About Us

The Bengali Kids of Princeton Area (BKPA) is a volunteer-run organization for kids between the ages of 5 and 17. Our programs are generated by and focused on kids.

As American Bengali Kids, we engage in lifelong pursuit of learning, give back to our local and global communities, and learn about our Bengali heritage while continuing the legacy of our rich culture. Our goals are to learn about our rich Bengali Heritage and Culture in a FUN way and become generous, thoughtful global citizens.

Did you know that the US Government considers the Bengali language to be a critical language for the future of our country? Bengali is the 7th most spoken language in the world. For this reason and more, the US State Department believes in establishing relationships with the Bengali language and people for future development and prosperity. We hope our organization can help bridge the gap between American and Bengali cultures. The Bengali Kids of Princeton Area (BKPA) members have distinct cultural identities as American Bengalis. In this rapidly globalizing world, we believe it is important to forge connections across cultures and countries. BKPA’s focus is to build these bridges in all parts of life, starting with the paths available from the popularity of our language. Through events, trips, and other programs we share Bengali culture with our local communities and maintain relationships with our friends abroad.

We hold Bengali Heritage Class every Saturday, where members learn about Bengali heritage, culture, and language throughout the year. The Bengali Heritage Class recently developed a four-level curriculum for those who wish to learn how to speak, write, and read the Bengali language. BKPA has finalized this curriculum by publishing four workbooks in the Learn Bangla Now! series, one for each level of the curriculum, respectively. Bengali Heritage Class teaches us teamwork, leadership skills, public speaking, professionalism, and promotes hard work, honesty, discipline, fairness, and respect. Our teachers also help us to prepare for college, hold resume workshops, teach writing skills, and find opportunities for community work and summer internships. BKPA gives its members the opportunity to have a never-ending learning experience. Come join our Bengali Heritage Class and find out how much FUN it is!

In addition to learning about language, culture, and heritage, our members and students also meet to discuss charitable goals, future events, and more. These ideas coalesce at quarterly meetings of students and staff at which we plan and review programs.


Four Pillars
Kids are the base, foundation, and strength of this organization. BKPA was founded almost fifteen years ago by a small group of Bengali kids and has grown steadily ever since. Our organization focuses on four pillars of instruction: Educational, Cultural, Literary and Charitable.

Educational
  • Weekly Bengali language, culture, and heritage classes
  • Summer internship placement
  • Physician shadowing program
  • Field trips
Cultural
  • Saraswati Puja
  • Bengali New Year
  • Kali Puja
  • December holiday gathering
  • Other performances and events
Literary
  • Annual Literary Magazine
  • Book Publishing
  • Workbooks and event program texts
Charitable
  • BKPA Gives Programs
  • March of Dimes and Annual Autism Speaks Walk
  • Poets Foundation Academic Scholarships Fund
  • Performances at local assisted living facilities


Lifetime of Learning

BKPA emphasizes social and life skills alongside scholarship.


Pre-School and Elementary
  • Character Building
    • Respect
    • Social Skills
    • Tenacity
    • Self Discipline
Middle School
  • Practical Skills
    • Teamwork
    • Public Speaking
    • Organizational Skills
High School
  • Leadership Skills
    • Organizing Events
    • Taking Initiative
    • Leadership Roles within BKPA
    • Networking
  • Community Service
    • Organizing Charitable Programs
    • Participate in Community Services
  • Summer Internships
  • Personalized Opportunities Abroad

Highlights

Our past highlights include:


Cultural: Performing at North American Bengali Conference (NABC) 2010 in Atlantic City, Milan Mela 2012 and 2014, UTSOV's Durga Pujas, Princeton Public Library 2015, and the Asian American Heritage Festival 2016.


Charitable: BKPA members collected 72 pairs of kids shoes in 2013 and 86 pairs in 2017. These were distributed in a village in West Bengal by BKPA volunteers travelling with a mobile health clinic. We fund 12 academic scholarships every year via Poets Foundation. ₹2000 for middle school, ₹3000 for high school, and ₹4000 for college. Since 2017 we have gathered and delivered computers with up-to-date programs and software free of cost to young adults in need. This helps them pursue self-directed careers from their homes. In 2018 we also collected 14 computers that will be sent to classrooms in need.

Meet our committee members



BKPA Co-Presidents for 2019:
Rupsha Chakrabarty
Swayam Shuvra Chakraborty

Past Presidents 2007 - 2017:
Anisha Das
   & Anushka Purkayastha
Mitali Chowdhury
   & Sahil Banerjee
Sanjukta Mahata
   & Sohan Pramanik
Soham Bhattacharya
Arnob Dam
Pia Pal
Anu Gupta
Anita Dam
Nikhilesh Dey
Subha Samanta
Sneha Basu
Nimita Mitra
Executives:
Anisha Das, Anushka Purkayastha,
Mitali Chowdhury, Sanjukta Mahata,
Sohan Pramanik, Sahil Banerjee

Officers:
Aabir Barerjee, Shalin Banerjee,
Pratyush Chakraborty,
Sayan Shuvra Chakraborty,
Biswajoy Mazumdar, Arush Sanbui

Staff:
Aarohi Banerjee, Anish Bhattacharya,
Amolika Chatterjee, Ishani Chowdhury,
Ayan Das, Arin Dutta, Krittika Dutta,
Arush Kundu, Bipasha Mazumdar,
 Ayushee Mukhopadhyay, Atri Ojha,
Nidhi Pramanik, Akansha Purkayastha,
Udita Ray, Aaryaan Roy, Swarnab Roy,
Mia Saha, Raj Saha, Rishi Sanbui

Assistants:
Anika Bandyopadhyay, Anjelika Banerjee,
Agniv Chatterjee, Kavisha Dutta,
Anjali Mukhopadhyay, Eshan Ojha,
Jason Roy

Website:
Mitali Chowdhury

Annual Events


Saraswati Puja - February 10th, 2019

Bengali New Year Lunch - April 14th, 2019

March of Dimes - April 28th, 2019

Spring Outing - May, 2019

Bengali New Year Celebration - June 8th, 2019

Summer Picnic Outing - August 25th, 2019

Autism Speaks Walk - October 13th, 2019

Kali Puja - October/November, 2019

Holiday Party - December, 2019

Technology, Clothing, and Shoe Drives - Ongoing and TBA

Dance, Music, and Poetry Performances - 2019 Dates TBA

Service Trips - 2019 Dates TBA

Our cultural events, such as Saraswati Puja and Noboborsho, feature performances by member students and guest artists, as well as food and short religious ceremonies for religious holidays.

Charitable events such as the Autism Speaks Walk and March of Dimes are attended by member families, and material drives are ongoing throughout each year.

Follow us on Facebook or email bkpa@bkpa.org for more information

Classes and Meetings


The Bengali Heritage Class (BHC) exposes students to our rich Bengali language, culture, and heritage, and helps them to learn the material in a FUN way. Adults and kids are welcome to join. Please see our Curriculum for detailed information. This class opens doors and provides a never ending learning experience for those who are truly interested. Bengali Heritage Class meets every Saturday from 3:00 to 5:00 PM in Plainsboro, NJ. Join us for Spring Bengali Classes! (April 6-June 15)

Join us for Spring Bengali Classes! (April 6 - June 15)

Chairwoman and Language Instructor Meena Dam teaches an additional class with more intense focus on language every other week in Bucks County, PA. We also have quarterly steering and financial meetings of all student leaders along with adult members and teachers.

BKPA Gives


BKPA Gives is the charitable branch of BKPA. It grew out of discussions among students and teachers at our weekly language and heritage classes. In these classes we learn about communities around the globe where Bengali is spoken, and students raised the idea of assisting those in need in these communities to their mentors and teachers. Events such as free performances in assisted living facilities and other venues, fundraising walks, and more operate in the USA. Our program “International Technology for Self Sufficiency” currently operates in India and Bangladesh, and “International Technology for Career Education” will be operational in a location to be announced soon, bringing computers to a school for adult career education.

We also fund a growing number of scholarships in India through Poets Foundation, and donate clothes and shoes to kids and adults in need. If you would like to be involved in our technology and clothing drives, please contact bkpa@bkpa.org.

On BKPA member summer volunteer trips to orphanages in Kolkata, we met young adults who were too old to receive aid from area orphanages but still struggling to make a living on their own. Some of these individuals have disabilities that make it difficult for them to travel to daily jobs. So, the BKPA Gives International Technology for Self Sufficiency and International Technology for Career Education programs were born. We provide individuals in need with the materials and funds needed to use technology to broaden their education and create modern careers. These tools can also help connect recipients with both their local and global communities. Initial and annual check-ins both online and in person offer continued community and support between BKPA members and BKPA Gives program recipients. Since 2014 we have brought computers to seven people who can then support themselves and their families. On the local level, we perform in assisted living facilities, providing free entertainment and food to residents, and open all of our annual cultural event to the public so that they may learn with us about our culture, language, and heritage. Our language classes are open to all free of charge as well. Teachers and mentors volunteer their time, the only fee being to cover printing costs of the language textbook and workbook that we produce. We hope that this openness encourages dialogue between people from different cultures.

An outline of what we do in each BKPA Gives program is below. We encourage members to take initiative and coordinate with individuals they meet in their travels and daily life to design programs. All programs are brainstormed by the kids of BKPA, with guidance, oversight, and operational support from our adult members, teachers, and families. All members participate in our charitable events and other programs as volunteers. We believe part of our duty as global citizens is to give back to our communities and assist those in difficult circumstances.

International Technology for Self Sufficiency and Career Education
  • Self Sufficiency
    • Learn about locations and communities
    • Visit locations and communities in person
    • Collect material and financial donations
    • Transport material donations
    • Maintain contact with BKPA Gives program recipients
  • Career Education
    • Learn about locations and communities
    • Connect with teachers and other local partners
    • Collect material and financial donations
    • Transport material donations to career education schools
    • Maintain contact with BKPA Gives program recipients
Fund Sharing
  • Scholarship Fund in Partnership with Poets Foundation
    • Currently funds 12 scholarships for students in middle school, high school, and college
Drives
  • Kids' Shoes and Clothes
    • Transport donations
    • Distribute through personal connections with individuals in need
Events
  • Performances in Assisted Living Facilities
  • March of Dimes
  • Autism Walk

Our Sponsors


We would like to thank our sponsors:

Stone Tech Marble
stonetechmarble.com

STI Pharma, LLC
www.stipharmallc.com

New York Life Insurance Company
Agent: Ms. Samragnee Majumdar

Would you like to sponsor our events? Contact events@bkpa.org

Program Abroad in Kolkata for High School Students


We can help you have experiences of a lifetime in two different areas:

Charitable Work – Volunteer at unique places and participate in meaningful community service. For example, past BKPA members have travelled to volunteer at Mother Theresa’s Orphanage in Kolkata. BKPA encourages members volunteering there to meet fellow young adults both at the orphanage and outside of it, building relationships and giving plans based on their needs, which often go beyond the scope of the orphanage once kids turn 18. BKPA Gives’ Technology for Self Sufficiency is one such program. See the BKPA Gives page for more information.