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ladakh-school-2013Leh, Ladakh, J&K: - July 15th and 16th 2013 marked a special achievement for Siddartha High School, a remote school located high in the Himalayas of Northern India. Twenty years ago, a Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Khan Rinpoche Lobsang Tsetan, had an idea. He wanted to bring improved literacy to his home Village of Stok, Ladakh, while preserving the endangered Tibetan Buddhist culture and teachings.

Through his efforts and the support of the local and global community, "The Siddartha School" was founded, and what started in a one room rented school shed is now an exemplary and growing private school with over 300 students in grade K-10, setting new standards for educational excellence in the region.

Ladakh borders Tibet, and the Siddartha School gives the children of Ladakh access to high quality modern education, while also honoring their culture and traditions within the curriculum and school activities. Children at the Siddartha School learn four languages (English, Hindi, Tibetan, and Ladakhi), computer skills, sciences, math, creative arts, and social studies. Unique in Ladakh, no child is denied admission to the Siddartha School on the basis of need.

As part of a two day celebration in July 2013, the students and parents of the Siddartha School donned traditional dress and performed culturally based song, dance, and theatre. Also produced by students were elaborate cultural and environmental exhibitions depicting various aspects of their culture along with the environmental factors affecting both their local and global community. Included in these exhibitions were an enactment of the nomadic lifestyle, as well that of a traditional wedding, clothing, food, and monastic tradition(s).

Supporters and sponsors from both near and far traveled to recognize and participate in this celebratory event.

The students and parents expressed their sincere gratitude and appreciation for the support that has granted the children the opportunity for this priceless education and a chance at a successful future. Over the course of the two day celebration, honored guests, Tokden Rinpoche, former minister of Ladakh and current head of Phyang Monastery (day 1) and Ganden Tri Rinpoche, head of Gelugpa lineage(under His Holiness Dalai Lama) (day 2) attended and shared precious words of support for the school and for the preservation of the Tibetan Buddhism culture and teachings, particularly the Nalanda University tradition.

The Siddhartha School is a non-profit, private institution, founded and directed locally in Stok, Ladakh, which receives no public funds. As this school continues to grow, so does its need for support and sponsorship in order to sustain its educational programs and basic needs for its students and staff. The Siddartha School is also in need of musical instruments for their music program(guitar- western and Tibetan-Dramnyen, Tangjin, Drums-Ladakhi, flute, Piano, Pibang-Tibetan Violin).

For more information on the "Siddartha School", please visit the website: http://siddharthaschool.org

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