March 26, 2018
Dear Friends, Members, and Advisors:
It has been a while since we last updated you, but that doesn’t mean things haven’t been happening behind the scenes! We are excited to update you on the progress we have made since our last newsletter.
Dr. Joshua Aronson
First and foremost, we would like to congratulate one of our executive advisors, Dr. Joshua Aronson. As you all know, Dr. Aronson is a psychologist and professor at NYU, and has been doing some amazing work including that related to linking children’s happiness to their academic success. The 2018 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings were recently unveiled, which identify the most influential university-based scholars in the United States in the arena of educational practice and policy. It is no easy feat to whittle down the tens of thousands of scholars that qualify, to a list of 200. Accordingly, we are extremely proud to announce that Dr. Aronson has ranked 99 on the list. We are so excited that he is being recognized for the truly wonderful work he is doing. To read more about the ranking system, please see http://www.aei.org/publication/the-2018-rhsu-edu-scholar-public-influence-rankings/
The Casa Laxmi Team Grows!
We would like to give a warm welcome to Puneet Luthra, who joined us in January as the Director of Strategic Partnerships. Puneet brings a wealth of experience to the table, having worked with some of the largest charities and non-profit organizations in the country. Puneet will be championing our cause and working to establish affiliations and collaborations with various organizations, including universities and other NGOs. If you have any ideas or suggestions on organizations that may be ideal partners for us, please feel free to reach out to
him directly at [email protected]
As you all may know, we have decided to focus on the United States as the location for the Institute – Florida in particular. We have pinpointed some beautiful sites and will update you on the status in short order.
Casa Laxmi had a great visit with PeaceJam before the holidays, and we hosted their Executive Director here in Toronto a few weeks ago. We are so thrilled to be working with them! We had the chance to discuss our partnership and to lay out a roadmap to achieve our joint vision of giving children the guidance and resources to become change makers.
University of California, Berkeley
We had a wonderful discussion with the Greater Good Science Center at Berkeley. The Center is doing amazing work to develop core soft skills in the context of K-12 education. They do this by providing training for educators around the world, through workshops, one-on-one consulting, seminars, and customized programs. They have expressed significant interest in our project and we will be canvassing a collaboration with them in the weeks to come.
Casa Laxmi attended the Heart-Mind conference in Langley, British Columbia last month. This conference is organized every year by the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education and is designed to bring together the world’s most brilliant minds on how to foster peace, harmony, empathy, and gratitude through education. We met with some of the leading experts on this issue and discussed collaborations with them. In fact, the Dalai Lama Centre is very keen on working with us as we continue on this journey.
The Climate Reality Project
Casa Laxmi connected with the Climate Reality Project, a non-profit organization started by Al Gore whose focus is education and advocacy related to climate change. We all know that Mr. Gore has been a champion of environmental causes, and as a result, he has established this organization. The Climate Reality Project provides training to its volunteers, who then advise and guide businesses, schools and other organizations on how to reduce their carbon footprint. We are exploring opportunities for a possible collaboration, given our plans to put significant emphasis on environmental protection and preservation at the Institute.