New Vrindaban’s Gopal’s Garden School – Quarterly Newsletter, November 2013


Gopal’s Garden Home School Co-op began its seventh year this September.  Two new students joined us from the Philippines and we are very happy to have them as part of our class.  Every morning we begin our day at 9:30 with chanting Hare Krsna and Bhagavad-gita verses.  The students hear stories about Krsna and the philosophy of Krsna Consciousness.  The rest of the morning is devoted to writing and reading.  After lunch and recess, we spend the afternoon studying history, science and math.

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Compassionate Communication Class With Sukhavaha

Gerald the Giraffe – by Brinda Turner

Mother Sukhavaha has been doing a weekly class with the students of Gopal’s Garden. She has been talking about compassionate speaking feelings, and emotional boundaries.  The class now has its very own Gerald the giraffe puppet because a giraffe has the biggest heart on the planet.  Gerald is there to help the children learn to speak nicely and use compassionate communication.  When they feel troubled they simply come to Gerald for help.  Mother Sukhavaha has been teaching the children how to talk about what they are feeling and why they are feeling that way.  The class has worked together to create a list of agreements to help them act and speak compassionately.  The students have not had many sessions but it is already helping to transform the classroom.

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Trip To Varsana Swami’s Temple

The Lucky Day  by Brinda Turner and Shemaella Rivera

On the morning of Radhastami,  we painted wooden frames and decorated them using stencils.  At the time we wondered what picture to put inside the frames.  Later in the morning we piled in the car and hurried to Varsana Swami’s temple.  Although it had been raining really hard, as soon as we arrived the rain turned into a light sprinkling. Taking off our shoes, we entered the temple where Varsana Maharaja gave us a picture of his deities – a perfect picture to place inside the newly decorated frames.  When we returned to the class, we decided to put the beautiful framed pictures on the altar.  The frames looked beautiful!  We were so lucky and blessed to have found the perfect picture.

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Art Class With Krsna Bhava

Learning to Draw What They See

By Ruci DD
Every Tuesday morning the students enter the classroom enthusiastic and ready to draw and paint with Krsna Bhava. This school year they have studied color theory, three dimensional art, and how to recognize the simple shapes and lines in objects in order to draw what they see. In creating their art the students have used acrylic paints, oil pastels, pencils, and markers. Krsna Bhava has been teaching art at Gopal’s  Garden for seven years.  Her ability to teach and inspire basic art concepts can be seen in her students completed projects (attached) as well as the year-end class project where the students publish their art and writing.

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Student Writing Project With Sankirtana das

By Ruci DD

Sankirtana comes in once a week and has started the school year reading and writing poetry. He is introducing the students to the poetic elements of imagery (‘painting a picture with words’),  use of strong words and the way words sound together, expression of  feelings, and trying to show that poems are often about common, every day things and moments in life.  He starts with role modeling by writing a poem on the spot and helping them write a collective poem which he puts on the blackboard. Then they settle in to write their individual poems. The kids take turns in reading their poems as Sankirtana offers encouragement and constructive criticism.



Poems by Students

Awesome – by Josh Fintel

I’m a fun guy

right after a day of school.

I bring my friends

to the school playground.

We bring our water guns and balloons.

We soak each other to be cool.

I see a red, orange, and green leaf pile move.

I throw a water balloon.

It ends with a splash.

The leaves slide down and my friend starts to laugh.


Living In This Moment – Brinda Turner

Although the leaves are falling

And it is almost Monday

I try to concentrate on this moment

I don’t let myself think

About by feet pounding

Down the hallway to our classroom

I try not to think that it is

Almost winter

I laugh as I fly into the air

Then giggle as I fall back

To the floor of the bouncy house

I am having fun right now

And that is all that matters

As I live in this moment

Not worrying about tomorrow


Poem About Writing

Writing – Josh Fintel


Writing is fun

Writing is story making

Making stories is easy & hard

But stories are entertainment

And learning

I’m an entertainment story guy


Poem About Art


Art – Shemaella Rivera
Since I was a young kid

I wanted to draw something

I kept on thinking how to draw

Painting, drawing, coloring –

The rainbow that makes

My heart happy!




Poems About Math


Math – Josh Fintel


Math is good

Math is food for my brain

Math can be easy like 1 – 1

And math can be hard like 35 x 52

But for me it’s just right


Math – Shemaella Rivera
I don’t care if it’s hard

I don’t care if it’s easy

I’ll just do my best

I’m not gonna give up

Till I get it



Reading – Shemaella Rivera


Peace and quiet

Inside the classroom

You can read

Whatever you love or like

But you can’t read nothing

Come on ! Show me what you’re reading!



Lost in a World of My Own – by Brinda Turner
As soon as I pick up a book

I get sucked in

I despair at difficult situations

Laugh at the funny parts

And sometimes even cry

I forget where I am

About the people around me

All I think about is my book

It is beautiful to see

The words on the page

As they make an image in my


I see every detail

I love the feel of a new book

The crisp white pages just begging to be read

And when the book ends

I reach for another

It amazes the people around me

But to me it is natural

Completely normal

I can read books so thick

My hands can’t even fit around them

In one day without rushing at all

It offers me another world

And that is why reading

Is so important to me

If I have a bad day

I can pick up a book

And forget why I was even upset

I can get lost in a world

Where anything can happen

Anything at all



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