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School of India for Languages and Culture

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Nonprofit Overview

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.

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Excellent way to learn Indian languages and culture! SILC is full of amazing volunteers and community members who keeps this organization going year and year!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful Saturday school for Indian language, culture and community

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

My daughter is in her 4th year at SILC, starting at he preschool level. She has really embraced the culture, learning and friendships, and she is more than happy to make the long drive to the school (we live in the west metro). I'm so happy to be part of the SILC community and look forward to many more years.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am the user of the services of SILC to elder child for last 4 years. Great work by volunteers. I become volunteer to teach an Indian language (Telugu) since 2016. SILC has simple processes to join, contribute and volunteer. Nominal fee for the year based on courses you chose though but that helps to hire facility. All staff are volunteers that is great i saw with this organization including my self. SILC is improving every year to say, working on standardizing the curriculum as i write this review . Last but not the least and nice thing is kids get snacks in between and adult can enjoy a cup of tea :)

Board Member

Rating: 5

I learnt about SILC while volunteering with India Association of Minnesota. As a parent I recognized that SILC is a great place for my kids to learn the Indian Languages and culture. I started formally associating with SILC by enrolling my elder kid. After initial week saw an opportunity for a volunteer social studies teacher position at SILC. I signed-up for the same. My family enjoys all activities at SILC we have seen progress with our kids learning about the language, history, heritage and culture about India. As a teacher at SILC I have seen great progress and involvement of the kids during the yearly Social Studies day. They come-up with awesome presentations and enthusiasm about their topic and the background research they have done about it. I will highly recommend people to consider SILC for learning, volunteering and bonding about the Indian languages and culture.

Suzanne S.2

Board Member

Rating: 5

We were warmly welcomed at SILC when we brought our newly adopted 12 year old daughter there five years ago, and we’ve hardly missed a week since. Our daughter has been able to speak and study her native language while I have enjoyed Indian cooking and Hindi classes and my husband has learned yoga. The whole school is run by volunteers which lends to a vibrant energy and friendly atmosphere. We have all volunteered ourselves in small ways. And, it has been a joy to see our daughter gain enough confidence to volunteer to teach art.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Our family has been part of the SILC family as students, volunteers and board member for the last 4 years. We love the classes, the camaraderie, and the closeness that we share with so many of the other families there. My daughter is now a volunteer teacher at SILC, and my son is not far behind!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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.

1 Deepa N.

Volunteer

Rating: 3

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.

1 Ravi J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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" !

Previous Stories
1

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

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 !

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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?

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love SILC because it helps my family and I to be a part of another culture. We are learning a new language, as well as gaining knowledge about India's history and traditions, and styles of dance! I am learning about various styles of Indian visual art and very much enjoy exploring those with the children at SILC. And, we have the privilege of celebrating Indian style, which is very rich indeed--tasty, colorful and fun! We are blessed to be members of SILC!

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

School of India For Languages and Culture (SILC) provides an excellent opportunity to twin cities (minneapolis / st.paul) community interested in learning about Indian languages (hindi, telugu, kannada, malayalam, nepali, tamil, gujarati), culture (festivals, dances, food, arts, tabala, yoga, cricket, cooking). At a personal level, it helped me and my kids to stay connected with our roots; and at the same time, gave me an opportunity to share and to teach Telugu language.