-4 followed with a craft. She initiated an after-school Homework Club once a week for Grades 3-8, also provided an after-school sports program for ages 8 and up, followed with a healthy snack. Part of the work Kumudini does in the school involves staging drama productions (to convey the message of Sai Baba’s Education in Human Values) involving scripts adapted to accommodate all students in the class along with elaborate costumes and special props.
On occasions she provides nutritional foods for our breakfast and lunch program at the School. Kumudini is currently involved with the “Heart of the City” piano program and is on the committee that serves all of Saskatoon schools that provides the piano program. Through the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Saskatoon, Kumudini initiated an annual Christmas gift-giving to all the students and staff at the Pleasant Hill Community School. At last, the most important contribution Kumudini has given to us is that she is an inspirational role model for everyone. We as staff and students are fortunate to have her in our lives.
Kumudini was trained in teaching SSEHV at the Institute of Sathya Sai Education, Thailand, in 2001 and received her Diploma from Swami on November 20, 2001. As soon as she returned from Thailand, she started volunteering in Pleasant Hill School, helping in the library and helping the teachers with their research in teaching etc. The Pleasant Hill School staff were already familiar with the SSSB Centre of Saskatoon and Kumudini, because she had been organizing seva activities in the school.
In September 2001, she approached the Principal and got permission from him to teach SSEHV, and started with the Grade 4 students. Since then it is one journey of progress.
Kumudini is expressing her devotion to Swami through the dedication for her work in the School. As the citation mentions, she is using multi-various activities to inculcate Human Values in the children. There are other schools in Saskatoon, who have approached Kumudini to start the SSEHV program. The Centre is looking at training more people to help Kumudini for the same.
The first picture shows Kumudini receiving her Diploma from Swami on November 20, 2001; the second one shows Kumudini receiving her Educator of Distinction award from Bev Hanson, Superintendent of Schools in St.Paul Roman Catholic School Division in Saskatoon, on March 31, 2006. CLick on a picture to see an enlarged version. Click here for a message from the Sathya Sai Organization of Canada.