September 16, 2010By Vinit Patel

Chino Hills, CA-Education is an important tool that enhances a person's understanding of the world around herself or himself. In an effort to further educate and raise awareness about the education system as well as resources available for students and parents, an Educational Development Day was held at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir and Cultural Center in Chino Hills on August 28, 2010. In the past, BAPS has hosted Education and Career Development Fairs for high school and college students but this year, the event was focused around kindergarten through eighth grade education.

The fair began at 9 am, by welcoming approximately 260 participants, including local organizations, teachers and other education professionals. Chino Hills City Council Member Peter Rogers, Chino Valley Unified School District school board member, Mr. James Na, the Director of the new Oxford Preparatory Academy, Mr. James Watts, as well as Vice Mayor of Chino Hills, Ed Graham, were amongst the dignitaries present during the event. The keynote speaker of the event, Mr. Preston Carr, currently the director of the new virtual school in Chino Hills, also attended the event and addressed the audience. He provided a basic understanding of the educational system and highlighted the significant change of the system with the increasing use of computer technology.

Followed by Mr. Carr's speech, the participants were able to attend sessions that were specifically organized by grade level allowing parents to seek answers specific answers for their child's curriculum. The parents were introduced to new techniques with which they could assist their kids learn at home such as using dry beans for teaching arithmetic. The teachers also emphasized that a well-rounded student also requires emotional and psychological support from his or her family.

The participants also attended general sessions which further elaborated on educational programs that help students excel in their education- such as G.A.T.E., Accelerated Reading, and Kumon.

"A much needed day of enrichment for all parents," said Lydia Schmidt, a Chino Hills resident. "It brought our community together to see the needs of our children and to involve ourselves with their individual needs. A huge success!" she added.

"I would like to congratulate and thank you for a great event," said Tanuja Rana, parent of a student who attends Country Springs Elementary School in Chino Hills, of the event to a BAPS volunteer. "I personally enjoyed it and had the opportunity to meet different people. I urge you to do the event next year. I think it'll help a lot of people in the community. Thank you once again," she added.

The Educational Development Day also promoted a well-rounded lifestyle for students including extracurricular activities and health awareness- with the help of community partners such as representatives from the Chino Hills Library, Chino Hills Recreation, Girl Scouts, Creator's Touch, Juice Plus, Kumon, and Special Olympics. These organizations exhibited valuable information about how students and parents can get involved in the local community through a diverse spectrum of activities.

Through this event, BAPS continued to contribute to the community through collaborating with educational professionals as well as other community partners to promote educational excellence.

Vinit Patel is a community outreach activities volunteer. He can be reached at 818-522-5768


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