Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh
Dear Sikh Artists and Illustrators,
We have this exciting opportunity but need your help. Fresno Unified School District, the fourth largest school district in the state of California, has created new after school biliteracy programs in various languages to promote students' learning capabilities. For the first time in the United States, Punjabi is being taught through the school district to elementary school children. FUSD also purchased nearly $10,000 worth of children's book, story books, and other materials to supplement the curriculum we are creating. Most of these were produced in Punjab or other parts of India, while the UK and Canada were also well-represented. Our findings?
Most materials are not grade-appropriate; many drawings play on sexist and casteist stereotypes; most are not relevant to children growing up in the United States. We are hoping to change that. We are writing new poems, building new adventures, creating new stories that build vocabulary, students' confidence, and desire to learn Punjabi. In our inaugural class, we have nearly 30 students with close to 1/4 coming from non-Punjabi backgrounds. We want to unleash their potential and love to learn Punjabi.
At this point, FUSD has promised us no compensation for illustrators, but if materials find their way into the fourth largest school district in California, we are confident that we can create new avenues to find commissions and other compensation for the artists. If you have any questions, feel free to message me through this system. Fill out the form and I will be in touch with you all soon.