WHAT SETS US APART
Trilok offers an affordable, powerful, progressive, peaceful, project-based, private-school education in Brooklyn. With a curriculum supported by Cambridge International, we offer a top-notch, education of ivy league caliber. We believe that all families should have access to Trilok School and therefore, we strive to keep our fees as affordable as we can.
In a world of diverse teaching styles, Trilok School values a gentle, clear, choice-guiding approach to classroom leadership. We value a dialogue-based discipline system, where children understand the “why” behind the “way.” Values of community are in lovely balance with values of individuality, so that one enhances the other. The intrapersonal and interpersonal skills children need to strike this balance are nourished, each step of the way. Rather then being married to one educational toolbox for all children, Trilok draws inspiration from diverse educational philosophies, approaching each child according to their needs. In a world of diverse learning styles, each child explores the world uniquely through their reflective wonder, creative activity, and embodied exploration. Through hands-on learning with small class sizes, Trilok hones the unique qualities within each individual. Lessons blend studious activities with diverse arts to best meet students’ needs at all levels: social, cultural, emotional, developmental, moral, physical, and cognitive.
THREE ASPECTS OF STUDY
Trilok’s ‘three world’ structure describes, not only the three elements of educational community (child, family, educator), but the interweaving fields of study that create a complete education: the arts, the humanities, and the sciences. Here these disciplines work together hand in hand in hand. These three domains of study braid together a liberal arts education that integrates and strengthens each child. Within each child, the “trilok” of their very being is awakened: Mind, Heart and Body.
ONCE YOU CHOOSE TRILOK... Trilok welcomes YOU. Trilok School is an inclusive community. Once you are compelled by Trilok’s unique offerings and vision, you are most welcome here! When you choose Trilok School, Trilok’s staff wholeheartedly dedicates themselves to meeting your child’s needs. Trilok seeks participation of broad-minded families, who long to participate actively in a globally-minded, locally-rooted community.
We invite families to communicate regularly with teachers, in order to facilitate success for the child. We invite Trilok parents to contribute their personal skills and offerings in myriad ways. We look forward to par- ents participating in an array of school functions, such as parent/teacher conferences, committee
meetings, fun(d)-raisers, field trips and special events. Families can then find common ground, develop friendships, and collaborate with one another on Trilok committees. With the dedication of our Trilok fami- lies, the school’s enrichment and growth has infinite potential.
A SCHOOL WITHIN AN ARTS ORGANIZATION
Trilok School is the proverbial “village that raises the child,” within the great city of Brooklyn, New York. Nestled within Trilok Fusion Arts, a well-established intercultural community arts space, the school is uniquely enhanced by the working presence of professional artists and artisans. Gifted visiting professionals of the Trilok community shine their energies within and upon our school, through ongoing classes as well as special projects.
Trilok is founded on the conviction that exposure to the arts is a key to academic, emotional, physical and interpersonal success. Trilok School students work with home room teachers and visiting artists regularly to integrate dance, music, visual arts, weaving, math, science, social studies, language and fine/gross motor skill development into their cohesive curriculum. Trilok School utilizes the arts to fulfill and exceed New York State Learning Standards.
DIVERSE COMMUNITY: HUMAN FAMILY
Families from all over the world find community in Trilok School. Trilok assumes no normative family portraits, respecting every family as a loving collaboration of humans. This includes all shapes and styles of family, self-created from both ancient and modern traditions and decisions. We consider every family a precious entity. Whether single parenting, same-sex parent, interracial parenting, intercultural parenting, bilingual parenting, adoptive, step and foster parenting, all parents are viewed with honor at Trilok, for the essential and humane work of their essential nurture. Trilok’s work is to partner in awesome collaboration with the endeavor of raising a new generation of creative, humane, just and joyous humans.
As Trilok School has grown, we have found that families from multiple ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, including a high number and wide diversity of immigrants, have been attracted to our school community and vision. Walking down the hall during pick up time, one might hear the sounds of many world languages and accents. Each family involved in Trilok becomes integral to this international, intercultural, urban-village community. The authentic and balanced diversity at Trilok has proven invaluable to cultivating the worldly child of the future, as the global citizen.
HOUSE ORGANIZING SYSTEM
Upon enrollment, each family gains belonging to one of Trilok’s four “houses” through a Trilok community system of organizing, called our HOUSE SYSTEM. The houses work inter-generationally, with teachers, parents and children of each class, to build community spirit and support community structure in the school. Families collaborate throughout the year to host fun(d)raisers and community builders.
Each of the four HOUSES, or teams of families, is represented by a male and female role model. Trilok chil- dren learn about this cherished selection of world heroes, we call our HOUSE HEROES. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Frida Kahlo headline for the BLUE HOUSE. Marie Curie and Mohandas Gandhi lead up the YELLOW HOUSE. Albert Einstein and Maya Angelou ground the ancestry for the PURPLE HOUSE, while Helen Keller and Dalai Lama grand-parent the RED HOUSE.
Such heroes are just the tip of the iceberg, in learning about great beings. They ground children in a frame- work of values such as peace, kindness, acceptance, creativity and respect for all living things. Throughout Trilok studies, the collection of Humanity’s heroes grows and grows, welcoming children to stand upon the shoulders of giants, guided by diverse wisdoms.
SHARING FOODS SHARING CULTURES
Trilok School has a unique lunchtime tradition. Every day is a potluck adventure of diverse cuisines, reveal- ing diverse cultures. Lunches prepared by parents are divided up and shared amongst all students in the class equally. Accommodations are flexibly made for any necessary dietary restraints. Practices of food sharing at lunch cultivate a diversified palate and stimulate cultural wonder among classmates. By shar- ing food, students learn about each other’s cultures as well as sampling new and different types of food.
Children at Trilok practice a global tradition of graceful eating from fingertips to mouth, using well-washed hands as feeding implements. Yogic insight suggests that this method of eating with the fingertips refines chil- dren’s fine motor skills while engaging the finger’s sensory-motor nerves to prepare the body for digestion. This intimacy with food stimulates embodied self-regulation, preventing humans from over or under eating.
Traditional and thematic stories from cultures around the world allow classroom imaginations to travel widely. While the journey of the mind is so highly valued, physical travel is also a big part of Trilok learning. Monthly eld trips are chosen to reinforce lessons learned in class, and to experience nature’s expressive seasons. Some eld trip traditions have included: apple orchards, pumpkin patches, animal centers, botanical parks and child-friendly museums. As children grow up at Trilok, eld trips take on national and international dimensions.
Trilok School’s beauty evolves with the touch of every child, every parent, and every teacher engaged here. Since Trilok School’s inception, the space has evolved to re ect the values of the community and to inspire the learning of each person who enters. The colors of the walls and oors re ect thought processes of Trilok’s eldest children, who long ago, imagined a school where the fruits of nature were the themes of each class- room. The Yellow Apples Classroom glows with the morning sun, while the Oranges Classroom soothes with its mellow hues. The walls talk, expressing the explorations of each season. Evidence of class proj- ects grows, offering children the collective empowerment of creating the world of their classroom together.
The rooftops of both the rst and second oors offer spacious play arenas for children. The youngest children play in the cozy environment outside their very own classroom, sheltered from big winds by a lovely cherry tree. Older children play safely on top of the building, under the open sky, way up high by the tree tops.
Our beautifully blooming garden acts as a teaching tool, outdoor classroom space, and testament to our integrated educational mission. Here, children plant, cultivate and harvest bounty from the earth. Overlooking our garden is an amazing mural that created by a famous Chilean artist, Nelson Rivas (aka Cekis). This art illustrates an immense young child looking into an open blank book, surrounded by the landscape of his mind. It illustrates our communi- ty’s deep value of a child’s independent learning and imaginative engagement.
Green values at Trilok are robust. The principal of REuse has built our library entirely from family donations. Our class- room materials come from environmentally sound sources, such as donated toys and recycled art materials. Backs of delivery boxes become painting canvases. Parents contribute their milk cartons and paper-roll tubes for projects of all kinds, all year round. Furniture is cleverly repurposed throughout the school. Classrooms demonstrate a REduce vision, remaining thoughtfully supplied with the materials of creativity, but uncluttered. Respectful simplicity is practiced in the classroom by limiting the amount of materials presented to the children at any given time. An an- nual family Swap Party helps to pass lovely child-rearing wares down the river of generations as children grow up.
In classes, children learn to sort materials for REcycling and to Compost raw veggie/fruit scraps from snacks and lunches. This learning happens rst through the example in their leaders, and soon enough in their own participa- tion and enthusiasm for being kind to the Earth we call home.
Trilok is a school guided by a peace philosophy and supported by a formal Peace Curriculum. Children are encouraged to express their feelings verbally and problem-solve with teachers and classmates through dialogue. A peace process of solving a conflict between children may unfold like this:
The teacher sits calmly with the children. The teacher offers a hug to support each of the children. The teacher(s) offers the children some quiet space to reflect. When needed, an upset child may calm themselves through guided breathing, a glass of water, sometimes a small snack, or a meditative activity like drawing or weaving and, a calm talk with their teacher. Teachers may then guide children to name the problem and reflect upon it. When they are calm and ready, children are supported to solve a problem by talking to each other and listening to each other. During a Peace Break, a Thinking Chair provides a quiet place for children to become calm and consider the conflict. If problems persist over time, the teacher and parent(s) will discuss possible causes of the behavior and work toward developing a disciplinary plan in response to the behavior that can be utilized on a consistent basis both at school and at home.
HOW TRILOK SCHOOL WAS BORN
An adventurous child named Sudha was born in a land called India. She was born in a town called Kanchipuram, the land of silks and temples, in a state called Tamil Nadu. She then grew up in a city called Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat.
As she grew up, she danced and learned. She learned about a hero who was admired throughout the world. She was excited to know that this hero had, once upon a time, also been a child in Gujarat. Like her, he had eaten only vegetarian foods, worked hard in school, and travelled the world. Over his long lifetime, he had become a great leader of peace. You may have learned about this hero yourself. His name was Gandhi -- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Today, he is called Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi had helped the people of India to create freedom, through a human Super-power, called “Ahimsa” or Non-Violence. He had borrowed peace-making ideas from his ancient ancestors to win freedom for his modern people. When people in India thanked and celebrated him, they gave him a new name meaning great soul: Mahaan Atma. Mahatma Gandhi.
Young Sudha loved learning about Gandhi, and she discovered that she agreed with many of his beautiful ideas. As a child, she found ideas of peace very helpful for making friends and playing with other children. She also became fascinated by the great challenges of truthfulness. She found she could create a special feeling of peace inside herself by dancing. Dance seemed to be a very truthful expression, so she chose to dance a lot.
For many many years, the young girl named Sudha was growing up, she worked hard to learn an ancient Indian dance form called Bharatanatyam (Bha-rata-na-ti-um). She performed this dance in vibrant shining costumes, just like her ancestors had done for generations before her. In these special performances, even her eyes and fingers danced to tell the stories of her people.
When she grew up, she decided to put her own powerful ideas into original dance choreography. She travelled to a new land far away, called the United States of America, to become a professional dance artist. Finally landing in the great city of Brooklyn, New York, she connected her story-telling dance style with the original American music of Jazz, which also tells stories.
One day, in the heart of NYC, at Columbus Circle, Sudha became mesmerized by a Russian family of wonderful musicians. Their band was called Blackmama Dharma Band. It included both children and parents, who moved her very deeply. Of course, like a true Indian dancer, her fingers and eyes began secretly to dance as her ears listened. Seeing this, they asked, “Would you like to dance with our music?” She put Indian bells on to her ankles, from her dance rehearsal bag. Then and there, she began to dance with them.
To express her gratitude and joy on that magical night, she brought them home with her for a beautiful Indian meal. They ate Veggie Pullav and Raita, and became great friends. Thereafter, they began performing togeth- er a lot. As a troupe of performers, they travelled and performed for audiences of all ages. The dance, the music and the audience created the powerful energy of three interwoven worlds. “Trilok!” Sudha said, “Three worlds!” and Trilok Fusion Arts was formed and grew.
Eventually, Sudha brought together performance artists from many more cultures, and created a big multi- media dance production called MAA! THE CREATOR. Her first child was born soon after, and Sudha began to share this dance with children and explore the joy of becoming both a parent and a teacher. Here, Trilok Summer Camp began.
While raising her children, grown-up Sudha wanted a place where all children could create peace. She thought about it, and she meditated on it. She started to see it in her mind’s eye, before she organized it. First she made the Trilok Summer Camp. Eventually this grew and she found that more and more people wanted to experience the joy and peace of Trilok all year round. So, she wove together the spirit of the arts, the diversity of all cultures, the sciences of life, the love of community, and the flavor of worldly foods, into a unique center: Trilok School.