Guru Angad Institute of Sikh Studies (GAISS) is a tax-exempt faith based educational organization aiming to enshrine an appreciation and understanding of Sikh heritage, language and music among children, youth and adults. The Gurmat, Punjabi, and Gurmat Sangeet studies program, year-round Kirtan programs, and extra-curricular activities by the institution play a major role in achieving the mission.
Established in 2004, GAISS strives to cultivate a sense of belonging and purpose in Sikhism through inspiration, motivation and a diligent educational agenda. We try to foster leadership skills in our students and inculcating a sense of pride and self-confidence relating to Sikh heritage and knowledge of global issues.
We leverage the standard “Sojhi” Boli and Virsa curriculum developed by the Sikh Research Institute implemented with benchmarks developed by the GAISS team. GAISS is the only school of its kind in North America that teaches Gurmat Sangeet using traditional Sikh string instruments.
In April 2010 GAISS moved into our own facility after many years of holding classes out of a Community Center. Our facility is built like a school in order to properly hold our Gurmat, Punjabi, and Gurmat Studies program in a classroom environment.
Students are organized into 4 Misls (Mata Bhaag Kaur, Baba Deep Singh, Baba Fateh Singh, and Mata Sahib Kaur) and activities like a Sports Day and other activities are organized as healthy competitions between the Misls. Typically on the first Saturday of the month, there is a special extra-curricular activity planned for after school ends.
During the summer break GAISS runs a Gurmat Sangeet camp. The camp’s aim is not only to further our students’ Gurmat Sangeet understanding and practice but also teaching them basic tenets of Sikhi and promoting camaraderie. Sessions in the camp include Master classes with special teachers, Sikh History Jeopardy, and Gatka. Volunteers and guests are invited to lead sessions and impart knowledge and expertise, and promote discussion and further understanding. At the end of the camp a Divan is held where our campers share the Shabads that they have learned during the camp. In addition, every year there is a Free Day in which fun activities and games are held for everyone to enjoy.