In 2007 in schools across the country, Sikhi was almost never included when students learned about religion.
For the last 13 years the Sikh Coalition has taken a holistic approach where we are not only ensuring Sikhism is included in state standards but also have taken lead on creating teacher-friendly and inclusive content. This includes partnering with sangats and school officials to ensure that Sikhs are integrated into state standards and their associated materials. Since each state has a very different timeline as well as has a very different approach to how they review standards the process is labor intensive and varies state by state.
Also as we invested more resources in this area of work we recognized the need to have updated lesson plans, resources, and readings lists that are state-specific and are easy for educators to use in their classrooms.
Our impact thus far includes:
Sikhi in 14 state standards: Because of a multi-year investment in an advocacy campaign by the Sikh Coalition in partnership with local sangats, Sikhi is now included in state standards in 14 states - New Jersey, Texas, New York, California, Idaho, Tennessee, Colorado, Arizona, Oklahoma, Michigan, North Dakota, Nebraska, Indiana, and Kansas. This means more than 23 million students, or 45 percent of public school students nationwide, now have the opportunity to learn about Sikhs.
Created Classroom-Ready Lesson Plans and Resources: We crafted the first-ever C3 Resources to teach about Sikhism, providing materials to more than 9,000 teachers across the country who use the C3 Framework to inform their social studies standards and curricula. These resources include elementary and middle/high school lesson plans, a discussion guide for CNN’s United Shades of America episode about the Sikh community as well as as the educator guide on Sikhism.
Parent and Teacher Resources: We have created a Back to School Toolkit that equips both parents and teachers with the tools necessary to successfully teach about Sikhi and the Sikh identity in the classroom. This includes lesson plans, book recommendations and template accommodation letters.
Empower Students and Parents to Lead in their Schools: Empower and train community members across the country to engage with their local educators and give Sikh awareness presentations to school-aged audiences.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
By investing in this project you are ensuring that when future generations learn about different religions, they also learn about Sikhi. Your support will ensure that future generations of Sikhs will be appreciated and no longer bullied at school.