1. What does Camp Jano India teach my child?
Camp Jano India is meant to empower you child with information about India. Its aim is to help your child understand India’s ancient history, geography,science,literature,diversity and to learn about India’s role in the world. Your child will also have fun exploring India’s multi-faceted culture. Our hope is that when they next visit India, they do so with a better understanding and appreciation.
2. What will be the activities in the camp?
In order to take the children on a journey of India, our camps have been beautifully crafted into different themes. These themes touch different aspects that make Indian culture so rich & desirable. Each & every theme is creatively woven into a series of projects, art, craft &theatre to make the children truly appreciate India.As a bonus, each camp ends with a play in Hindi which has woven into it the various cultural elements for that week!
Following is a brief description of each theme. This gives a general concept behind each theme. We are Not limited to the various names and places mentioned. Each year we may replace them with other names/places within the themes.
Amazing India – Discover the Indian core via its scientific, mathematical, literary achievements combined with their related personalities such as CV Raman and many others that we wish to keep as surprise! This will be coupled of course with arts, drama, cuisine, games and culture related with these topics. Both weeks have unique content. New and different topics are chosen each year! The theme will always be fresh!
Incredible India – Depicts historical and modern day monuments located in different states of India. We try and cover all parts of India so that children can relate to them. Mohanjodaro, Nalanda University, India Gate, Tajmahal, Meenakshi Temple, Belur Math to name a few. Along with that it covers physical dynamics of India located in that area such as important rivers, desserts and the great plains.
I Love India – Covers famous Indian people like Gandhiji, Rajendra Prasad, Rani Lakshmibai, Shivaji, Indira Gandhi and other leaders. All coming from diverse yet simple backgrounds and going on to become such great icons. This unique camp has a fantastic way of inspiring children that they will experience once they are here.
Celebrate India – Covers popular festivals such as Diwali, Holi, Republic Day etc. It also showcases how India being a land of such diverse cultures has embraced other cultures of the world. Children will be encouraged to recreate the ambience ofthose special occasions and thus learn of their significance.
3. Why does your organization conduct Camp Jano India?
Just like Jano Hindi came out of the necessity of teaching Hindi (India’s national language) to the student population in America, we have seen the need of a Camp Jano India. The regular school curriculum of social studies barely touches upon real India which is very frustrating to the child. Thus, this camp tries to bridge this gap through exposure to social studies, leaders, arts etc of India.
4. How many Camps been held in the past?
We have been holding Summer Camps since our inception in 2006. Our staff has experience with Hindi and cultural camps since 2002. All our prior camps have been well received, and as more parents from various regions have started to ask for such camps, we have managed to increase the number of sites so as to bring it closer to you.
5. Who are the camp teachers?
The Camp teachers are existing Jano Hindi instructors who have been teaching in the year round Jano Hindi program in all bay area schools. Thus, they bring the same high energy, structured learning with fun style into this camp. All staff and junior counselors (high school students: who may only assist students during activities) are extensively trained into every small and big aspect of the camp.
6. What does a typical day consist of?
The day starts with everybody gathering together and taking part in the “Welcome Activity” designed by the teacher for that day. Then we move on to ‘Hindi in the mornings’ where children learn the Hindi language based on their Levels Beginner, Intermediate & Advance. Next we take them through the Journey of India via our unique themes touching important elements of our culture. The afternoons consist of theatre, games, crafts and several projects associated with theme of the week. There are sufficient breaks for snacks, refreshments and fun time.
7. My child is new to camp, will he fit in?
In previous camps, we have had children from all over the Bay Area attend the camp. At the end of a week we find that they leave with warm friendships, an exchange of emails and a desire to remain in touch. We ensure that all children participate in the different activities and feel included in the camp.
8. My child attended 4 weeks last year. Will he get bored this year?
NO. We have designed whole new content for each theme and week and each age group.
9. You have so many similar sounding weeks. Is the content repeated?
NO. Our camps are designed around 4 main themes. There is no overlap between themes, thus each theme is completely different from the other themes. Some theme names do repeat but the weeks are called by I and II since content in each week is all new and different every year!
The content for ‘Hindi mornings’ depends upon the child’s Hindi skills. If the child were to enroll for 4weeks or more, even then the Hindi content in the mornings will not repeated as the content is child specific and we want to ensure that the child keeps moving ahead in their Hindi skills.
10. How about Hindi Levels?
The content for “Cultural afternoons” depends on the name of the week and since all week names are different, content for the afternoons is unique in each week as well.
The levels for Hindi are Beginner, Intermediate & Advance. On the first day we assess them and find out about their knowledge ofHindi language. Based on that, we assign them their Levels. Beginner starts with Hindi Varnmala (alphabets), Intermediate might start with matras or writing & reading words with matras based on how much he/she knows. Advance Level starts with reading short stories, building vocabulary and understanding tenses.
Please note, that the Hindi mornings will again be highly interactive, learning based fun which keeps their enthusiasm high.
11. Do you teach conversation?
We do not teach conversation separately since Hindi conversation is included in our theatre, stories, games, and songs. An environment is created where speaking Hindi is encouraged.
12. Do you speak in Hindi in the camp?
Thus, if there is a child who wishes to practice their Hindi all day, they have this great environment which nurtures it. Teachers will be speaking in Hindi and English during the whole day, thus children will pick up more than what they are taught in the morning. If a child does not understand Hindi, our teachers will be translating it immediately as well.
We do speak in Hindi in our camps but due to children coming from different language backgrounds we cannot speak entirely in Hindi, as then the Non-Hindi speaking children do not understand and are not able to connect to the camp. We encourage kids to talk in Hindi with the help of basic sentences and if children understand Hindi we make sure to talk in Hindi during our conversation with them.
13. Do they have to stick with one level of Hindi throughout the week?
No, once child finishes beginner level he/she moves to intermediate Level & then advance. We assess the child on the first day of camp and them the Levels are assigned. If the child has been with us for couple of weeks, he/she would keep on moving to their next level and there is no repetition.
14. How will the Hindi mornings be useful to my child?
Children learn by DOING thus when they do theatre and numerous hands on activities and projects, they are learning how to think and speak in Hindi. Conversing in Hindi becomes easy and natural for them. The hesitation to speak in Hindi will be overcome. Children acquire many useful tips to make their own Hindi conversations. By the end of this camp they will feel confident to join any level of Hindi in Fall.
15. My daughter is picking up on writing and reading very well but does not speak at all. The fault may be on our part as we are not speaking in Hindi at home. I wonder if it may be too much to expose her to an only Hindi speaking crowd….
All the children coming to the camp fall in the same category as your daughter. It is true for all kids growing up here to have a barrier to speak Hindi unless Hindi is strictly enforced at home, which is hard mainly due to our busy schedules. In fact, this is one of the main purpose and goal of this camp. We know that children need to get over this initial barrier to speaking and get confidence to continue to speak & improve. This camp certainly does that meet this goal.
Thus, while children are learning to speak Hindi (or improve their Hindi) this camp is not a “only Hindi speaking crowd”, as the children will inevitably mix and use English. We also take care so as not to turn off the child in any manner. The goal is for the barrier to dissolve by itself and Hindi to come out naturally from within.
16. Is this a secular camp?
Yes, it is. While we do touch upon all religions of India, and discuss the Indian festivals, we do not teach any particular religious thought to the children.
17. How many students are there in each camp?
On an average we have 20 children in each week of the camp at each site.
18. What is the teacher student ratio?
Our maximum student teacher ratio is 1:8. Few high school volunteers are also present throughout the day to assist the teachers and children.
19. What age group can attend this camp? How do you ensure that a 5yr and a 10yr are both engaged?
Children from Ages 5-13 can attend our camps. Children will be grouped by Hindi ability and age in the mornings, and by age alone for the afternoon elements. Children be grouped into multiple age groups and we have designed separate age appropriate content for each age group. This will ensure that kids of different ages are engaged at their own level. This way, kids will still enjoy the camp when they come back as older kids, though we keep our content fresh and different every year.
20. My child will turn 5 in september, but she’s pretty tall and can handle the schedule, Will the system not allow me to register her?? Do I have to call to register?
We have noticed that children who are not fully 5 are not ready for the highly interactive camp. We require the children to turn 5yrs of age latest by August 1.
21. Is this camp only for children with Indian heritage?
No, This camp is suitable for children from all backgrounds. Children of all backgrounds are welcome. All children will be exposed to the Hindi language and Indian culture which will benefit them in various ways.
22. Will my 7th grader be bored?
No. There are so many new concepts and ideas brought out and experienced that the child will be engaged and not bored. Like we said above, kids are grouped by age and all groups have separate age appropriate content.
23. My child does not know Hindi? Is that a disadvantage?
NO! Our program is designed for kids with all levels of Hindi exposure. Kids will be exposed to Hindi in the mornings at their own level. They will learn a lot for sure. They will keep making progress every week. Infact we find that kids who come with no exposure will now be totally ready to jump into the Jano Hindi Classes in the fall and those who came in with some beginner, intermediate or even advanced level improve their command of Hindi exponentially in this contagious atmosphere!
24. What should my camper bring from home?
Kindly send your child with a packed snack, lunch and a refillable water bottle. Our camp has 1 Lunch break & 2 snack breaks everyday.
We provide Lunch, only on Friday, but they will still need light snack & refillable water bottle for our snack break on Friday.
25. What are the camp timings?
The regular camp hours are from 9:30am to 4:00pm. Dropoff is between 9:15am -9:30am. Pickup is between 4:00pm – 4:15pm. We provide pre-care from 8am – 9:15am and post-care from 4:15pm – 6:00pm. Kindly drop off & pick up your child on time to avoid early drop-off & late pick-up fee. Early drop-off fee of $3/min will be applied before 9:15am for regular campers. A late fee of $3/min with a maximum of $24 will be applied after 4:15pm for regular campers and $5/min after 6:05pm for post-care children.
26. The camps are 30 min away from where I live. Is it possible to hold them in more sites?
In order to serve the whole bay area, we currently hold camps in Palo Alto(covers peninsula region), Santa Clara/West San Jose (covers South Bay)and San Ramon (north east bay). Sites have been chosen which have easy access from the highway and major roads.
We will definitely plan to open more as we hear from more people like you. In the meantime, we would like to request you to enroll for the camp site that is most convenient to you.
27. How do your camps compare to other camps regarding pricing?
Being a nonprofit, we are committed to offering very reasonably priced camps so that all who wish to enroll can do so. Thus, we offer an attractive nonprofit tuition starting at 270/week/child for 32.5hrs which comes to $7.6/hr. This is extremely moderately priced given the fact that we offer the best and very high quality camp experience.
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