January 2018, Vol. 1, No. 1

Dear friends and supporters of Sevalaya USA,


Happy New Year! We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of Sevalaya USA and to share some our accomplishments. In April 2017, with help from our volunteer legal advisor, Pooja Sudarshan, we applied for and received approval from the IRS for Sevalaya USA to function as a registered 501 c(3) nonprofit. Since then we have been successful in implementing three projects (Wine country fire relief, Teachers’ Salary Project and Student’s Education Project) here in the US and in India. We donated non-perishable food items to Redwood Empire Food Bank; raised money to support 3 teachers and 14 students for a year at Mahakavi Bharathiyar Higher Secondary School in Kasuva village, Tamil Nadu. This is a free school serving poor children in and around Kasuva village. Since the school was established in 1988, it has transformed 40 villages of Thiruvallur district, from majoritychild labor to 100% literacy, educated thousands of children and nurtured and shaped 450 orphans. The school has consistently reported close to 100% results in Std. X and Std. XII board exams.



Our goal in 2017 was to raise funds to educate 50 students. By December 2017, we were able to support 14 students. Many of the parents who send their children to this school are daily wage earners- auto drivers, agricultural workers, carpenters, etc. Research indicates that children from low socioeconomic households and communities exhibit poor cognitive development, language, memory, socio-emotional processing, and consequently end up with poor income and health in adulthood. Your donation to Sevalaya USA provides equitable learning opportunities for all children regardless of their caste, creed, religion or gender. It underwrites all the fees (including government fees), uniforms, school supplies, mid-day meals, and transportation. The 14 students (Abhinaya S., Anusuya S., Archana M., Deepika B., Divya S., Divya B., Eshwari S., Magesh J., Naresh P., Praveen V., Raghul V., Raviraj A., Saravanan B., and Umapathy V.) are excited to learn and have shared their ambitions of being doctors, teachers, engineers, artists as well as play for the Indian cricket team. Click here to meet them.


Another big goal was to fund salaries of 20 teachers by August 2018. Without good, qualified teachers, education suffers. A teacher’s years of experience and quality of training are correlated with children’s academic achievement (Gimbert, Bol, & Wallace, 2007). Children in low-income schools are less likely to have well-qualified teachers. By December 2017, we raised funds to support 3 teachers for one year: Mrs.R. Poongavanam, Mrs. K. Revathi and Mrs. K. Beulah.



Mrs.R. Poongavanam is a B.A., B.Ed. and has 6 years of experience teaching Montessori classes. She enjoys teaching kids 3 to 5 years and says, “children are very eager to learn. Children like to enjoy… to do Montessori activities.”


Mrs. K. Revathi has a D. T. Ed. and teaches English to second and fourth grade students. She chose this job as her “childhood dream was to become a teacher” and she considers Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to be her role model.


Mrs. K. Beulah has nearly 10 years of teaching experience, has an M.A. in English and is currently pursuing a B.Ed. She teaches 161 students in grades 7, 8 and 10. Her interactive teaching style makes classes fun and interesting and has a 100% passing grade for all her students for the past 3 years.



One of our goals is to help raise funds to provide assistance to victims of natural calamities. After the Santa Rosa fires, we were able to donate 405 pounds of food (through a combination of food and $ 500 in cash donations) to the Redwood Empire Food bank. We donated non-perishable food items, rice, cereals, soup, beans, Ensure, etc.


Your Support Helps! It is vital to our success. We are on track to support our goal of 50 students, but we need your support to reach our target of funding 20 teachers by August 2018. A quick and easy way to double your contribution is through employee giving programs. Many corporations match employee donations to our organization. We will be happy to do all paperwork on your behalf. We are also looking for volunteers to join our team. For additional information, please visit us online at sevalaya.us and facebook.com/SevalayaUSA.


You are making a difference in the lives of individual children and your gift helps to provide an outstanding academic program with qualified teachers. Thank you again for your generous support!


Sincerely,

Sevalaya team