Connection, Collaboration, &

In 1999, the Tibetan Homes Foundation in Mussoorie, India joined the SBMS Sister School Program. One of their own teachers came to SBMS and taught Tibetan Art. He inspired and helped students to paint the Tibetan flag in the hallway of the school, several scenes of Tibet as seen through the eyes of our own students, and a huge painting of the monkey Hanuman and elephants on a large wall in the Lotus Theatre on the Garden Street campus. On his last day at SBMS he said that his time there had been the best time of his life and gave Ferguson a painting he had created of the Dalai Lama.

In 1999, Sarah Lukas, founder of Friends of Tibetan Women's Association, established a new connection

with the Tibetan refugee community when The Tibetan Homes Foundation joined the SBMS Sister School Program. After years of traditional correspondences and connections, SBMS initiated a teacher exchange sending Brian Bargiel to India to establish digital exchanges between schools, and welcoming Tibetan art teacher, Sonam Choephel. One memorable highlight of these efforts was the establishment of an internet video conference connection between the THF School and SBMS, culminating with our 1999 Academic Fair exchange of live stories, song, music and friendship.

Following our Tibetan video conference exchange, THF and SBMS students continued to share many stories, emails, photos, and videos about school, family, and life experiences. With the help of their digital pen pals in India, teams of 9th grade world history students made short documentary videos of Tibetan life and culture. These films were then enjoyed and critiqued by their Tibetan counterparts.