SCHOOL OF INDIA FOR LANGUAGES AND CULTURE

Rating: 4.62 stars   13 reviews

Issues:

Location: (care of) Como Park High School 740 West Rose Ave St Paul MN 55117 USA

Mission: Celebrating and Preserving the Heritage of India in the Heart of America. SILC strives to develop well-informed individuals in a non-religious setting. It plays a pivotal role in bridging the cultural gap and enhancing mutual understanding between cultures which are vital for strengthening ties between nations.
Results: 33+ years within the Twin Cities landscape, SILC is unique since it is run 100% by volunteers. Thousands of students have passed through its portals since inception. Our former students have gone through their paces to learn and understand/appreciate the diversity of Asian Indian culture.
Target demographics: Families with children of Asian Indian origin
Direct beneficiaries per year: Approximately 600 to 750
Geographic areas served: Twin Cities, MN and its neighboring suburbs
Programs: Established programs ranging from pre-school to advanced languages, social studies and culture classes including electives for students of all ages.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Have been with SILC for 4 years. A little glimpse of India in the Twin cities. Great place for the kids to meet and interact in the indian culture. Great place for moms to chat, dads to link up with the community around the twin cities. Schedule runs through the school year. If you are looking for a great start every saturday morning, wake up and meet us at the Como High School in St. Paul at 10 AM. Enrollment starts before labor day and ends in September. Languages, History, Literature and Cooking classes available for the novice and the expert.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 4 stars  

This is my fourth year at SILC and I know that my husband and I will continue to be involved well after our youngest, 7, graduates! The organization provides a community of belonging, while imparting education about India, its history and languages to our children. This is important as these young children will be the beacons of our society tomorrow. If they are well endowed, they can raise the next generation adequately and continue the tradition of what it means to be Indian. Kudos to SILC for allowing us all to be part of a wonderful community and revealing to our children a little India in the land of 10,000 lakes! Thank you!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 4 stars  

SILC is a great environment to teach my children about the Indian culture. Through the classes they take, they learn Hindi, they learn about the history and culture of India and they interact with a wide variety of people who have a connection to India. The volunteer teachers and coordinators work hard to make SILC a positive learning environment for those who attend.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 4 stars  

Here are some reasons I give SILC 4-stars. SILC is a welcoming community run 100% on volunteer time and effort. Families, some from hours away, come to participate and learn languages, music, cooking, and dance of the Indian sub-continent. Special classes, say on Indo-European music and events like social studies and literature day or diwali/holi day or participating in Festival of Nations generate an amazing mix of fun and learning for all ages. A non-denominational setting, chai every week, and samosas and jalebis every now and then adds to the experience. Why didn't I give it 5-stars? We could use some more organizational skills towards self-evaluations and continuous improvements.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 3 stars  

I have been involved with SILC since I moved to US, i.e. 6 years ago. I have taught Hindi, Malayalam and dance during these years of my association with SILC and I've had a wonderful experience. The people are friendly and helpful. I was a newbie to the teaching/volunteering "industry", but everyone has been very supportive to me.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

The most basic and powerful foundation of the society is Education. And SILC is bringing the education to the fresh-mind, future citizens in a simple and straight forward way using the smartest people of the community.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer with SILC for over 12 years and still feels like a new experience every week. You have taught thousands of children and adults to speak, read and write multiple Indian languages, helped them become healthier via Yoga classes, perform Indian dances at various poplar events and of course taught Indian cooking - yummy food tasting for volunteers every week ! You have participated in History Projects and sharing the culture of India with the wider community via talks in Colleges and schools and presentation to Govt. on cultural sensitivities. Thank you SILC volunteers and Board Members for all that you do for "Celebrating and Preserving the Heritage of India in the Heart of America" !

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In seeing the improved language skills of my two children, and their love for dancing found expression with SILC

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help them market themselves better. SILC is a very low-profile organization. After 34 years, still not many people, even of Indian origin are aware of it.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Offer tea to volunteers more regularly! Right now it is a bit iffy - if the the volunteer tea maker does not show, there is no tea :-(

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

As a volunteer Board Member of SILC, I learned much about how to lead Non-Profit organization and the kinds of challenges faced by them. As a volunteer Social Studies teacher, I learned a lot more about India's History, Geography and Arts than I had learned in school!

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

It made me feel valued and productive.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

School of India for Languages and Culture, popularly known as SILC, celebrated its 30th Anniversary in May 2009! During this time SILC has stayed true to its motto "Celebrating and Preserving the Heritage of India in the Heart of America". SILC is an All Volunteer organization that teaches Indian languages, Socila Studies, Indian Cooking, Yoga, Cricket, Art and has a Pre-School class also. Both my children have been students at SILC for almost 10 years and it has been a great learning experience for the entire family. We also made lifelong friends in the process. THANK YOU, SILC! Thank You SILC Volunteers, you make SILC a GREAT PLACE !

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the lives of my family. My children were never from from their Indian Heritage, what with celebrations of major Indian Festivals, Newsletters, Indian and adopted Indian kids for friends & used to taste Indian food every week as part of the cooking class!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the people who run SILC are so without ego. There is no politics at SILC! The only thing people care about is the children and what they learn.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Committed, non-Egotistical, Willing to Help and

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

SILC does not need $10 Million bucks. It is a Non-Profit and its cash flows are structured very nicely to stay within what little fee they charge. The best part is its Alumni is always willing to step in and help when the school calls.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

We are adopting our daughter from India and came to SILC because we wanted to learn Hindi. What we found far exceeded our expectations. SILC is a vibrant and generous community where one can learn languages, how to cook or how to drum, and about the social and historical aspects of Indian life. There is a wide variety of courses offered for adults, as well as for children. Cooking teachers go far beyond simply demonstrating a recipe. They share tips on everything from choosing and cleaning food, to storing spices, to how to modify seasoning to one's taste. They give students the confidence to go and try these things at home, and the knowledge of where and how to shop for items not found in many grocery stores. One of the most valuable aspects of this school is that they don't just have set courses that you have to fit into. They go a step beyond to see who the students are, and then tailor the classes to their needs. For those of us hoping to find and maintain a connection with the Indian community, SILC has been a magnificent gift.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the sense of community and in the generosity of sharing cultural knowledge both formally and informally.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make sure more people knew about it and could participate.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

how wonderfully flexible and accommodating it is. Everyone is willing to step in and help teach.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

helpful, friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable.

Ways to make it better...

it would have been easier to register for classes.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

keeping its flexible and human style while working with more students and families.

One thing I'd also say is that...

we don't know what we'd do without SILC. It has given us a place to learn about our daughter's beautiful culture, and where we hope she can maintain her language and cultural ties in the future.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I have been involved with SILC since my 9 year old entered pre-school. I adopted her from India when she was 11 months old. SILC has give both of us, as well as her sisters, an opportunity to experience and learn about her birth country and culture. The people have been welcoming and friendly. We all participate on different levels, and SILC embraces all of them.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

learning to read and write Telugu. But even more than that -- the people. I admire and respect the people of SILC and now number many of them among my close friends.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

open and friendly. Always willing to answer questions and offer advice when I have specific cultural concerns.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I have been involved with SILC for about 15 years. I have gained knowledge and leadership skills, I have made lots of friends, and along the way had a lot of fun. SILC is a great place for people interested in all things Indian to get together. And SILC reaches out the community by participating in many events around town. What more could you want?

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally gained leadership and organizational skills from being on the board, leading meetings, and helping the school run. I have learnt so much about Indian history, geography and culture. I also have increased my knowledge of the tabla.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The people there are committed and great to work with. I enjoy teaching so many enthusiastic students.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

SILC volunteers are helpful and energetic. Teachers come every week with lessons. The active board reaches out the community and are always looking at ways to make it run better.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

Was this review helpful?