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    Loudoun youth learn Indian language and culture in summer camp

    The Mudra Arts Center in Sterling finished up its summer camp program on July 26 with a graduation ceremony at Sterling Middle School. Campers had been learning about Hindi language and Indian culture since July 7.

    The Center offers the federally funded camp program in conjunction with their year-long school, which has headquarters in Sterling.

    The specially trained summer camp teachers chose a unique curriculum which focused on hands-on and immersive language-learning techniques. Campers learned through traditional Hindi games, song and dance. Indian meals and cultural field-trips supplemented the learning.

    “We try to teach them that way, not in a bookish way,” said Preeti Vanjani, the summer program's lead teacher. “It's a different way of teaching. I promote the whole culture as well as the learning of the language.”

    The second held since the school's inception in 2009, Mudra Arts Center's Hindi Language and Indian Cultural Summer Camp had 52 students between the ages of six and 12.

    According to the camp director, Bob Vanjani, the surveys filled out by students and parents at the end of the program showed a favorable experience for both parties.

    “It was very well received,” he said. “(At graduation), not only the kids (were crying), but the parents were also crying. They were sad that it ended...The parents were really really happy to see their kids learn so much in three weeks.”

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