“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.”
— Richard James Molloy
The mission of the Fresno Punjabi School is to educate the next generation of Sikhs with the basic knowledge necessary for them to begin their own exploration of Sikhism and to take their first steps on their own spiritual paths. The school’s Punjabi language curriculum empowers students to understand Sikh texts and study Punjab’s rich historical, musical and cultural heritage.
The school’s classes on Sikh theology seek to inspire students with Guru Nanak’s message of Ek Onkar (oneness). Outside the Sikh community, the school engages in outreach efforts to inform others of Sikh tradition and history.
The Fresno Punjabi School traces its roots to the efforts of the families that had immigrated to Fresno from Punjab in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. In the mid-1980’s a handful of committed individuals began holding weekly religious and Punjabi language classes in their homes for the first generation of Sikhs born in the central valley. When the Singh Sabha Gurudwara was opened in 1989, the Punjabi School found a permanent home. With two class-rooms, two teachers, and thirty students, the Punjabi School began its first official school year. From its modest beginnings, the Punjabi School has become one of the first regularly held Gurmukhi educational programs in California. In addition to its educational programs, the Punjabi School has actively sponsored cultural and other social activities for its students. The Punjabi School holds an annual Punjabi cultural program in which students perform bhangra, giddha, Punjabi plays, and other pieces on Punjabi culture and the evolution of this culture in California’s central valley. The Punjabi School also holds a Sports Day in which students compete in various athletic events.
The success of the Fresno Punjabi School has been, and continues to be, dependent on the support of its committed staff and the Singh Sabha Gurudwara community and its leadership. The Gurudwara has allowed the Punjabi School to play a central role in the weekly diwan and provided it the resources to grow and serve its students. In the New Sikh Institute, the Punjabi School will have ten fully furnished classrooms for our students.