পাঠশালা – The Bengali School of Irvine

       It started with a few phone calls, a couple of meetings to gauge community interest, and an enthusiastic Bengali family donating their office space for weekend use, and Pathsala, the Bengali School of Irvine, was formed in November 2000. Pathsala was conceived with the usual vision of a few first generation Bengali parents – the main goal being that the children should not lose touch with the language and the culture of the land that nurtured and shaped their parents. As parents, we mostly wanted them to be able to understand and speak the language; however, we also hoped that they would be able to read and write in Bengali. We wanted to see our children conversing with and relating to their grandparents and relatives back in India in the same language we did. Today, Pathsala is more than just a weekend school; it is a community.

Over the years, the student enrollment in Pathsala has fluctuated between 12 and 32. Currently, we have 16 active students enrolled in two classes (Junior and Senior). The ages of the students range from 5 to 15. The school is operated and managed by a few parent volunteers. There is a nominal monthly fee ($25 per student) to cover the rental and other miscellaneous expenses of the school facility.

General Curriculum & Activities

  • Promote speaking, reading and writing in Bengali.
  • Promote cultural awareness through performing arts
  • Showcase talents through cultural activities
  • Encourage and facilitate student participation in cultural events organized by BASC and other local organizations
  • Saraswati Puja (an all-day event organized in the Tustin/Irvine area that includes Puja, Arati, Bhog, and a vegetarian Lunch, followed by a cultural program in which the students perform in Bengali)
  • Production and staging of a Bengali drama (typically during BASC Lakshmi Puja)

Classes are held at Ektaa Center in Irvine every Sunday from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM. The address is 2691 Richter Avenue, Suite 104, Irvine, CA 92606. The school year typically starts in late October or early November, right after Lakshmi Puja and ends in early June of the following year.

Contacts

Rumki Guha; e-mail – rumkig@hotmail.com; mobile – (714) 812-7147

Saswati Dutta; e-mail – saswatidutta20@gmail.com; mobile – (949) 394-6743

Soumitra Guha; e-mail – soumitra_guha@hotmail.com; mobile – (949) 279-8538